It took them four maps after a surprising start on King's Row, but EnVyUs showed that they were hungry for victory. EnVyUs knocked Fnatic out of the tournament in a performance that got better the longer the match went on, proving themselves as the best team in North America and worthy champions for the continent.
Everybody expected EnVyUs to be in the North American Final and they met Fnatic for a best-of-five. The two best teams in North America drafted King’s Row, Dorado, Ilios, Lijiang Tower, and Nepal. Fnatic said before the tournament that they fancied themselves as the best team on Control in the game, leading Huk to believe they had out-drafted EnVyUs. Despite this, it would still have been an upset had they come away with the win due to the history and pedigree of the nV players. As an interesting aside, only a third of the players in this battle to represent NA were from the continent itself.
buds started the action off, defensively picking off two to hold the point. Fnatic continued to do impressively and supported each other in every fight, custa supplying lots of heals and damage to keep the backbone of his team alive. A single pick on iddqd’s Mei or buds’ Reaper would have opened up the point but their perfect positioning and amazing teamplay utterly destroyed EnVyUs and stopped them even capturing the first point. A dominant beginning for Fnatic.
EnVyUs attempted an interesting defense of their own with HULK on Symettra and Talespin on Junkrat. The pipes instantly fed coolmatt’s Zarya to full charge and iddqd took out the teleporter on Tracer to negate the strategy. An enormous Pulse Bomb triple kill set up Fnatic to take the point but nV were forced to contest or lose - the pressure made them miss a speed boosted Nano-Blossom from above as buds got four kills and secured Fnatic’s win on the first map. 1-0 Fnatic.
With three Control maps in the pool, the fixture was going to heavily depend on who was better at the gamemode. Fnatic took up the initial fight with their Reinhardt and Reaper composition while nV fought back with three tanks of Winston, Roadhog, and Zarya. The Night Market point flipped between the two teams as they stacked up time but it was Fnatic getting the better end due to both well-executed speedy Nano-Blossoms and solid Zarya play from coolmatt69. Again and again the teams wrestled control from each other, sending the round to lengthy overtime before EnVyUs were finally able to rip the rug out from under Stoop’s feet and take it.
Garden was a tale of Taimou’s wild hooks and cocco’s Reinhardt around the point as they provided their team with reliable picks and won teamfights from the Nanoboost. Fnatic struggled to ever get a foothold in the round as the ultimates snowballed and built their lead to 2-0.
Fnatic shook themselves and began well on Control Center, getting themselves to 78% before Talespin could reply on Tracer. A feature of the game so far had been clutch Sleep Darts and great Nanoboosting from the Anas and this round was no exception as it seemed a battle of who could Nanoboost the best and mitigate the opponent’s attempts. The comeback train for nV was halted in its tracks and they were forced to jump back in as the point ticked to 99% for Fnatic. An unreal play by HarryHook and Talespin to keep the point alive and delay for spawns let cocco and the others jump back in and they eventually turned the point over and came back to win map two.
Fnatic had done well on the Hybrid map of King’s Row but that was on the first point defense when the cart was never live. They chose to move away from Control after the loss on Lijiang, betraying their true feelings and confidence level. Either way it was a questionable choice to move to Dorado, home of EnVyUs.
Talespin’s Pharah was instantly picked out of the sky by iddqd on McCree, stopping the first push. On the second, iddqd was met with a Nanoboosted and damage-boosted Talespin and briefly saw a rocket sail towards his face as it wiped him out in the middle of a Deadeye. A couple of key Gravitons set EnVyUs up to push the powerplant with three minutes left on the clock. Again the Nanoboosted Talespin ruled the skies and was supported well enough to wipe Fnatic out and complete the map with over a minute and a half left.
The positioning of chips and HarryHook, along with some key bubbles from HULK, eluded all attempts from Fnatic’s harassing dps players. They needed a lot of time and a range of ultimates for buds and iddqd to get space and kill the nV tanks, finally getting the fountain. The defensive setup on the hotel balcony was sublime from EnVyUs and they evaded flanks whilst committing onto the point every time, twisting away from every Fnatic push and never conceding the height. In the final attempt EnVyUs had four ultimates and their victory was inevitable - they took map three and went up 2-1 overall.
Sanctum’s pit spoke words of temptation to Fnatic and HarryHook was more than happy to send half the team to their fates, booping them off the edge to secure the first capture and get the ultimates rolling. By pairing their focus with the insta-kill ability of Taimou’s hook EnVyUs were able to pile up a lead quickly. buds was the only light in the darkness for Fnatic, albeit facilitated by both of his supports to ult and win fights for his team. Whenever the Nanoboost wasn’t live though Fnatic were getting beaten back and although the score looked close nV were in control and took the round.
cocco came out swinging on Village and his aggressive play on Reinhardt was a huge credit in the fights. Fnatic began to mount a comeback and got the point to just over 40% before chipshajen showed his talents: popping a well-timed Nano onto cocco and then Sleep Darting the Nanoboosted buds to utterly deny the counter. EnVyUs went up 2-0 on Nepal and were one round away from securing their spot in the Grand Finals on TBS.
Taimou was on a stage that allowed him to shine as McCree and it instantly showed. He picked up two-thirds of the team in his first couple of clips and followed it up with a Deadeye onto buds. custa had switched onto Zenyatta for the added damage but chips was putting on a masterclass in how to shine as Ana, Nanoboosting cocco and constantly dishing out heals to support EnVyUs greatly. It got to 90% for nV and Fnatic had not even mounted a single decent attack. As the time ticked up and overtime ticked down, Fnatic desperately threw players into the maw but no sacrifice was great enough to stop the nV gods.
Despite a great run by Fnatic, mirroring their excellent performance at the Atlantic Showdown, they had come up against a juggernaut. EnVyUs wanted revenge for their underperformance in Cologne and had put themselves in position to get it.
They had hammered their way to the top of a North American pile of carcasses and now sat above it, ready and waiting for a European challenger.