Fragadelphia 16 Preview: What is Fragadelphia?
One of North America’s most renowned grassroots LAN circuits, Fragadelphia, kicks off next week on March 4th to pit the best talent in the region against each other in a LAN environment. Fragadelphia has been a platform for the best talent coming out of North America for the past few years. Complexity members Ricky "floppy" Kemery and Paytyn "junior" Johnson, as well as Liquid AWPer Josh "oSee" Ohm were once competing for gold inside the server at Fragadelphia before finding a home in tier-one.
Long before these future stars were winning Fragadelphias, the players that inspired them were sitting in those same seats. Dating nearly eight years to the first Fragadelphia with the likes of Derek "desi" Branchen, Daniel "roca" Gustaferri, and Shahzeb "ShahZaM" Khan attending, the event has proven to be a prominent pathway from prospect to professional in North American Counter-Strike.
Fragadelphia evolved quite a bit over the years, growing from its origins as a 16 team, day-long LAN to hosting as many as 64 teams over the course of a whole weekend. Now alongside partner Nerd Street Gamers, the tournament operates in a multi-LAN circuit where teams earn points to qualify for the final event. In its second cycle, the seven-LAN circuit will come to a conclusion next weekend at Fragadelphia 16.
With North America in the process of a rebuild, Fragadelphia is the perfect place for many familiar faces in the scene to come and compete not only for the prize pool but for the opportunity to compete for the chance at organizational support.
The reigning Fragadelphia champions, Bad News Bears, will look to complete the repeat this weekend. Although the in-game leader Alan "Shakezullah" Hardeman and Gabe "Spongey" Greiner remain familiar faces in the lineup, the defending champions have seen some roster changes since the previous Frag. The modern godfather of tier-two North American CS, Shakezullah has proven his ability to help propel young prospects many times before and will look to work his magic yet again with a new trio. Christopher "Swahn" Swahn will hope to bring impact in the AWPing department, while Khizar "MoMo" Rehman and Saad "Pluto" Siraj look to shine as riflers in pursuit of trophy number two.
The Bears are not the only lineup with something to prove at this event. Carpe Diem, formerly representing the RBG banner, have been riding positive momentum since their split from the organization, beating Orgless and fellow Fragadelphia attendees BNB and InControl in best-of-three competitions over the past two weeks. With a current map record of 7-1 including six straight wins since going unsponsored, Carpe Diem looks laser-focused to prove why they once again deserve to be representing interested sponsors over their domestic peers.
Coming in with perhaps the most to prove is ChocoCheck, who have been rumored to be newly signed to the Gaimin Gladiators organization. Should the signing go through, the crypto-backed organization will debut its likeness in CS:GO at Fragadelphia with a lineup that at points have drawn ire in the past due to controversial tendencies, including missing key matches that could have net them important LAN appearances. The team can work to free themselves from the scrutiny following a win at Fragadelphia, and turn a page with the new representation.
Joining the aforementioned teams in the competition is Strife, an ECL team that has been stuck on the treadmill since bringing in Paul "aris" Wilson and Danny "cxzi" Strzelczyk. Although filled with talent, they have been unable to piece it together properly, winning only three of their last seven matches. The organization will hope to turn it around at the team's first LAN opportunity of the year.
Rounding out the current team list are Advanced teams Big Chillin, Fourth Quarter, InControl, and Kinship. The InControl players are no strangers to the Fragadelphia circuit. They've won two local Fragadelphia LANs in order to qualify for this event, including Fragadelphia 16: Chicago just last month. In that final, InControl bested a mix team led by BNB's MoMo. Now a part of the Bad News Bears, the rifler will look to enact revenge as a part of the bolstered lineup. With a handful of teams already set to make an appearance at the event, it is worth noting that the list of invited teams has not yet been finalized.
These eight teams will round out the Fragadelphia gauntlet with the intention of proving themselves to be the best North American team outside of tier one. The remaining eight slots will be decided through the Last Chance Qualifier that will happen a day before the LAN, on March 3rd. You can register for the Last Chance Qualifier here.