Fnatic - flusha, a player like no other

In competition, the fundamental rule of history is that winners are remembered, and losers are there to make up the numbers. Within sports and esports, there are equally certain partnerships that come to define an era, and when you combine one such pair with all the trophies, you are bound to get something pretty special. And we certainly did, until yesterday, when the end of the greatest bromance esports has ever seen was unceremoniously dumped into our laps like a dropped pint in a holiday pub.

Imagine, for a second, that you’re playing in the highest tier of your chosen game, sport, esport, whatever. You already compete with the elite daily, and yet some of the things you are capable of elicit accusations of cheating, not just from the braying masses, but your peers too. You’re so good, people can’t believe what you can do, even when they see you do it.

Now imagine being so sanguine, so stoic and so mentally stable that you can not only laugh off those lies from the people you have to mix with, but you adopt their lies as part of your persona? That, in short, is the story of Robin ‘flusha’ Rönnquist, possibly the greatest player in CSGO history, and his time with Fnatic, and in particular JW.

The journey begins

The journey with Fnatic began in 2013 for flusha and Jesper ‘JW’ Wecksell, his long-time partner in perfection, when they were in a team titled SY_b, having been dropped by their previous org Epsilon. For modern fans, this was a different time of CSGO, without even the small amount of professionalism we’re used to today, aptly demonstrated by the original of flusha’s name, being "toilet flusha", and the words SY_b represent, being "swag", "yolo" and "bitches". He did not care, even then.


As it was, they were picked up by Fnatic, a group founded in London by Sam and Anne Mathews, who have gone on to become one of the biggest names in all of esports, shortly after their departure from Epsilon. At the time their team-mates were Andreas ‘MODDII’ Fridh, Andreas ‘schneider’ Lindberg and Jonatan ‘Devilwalk’ Lundberg, while the team they replaced also had a few familiar names to modern fans in the likes of Karrigan and Xyp9x.

He seems to have a gift for not caring what you think

It wasn’t instant success at that point, and they were forced into changes the following year in an attempt to keep pace with their national rivals, Ninjas in Pyjamas. Removing Devilwalk and Schneider for Freddy ‘KRiMZ’ Johansson and Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer Gustafsson on June 30th, 2014, turned out to be the start of the greatest team CSGO has ever seen, and when they replaced MODDII with Markus "pronax" Wallsten, the transformation was truly underway.

Three majors, no bans

Over the coming year or so, the team overcame both Ninjas in Pyjamas and their then-rivals, VeryGames, to become the best in the world. Their dominance can be expressed in a number of ways, be that three majors, their summer of tournament wins, or the personal statistics, but this is about flusha, and the best way to explain how good he is, is with a video, of clips so outrageous that even experts wondered if he was legit. To the modern fan, who lives in the age of s1mple, it might not seem that extreme, but at the time some of the play was considered so brilliant as to be impossible, as you can see.

As time as passed, the number of clips has built up, but the number of bans has remained at zero as nobody has ever managed to show flusha is a cheat. Tournament organisers have spoken of traps laid for him, year after year, and bitter rivals have spread lies, and all flusha did was smile, laugh along and continue to defy expectations. Like his friend and partner in crime, JW, he seems to have a gift for not caring what you think, and that has made them even scarier, as they are bulletproof on more than one level.

That is a much underrated aspect of what made flusha and JW great as a pair, and individually, and goes a long way to explaining some of the clips. Moves other players were too scared to try came naturally to a pair that dedicated more time and thought to CSGO than any other at that point, and as a result they pushed the boundaries of what we thought of as possible in the game, while smaller minds struggled to come to terms with what they were seeing.

Forged in the fire

Now, as he steps away from Fnatic, and his partnership with JW, we are about to get a taste of the new generation, and it’s not as happy a sight. When today’s stars are accused of something, they don’t react with a smile and a cheeky sticker change, but instead take to social media, and sometimes resort to death threats. The level of personal strength required to be flusha would be beyond most of the pros of today, with a few obvious exceptions that were also forged in the fire.

Where he goes next is anybody’s guess, but it seems less than likely we’ll see him back as a coach or some kind of talking head. He doesn’t need the money or recognition, and the approval of the community has never been a source of motivation for him either. No, flusha is his own man, and it’s impossible to predict where he will end up.

Wherever that is, though, it will not be Fnatic, and it won’t be alongside his mate JW, and that is something really sad for CSGO. No player has had the impact flusha did, and no player has faced the accusations he has. Equally, there is no more successful player in the history of the game, and that says it all, really. Against all odds, he did everything you can in the game he loved, alongside his friends, exactly how he wanted to. You can’t ask for more.

Image credit: WESG