As we close in on the top of our list, we remain with six players who stood out far more than the rest. It is the former fnatic and current SK mad-fragger, Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg who takes up the 6th position. He had an excellent 2010 in which his form culminated during the summer, when he led fnatic to two of their titles.
Player: Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg
Team achievements in 2010:
1st - Arbalet Cup Europe, GameGune, IEM5 GC Shanghai, KGC #2
2nd - IEM4 World Championship, IEM4 European Finals, MSI BEAT IT, DSRack LAN #3, EPS Nordic II
3rd - Arbalet Cup Best of Four, e-Stars (also won the Continental Cup as part of Team West)
Stats from major LAN tournaments in 2010:
Kills per round: 0.81
Deaths per round: 0.62
Rating: 1.21 (?)
Maps played: 132
MoM: 33 times top rated in a match
Best tournament: GameGune
Best map: de_nuke
Most notable stats: 4th best KPR (0.81), 4th best player on de_nuke (1.26 rating)
In 2005 the Swedish team Begrip surprised everyone and won WEG Season 2 in front of many more famous teams, while the main star on their road to 1st place was Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg. He was nominated for the Newcomer of the Year and Best Counter Strike Player of 2005 following that success and several months later, at the beginning of 2006 he joined fnatic as part of a new lineup whose goal was to become the best in the world. That was exactly what they did in the next few years, while Lindberg became the team's best player and affirmed himself as one of the best to ever grace the game, winning the award for Best Counter Strike Player in 2006 and being nominated for it twice more, in 2008 and 2009.
After an extremely successful 2009 for fnatic, they went into the next year with a lineup change as Rasmus "Gux" Ståhl had left the team, while the replacement was found in form of Björn "threat" Pers. Their first test came early on in mid-January when they attended IEM4 European Champioship Finals. It seemed like nothing has changed compared to last year, as fnatic dominated the group stage and reached the final of the event with 7 straight wins. However, they were then defeated by mousesports after a big fight and they had to settle for 2nd place. Lindberg had a very good tournament, finishing it with a 1.20 rating, 3rd best in his team and 5th best at the event. He played well in every match, but he excelled the most during the group stage clash with mTw when he displayed one of the best individual performances by any player in the entire year, having a 26-4 score in the first half as CT on de_dust2, giving his team a 13-2 lead and announcing that he will be using the AWP more often in the future. He finished the match with 41 kills and earned himself his best rating of the year in a match - 2.18.
At the beginning of March, fnatic took part in IEM4 World Championship of which they were the reigning champions. This time they started by losing their first match against Evil Geniuses, but then again went undefeated for the next 8 maps until meeting Na`Vi in the final. The Ukrainians however took the gold in front of fnatic, as the Swedish team had to settle for another 2nd place. Lindberg himself was again one of the best players at the event with a 1.16 rating (6th overall, 2nd in his team), especially shining during the semi-final against SK with a 30-12 score in the first map. He had another impressive performance before that, in a group stage match against Frag eXecutors where he led his team to come back from being down 6-9 at the half with his 21-4 score in the second part of the match as they ended up 18-12 winners.
Two 2nd places in a row for fnatic
In May it was time for fnatic to finally climb to the top of a tournament, which they did at Arbalet Cup Europe on their home turf in Sweden. They once more reached the final undefeated after 8 maps, although with one draw on the way, only this time they managed to overcome Na`Vi at the last step at take their first title of 2010. Lindberg performed even better than before, finishing as the 3rd top rated of the event with an impressive 1.29 rating, although once more as the 2nd best of his team. His best performances came in the playoffs, in the semi-final against PinG and also in the final against Na`Vi when he was top rated in both of their map-wins.
However, they didn't continue with that form, as they lost in the final of IOL FINAL4 Season 2 to their rivals SK Gaming a month later. Lindberg had just an average display with a 1.01 rating, not helping the team's cause much.
That tournament was intertwined with another more prestigious tournament, DreamHack Summer at the same venue, which turned out to be the first occasion when fnatic didn't make it to the final of an event in 2010. They already found minor trouble in the group stage drawing with the French side Fair Frag, although still claiming the first place, but then they ran into H2k in the quarter-final and that's where their road ended, while H2k went on to finish 2nd. Lindberg had an excellent 1.28 rating, but mostly thanks to his performance in the group stage, although he didn't disappoint in their playoff match either.
Lindberg also played for his national team in the ASUS ENC online stage from April to June, which they ended up as first in their group. However, his contribution wasn't very significant as he finished with a 0.97 rating in 10 maps. He did have a highlight round from that competition though, with an ace in the match against Ukraine:
Lindberg's ace against Ukraine
Next up for fnatic was a trip to France where they had a chance to visit Disneyland and take part in ESWC. However, they didn't have much more success, as they were stopped in the quarter-final for the second time in a row, this time by their biggest rivals of the year, Na`Vi. Lindberg had an excellent display again, finishing as the top rated player of the event with an amazing 1.34 rating. He led the team to be undefeated in the group stage once more, especially with performances such as having a 33-13 score against Alternate or 29-20 against WeMade FOX in a close 17-13 win.
After two consecutive quarter-final finishes, fnatic decided to make a change bringing back their lineup from 2009 by signing Ståhl again. It paid off immediately as they managed to win their next event, GameGune in Spain. Lindberg had his best tournament of the year with an incredible 1.42 rating while playing well in every match during their title-winning campaign. Particularly admirable was his performance in the final against Frag eXecutors where he was top rated in both of the extremely close maps. He had his best AWP performance of the year in the first map, recording 24 kills with the big green and helping his team reach a 22-20 double overtime win. Lindberg was later voted the MVP of GameGune here on our site, and we also made a special movie about his performance at the Spanish event:
Mini-movie: f0rest at GameGune
Both Lindberg and fnatic repeated their impressive form at the next event, IEM5 Global Challenge Shanghai. They took another 1st place after overcoming Na`Vi in the incredible two-day semi-final and then later beating TyLoo.raw in the final. Lindberg himself was once more voted the MVP at our site, and rightfully so as he was the top rated player of the event with a 1.29 rating. He had his best matches against the Chinese finalists TyLoo.raw, both in the group stage (34-15 individual score) and in the final as top rated in both maps.
fnatic continued stomping their opponents at e-Stars Seoul as they started by winning 10 maps in a row, including practically singlehandedly winning the Continental Cup for Team West on the first day. They were then flawless in the group stage of King of the Game tournament, and also won their first map of the semi-final against WeMade FOX, but then surprisingly fell to the Korean team in the next two maps. The Swedes ended up as 3rd after beating TyLoo in the bronze medal fight, while Lindberg himself played great while fnatic's winning run lasted. Although, this time he finished as the team's second best player, even though he was top rated in 6 of their matches, including what was probably his best performance in a group stage encounter against WeMade FOX, where he put up a 33-16 score during a 17-13 win.
The impressive run of form by fnatic and Lindberg ended at e-Stars
As September came, fnatic traveled to China for the MSI BEAT IT tournament which they finished in 2nd place after losing to Evil Geniuses in the final. Lindberg had a solid tournament with a 1.14 rating, 2nd best in the team. His best match was in the final when he led the team to their 2nd map win after two overtimes 22-20 having a 41-26 score.
A short while after their return from Asia, the last map of the final against mTw in EPS Nordic II awaited them, although they ended up on the losing side once again and finished 2nd in the league. Overall during the season, Lindberg performed just average with a 1.00 rating without ever standing out much.
In the second half of October, fnatic went to Denmark to take part in DSRack #3 and KGC #2. During those tournaments, they developed a minor rivalry with the Danish side Full-Gaming, against which they lost in the final of DSRack #3, but then later defeated them in a very close match in the final of the other tournament, KGC #2. During the first tournament, Lindberg wasn't very impressive with a string of average performances and a 1.07 rating in the end. However, in the Komplett Gamer Challenge #2, he played excellent on their way through the Swedish playoffs, having great performances against RAGE and Lions.
Fnatic once had another chance to visit China in 2010, when they attended the World e-Sports Masters in the beginning of November. They ended up losing two matches in a row and finished as shared-last of the tournament. Lindberg however didn't disappoint, especially in their second match which pitted them against Evil Geniuses, where he recorded a 44-32 score as the team's best rated player during a 23-25 triple overtime loss.
In the online competitions during the second half of the year, fnatic performed well in IEM5 European Championship, finishing first in their group after winning all of their matches, having trouble only against the Russian side MYM. Lindberg performed very well during IEM5 and finished the competition with a 1.24 rating. In EPS Nordic III they ended up being less successful, as even though they reached the playoffs as one of the top four teams, fnatic lost to mTw in the semi-final and then to RAGE in the fight for 3rd place. Lindberg was better than in the previous season, recording a 1.13 rating overall, while his best match was against fnatic's big rivals SK Gaming when he put up a 23-12 and also made one of his highlight rounds of the year:
4-kill pistol round by Lindberg against SK
The last tournament for fnatic's dominating lineup which afterwards dispersed was DreamHack Winter, also the last event in 2010. They finished their participation in the quarter-final where they met Na`Vi again, while Lindberg overall had one of his worse tournaments with a still solid 1.05 rating.
Lindberg had the second most 33 man-of-the-match performances in major LANs, while he was also the 4th best fragger with 0.81 kills per round. He played excellent throughout the year, especially during the summer when he led fnatic to winning two competitions, although he was quieter as the year drew to a close.
With his team he managed to win 4 competitions - Arbalet Cup Europe, GameGune, IEM5 GC Shanghai and KGC #2, while also having several 2nd places at important tournaments such as IEM4 World Championship and IEM4 European Championship Finals, as well as at MSI BEAT IT and DSRack #3. Fnatic also finished 3rd at Arbalet Best of Four and e-Stars King of the Game tournament.
Lindberg himself had plenty of great tournaments, while the most impressive one was GameGune where we witnessed one of the best displays by any player at any tournament last year. He was also the MVP at IEM5 Global Challenge Shanghai, while he had a great display during fnatic's biggest success too, which was winning Arbalet Cup Europe.
He was undoubtedly one of the top six players of last year which all had amazing performances at some point, but someone had to be placed 6th. So Lindberg, as the second best in his team and as the MVP at two relatively minor tournaments is selected for that position.
At the end of last year, Lindberg was signed by SK Gaming, to which he transferred after spending 5 very successful years in fnatic. He is expected to continue being one of the world's best players and to help return SK Gaming to the very top in 2011.
Recommended demos of Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg in 2010:
|mTw||dust2||IEM4 Eu Finals (Group stage)||41-14||POV|
|Fx||inferno||IEM4 World (Group stage)||32-15||POV|
|SK||inferno||IEM4 World (Semi-final, map 1)||30-12||HLTV|
|UNiTED||tuscan||Arbalet Best of Four (day 1)||36-21||HLTV|
|UNiTED||inferno||Arbalet Best of Four (day 1)||35-20||HLTV|
|PinG||inferno||Arbalet Europe (Semi-final, map 1)||29-13||HLTV|
|Na`Vi||inferno||Arbalet Europe (Final, map 1)||19-8||HLTV|
|Na`Vi||dust2||Arbalet Europe (Final, map 3)||24-11||HLTV|
|Ukraine||tuscan||ASUS ENC (map 3)||22-16||HLTV|
|Alternate||train||ESWC (Group stage #2)||33-13||HLTV|
|WeMade FOX||dust2||ESWC (Group stage #2)||29-19||HLTV|
|Antwerp Aces||nuke||GameGune (Group stage)||26-22||HLTV|
|Na`Vi||nuke||GameGune (Consolidation final)||20-14||POV|
|Fx||train||GameGune (Final, map 1)||39-27||POV|
|Fx||nuke||GameGune (Final, map 2)||28-20||POV|
|TyLoo.raw||inferno||IEM5 GC Shanghai (Group stage)||34-15||HLTV|
|TyLoo.raw||train||IEM5 GC Shanghai (Final, map 2)||29-14||HLTV|
|WeMade FOX||dust2||e-Stars (Group stage)||33-16||HLTV|
|EG||nuke||MSI BEAT IT (Final, map 2)||41-26||HLTV|
|Lions||tuscan||KGC #2 (Swedish final, map 1)||26-10||HLTV|
What do you think about the performance of Patrik "f0rest" Lindberg in 2010? Does he deserve a place in the Top 20? What was your biggest impression of him this year? Feel free to leave a comment on this topic and stay tuned to HLTV.org if you want to see what the rest of the Top 20 looks like, as we will bring you number 5 tomorrow.