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YNk and FaZe strike a chord despite IEM Katowice failure

CSGO
IEM Katowice 2019

The end of FaZe’s run at IEM Katowice was way more whimper than bang, which will be of comfort to anyone who knows the meme By The Numbers created around their IGL NiKo, but the abject failure the event appeared to be from the outside was apparently received a bit more positively by the team themselves. In an interview with HLTV, IGL, star fragger and God Emperor NiKo confirmed that their new coach, Janko ‘YNk’ Paunovic, had passed his trial period, and apparently the team has too, with both parties deciding to stay together for the foreseeable future.

The FaZe man sat down with HLTV’s Striker for an interview, and answered the following when asked to clarify the future of YNK and Adren in the team. “Yeah, Janko will be staying 100% for now. He was kind of on a trial from his side, as well, and from our side, we didn't know if we were going to click together and how we were going to work. But after this event, Janko is going to be staying 100% and AdreN is also going to be staying for some more time. We don't know how the future exactly looks like, but we're going to be keeping AdreN for now, for upcoming events.”

The first thing to unpack from that statement is the clear evolution from YNk’s point of view, from his time with MIBR to his new role in FaZe. Aside from what may or may not have happened in the server, it’s clear he learned a lot from the Brazilians, and, in particular, learned not to leap before he looks. It made perfect sense for him to ask for a trial period, as the idea of being nothing more than a face behind the team for a second time can’t have been attractive.

Never had a chance at MIBR

It seems then that both YNk and the FaZe team were happy with that aspect of the relationship so far then, and that is great news for a coach who really never got to show what he could do tactically in MIBR. The challenge now becomes whether YNk can actually affect an improvement in the tactical play of the team, who looked a long way off the pace at IEM Katowice, being easily handled by Na’Vi and nearly eliminated by a patched-up compLexity.

It’s always nice when people get along of course, but there is a lot of work to be done before FaZe can feel they are close to where they need to be in CSGO. YNk and AdreN are solid additions, but the performance in Poland was particularly poor, and worse than they ever looked under karrigan’s stewardship, a worrying sign given how long ago NiKo’s coup de grace took place.

YNk has a lot of work ahead of him to get this team in shape, and so far his influence has been intangible at best, with the real test now being how far he can take one of the most talented teams in CS history. Given that we know both parties are down to continue, he can have no excuses if this goes the same way MIBR did now YNk and NiKo have publicly declared it a positive start, putting all the pressure firmly on Mr Paunovic himself. Good luck, Janko, you’re going to need it!

Picture: YNk / Twitter

Tim MastersTim joined Luckbox as an editor in 2018, having previously spent time at GosuGamers, EsportsHeaven and other sites. He currently is not at his desk.