James "Mistic" Orfila has announced that he's exploring options ahead of the EMEA Partnership league, following FNATIC FNATIC Europe Rank #2 's top-six finish at Champions and the organization's acceptance into the league..
Originally the core of SUMN FC SUMN FC Inactive , Mistic and his teammates were picked up by FNATIC after their second-place finish in First Strike: EMEA. FNATIC made waves in the international scene when they finished second in Masters Reykjavik 2021. Despite failing to qualify for Masters: Berlin, FNATIC acquired enough points for an automatic Champions slot. After qualifying as the top seed from Group D, FNATIC's playoffs run was short-lived as they were eliminated by KRÜ Esports KRÜ Esports Latin America South Rank #2 in the quarterfinals.
FNATIC began their VCT 2022 by qualifying for Masters Reykavik 2022 as the EMEA second seed but failed to impress after ending 0-2 in groups. Despite that, FNATIC went on a tear in Stage 2, qualifying as the EMEA first seed for Masters: Copenhagen, thus getting an automatic playoffs slot. After losing to eventual finalists Paper Rex Paper Rex Asia-Pacific Rank #1 in the upper semifinals, FNATIC's run ended at the hands of eventual winners FunPlus Phoenix FunPlus Phoenix Europe Rank #1 . At Champions, the EMEA squad qualified for playoffs as the Group D second seed, but following a swift defeat to XSET in the playoffs, FNATIC's year ended after losing to eventual bronze medalists DRX DRX Korea Rank #1 in the lower bracket.
Last month, Riot announced the Partnership program for 2023, through which organizations from the Americas, EMEA, and APAC will be eligible to play in premier leagues. FNATIC will be among the ten organizations competing in the EMEA partnership league, as confirmed by today's finalized partnership announcement.