Fnatic announced Thursday that Enzo “Fea” Mestari will join their roster as a stand-in for the VALORANT Champions Tour Stage 1 Masters event in Reykjavík, Iceland. Fea will replace the recently-suspended Andrey “BraveAF” Gorchakov.
On Wednesday, Fnatic announced they had suspended BraveAF pending an investigation due to leaked messages where he appeared to show support for the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, Fnatic noted they began looking for a stand-in even before BraveAF’s suspension “due to visa issues and circumstances involving international flight” that would prevent BraveAF from traveling to Iceland from Russia.
Additionally, Fnatic opted not to rely on their official substitute, Tom “otom” Hart. Instead, they wanted another Sova main who could more closely match BraveAF’s role on the team. As a result, Fnatic acquired Fea on loan from Alliance.
“I think we have found a great replacement in Enzo, who has proven over the last 18 months in Valorant that he is one of the best Sova’s in the region,” Fnatic team director Colin “CoJo” Johnson said in a statement. “He has been consistently playing at a top level and led Alliance to some really impressive performances especially in the last few months as their [in-game leader] and captain in the Polaris [VALORANT Regional League]. We believe he will slot in pretty easily and add a lot of value going into Iceland.”
VCT Roster Update: As we set our eyes on Masters Reykjavík, we welcome @FearothVAL to the roster.
We want to express a huge thank you to @theAllianceGG for allowing this loan to happen.
Read more about the change:
— FNATIC (@FNATIC) March 31, 2022
Fea joins Fnatic for VCT Masters Reykjavík
Fea recently led Alliance to a fourth-place finish at VRL 2022 Northern Europe: Polaris Stage 1. Despite going 0-2 in the final bracket, Alliance finished first in the regular season with a 6-1 record. Along the way, they defeated teams like TENSTAR and Excel Esports.
Now, Fea will attend Masters alongside Fnatic, who qualified through EMEA Stage 1 Challengers. They finished first in their group with a flawless 5-0 record. In the process, they beat G2 Esports, Guild Esports, BBL Esports, Acend and SuperMassive Blaze. Then, Fnatic beat M3 Champions in the final bracket before losing to FunPlus Phoenix and G2 Esports for a third-place finish.
The Stage 1 Masters event in Reykjavík will kick off on April 10. Players will compete for two weeks before a champion is crowned on April 24.