Is FaZe Really the Best?

BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2022 is just around the corner. Just a week ago FaZe was considered the new gods of Counter Strike: Global Offensive. It all changed with their defeat in the hands of Cloud9 at IEM Dallas. Nobody was expecting the ex-Gambit roster that now make up Cloud9 to dominate the top runners such as FaZe and ENCE, but hey folks, it’s CS:GO, where outcomes are decided in not just mere minutes but in nano seconds.

So let’s take a look at what went right and wrong for the FaZe, and did they really lose their legendary status or was it just a minor setback?. Let’s go.

Arrival of karrigan to the FaZe

This is not a story from StarCraft II, so don’t be alarmed with the name karrigan, but FaZe’s luck is seemingly interlinked with its new In-Game Leader Finn "⁠karrigan⁠" Andersen

FaZe Clan's most recent tournament victory came in 2020, when they defeated OG at the IEM XV New York Online: Europe. Since then, the squad has been underperforming, and its fans have been increasingly frustrated as the years have passed. Their fortunes changed in the start of 2022.

They won $27,500 for finishing first in their BLAST Premier: Spring Groups 2022 group. After that, FaZe Clan made history by winning IEM Katowice, defeating G2 Esports 3-0 in the finals and taking home a hefty $400,000 prize. Their winning run continued in the ESL Pro League Season 15 finals, when they beat ENCE to win another $190,000 and continue to dominate the CS:GO landscape. Karrigan with its incredible leadership, carried the team to the top. Everyone understood that the new king of CS:GO is FaZe, and on top of that they were a multinational team with the disadvantage of not communicating in their mother tongue, despite all odds they proved that multinational teams can be major winners:

Fast forward to the PGL Antwerp Finals, FaZe defeats Natus Vincere 2-0 to become the first multinational team to win a Major. FaZe brought it the title home after Natus Vincere buckled under the pressure, something no one anticipated to happen.

"karrigan" Finn's after years of misery and near misses, finally wins his Major, although it required a historic effort from Håvard "⁠rain⁠" Nygaard to do it. Despite the fact that the conflict in Ukraine had an impact on the NAVI, FaZe continued to outperform the superhuman NAVI, which included s1mple on its roster, a player from Ukraine that is known to the CS:GO enthusiasts well by now, that can change the course of the battle with his sheer skill.

S1mply incredible.

IEM Dallas, where things went south

FaZe in IEM Dallas, via HLTV

Dallas, it is where the hype balloon popped, it was unexpected and very sudden. Cloud9 received by far the most difficult encounter of the playoffs as a result of their third-place finish. FaZe Clan, the freshly crowned PGL Antwerp Major winners and world's number one team, was up against them. In 2022, Cloud9 had not beaten FaZe once, and had even been ousted by them at IEM Katowice and the ESL Pro League S15.

This was the last time which Cloud9 defeated FaZe, back in 2018. Ah the memories:

This time, though, the narrative would be different. C9 will come roaring back on FaZe's Inferno despite a tough 16-14 setback on their Overpass choice. On Mirage, the tiebreaker went to a halftime tie. C9 were behind 8-13 after FaZe's early T side skid. Cloud9 shut down FaZe in order to put together a formidable defence. C9 advanced to the 16th round after winning eight rounds in a row.

With their title run, the majority-Russian team won over the American public. Cloud9 players chatted with James "BanKs" Banks on stage after collecting the championship, with Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov being the first to offer his views.

"I told you guys, we are going to win some LAN tournaments, we are going to win a lot of tournaments in the future," Abay "⁠HObbit⁠" Khasenov said when asked how proud of his team and their success he was. "We are going to bring a lot of tournaments to Cloud9".

Thus was the sudden break to the kerrigan's squad which bested even the NAVI.

How does FaZe look before coming into the BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2022

May was the most eventful month of 2022 thus far, with the PGL Major Antwerp and IEM Dallas, with the world's top-ranked team FaZe taking home the trophy in Belgium and Vladislav "nafany" Gorshkov's Cloud9 taking home the gold in Dallas.

FaZe kept riding their wave of enthusiasm into the PGL Major, finally defeating every opponent in their path, including then-reigning champions Natus Vincere in the grand final, to become the first foreign team to win a Major.

The victory gave them 1000 points, putting them ahead of Aleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev's team in second place, who were also among the favourites to win the Valve-sponsored competition and defend their championship.

Despite appearing invincible following their Major victory, the team ran into their first setback of the season at IEM Dallas, when they were eliminated in the quarter-finals by eventual champions Cloud9. The defeat represented Finn "karrigan" Andersen's squad's first setback of the year, and while they remain undoubtedly the strongest team in the world, it serves as a reminder that FaZe are not unbeatable.

We believe that this will serve as a reminder for FaZe to play more conservatively, now that they are pulled back into the reality that no one is invincible, ENCE, NAVI, the fresh look OG, BIG, G2, all of the usual suspects are here. This will be a true test for the FaZe to see if they were just lucky, or in reality the current strongest team in the world that just faced a minor setback.

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