After 4 years of hard work to overcome the Boston disaster. Karrigan has finally done it. FaZe Clan Win PGL Antwerp Major.
FaZe Clan has done it! After years of trials and tribulations, FaZe Clan has won PGL Antwerp in a dominant 2-0 win over defending champions NaVi. Karrigan has finally lifted a major trophy, making history for International rosters.
Beating NaVi, The Defending Champions
The Grand Finals were bound to make history, one way or another. Either the CIS Superteam would join the multi-major club. Or FaZe would become the first International roster to win a Major. And despite being a 2-0, the series delivered.
An Incredible Veto
Right from the veto, it was clear both rosters were coming in with confidence.
- FaZe ban Mirage
- NAVI ban Vertigo
- FaZe pick Inferno (NAVI pick CT start)
- NAVI pick Nuke (FaZe pick CT start)
- NAVI ban Overpass
- FaZe ban Dust2
- Ancient is the decider (NAVI pick CT start)
FaZe banning Mirage was out of the left field for many analysts as that's a map that Karrigan has historically loved playing. Their pick looked like a guaranteed win on Inferno, while NaVi surprisingly picked Nuke. Nuke was the throne of NaVi's greatness, but it had fallen off immensely in the last few months. The decider of Ancient was perhaps the only positive for NaVi, but that required them to push it to a 3rd in the first place.
Inferno - The Reverse Boston
The Unstoppable Attack from FaZe
FaZe kicked us off on Inferno with an offensive machine. The game started with a pistol-round win followed by a quick but tense technical timeout. But FaZe didn't let the tech-pause phase them as they immediately continued on fire. By the end of round 6, NaVi had 3 players on 0 kills and not a single round in their tally.
Finally, in round 9, NaVi saw a glimmer of hope in the form of an electroNic defense that netted the squad their first round of the game. A comeback to an even scoreline was made impossible, as FaZe picked up 2 more before the half closed out, keeping their lead at 10-5.
You Doubted Him, and he continues to prove us wrong.
ALL 5 FOR Håvard Nygaard
A shift in Tides as NaVi takes the T-side
At the start of the second half, FaZe Clan extended their lead to 12 as Rain put up an amazing ACE including a 1v2 Clutch. Once the guns came out, NaVi finally righted the ship and started putting rounds together. Their next 10 rounds were only disrupted by a single FaZe one as they quickly took match point at 15-13. That's when Karrigan finally proved he was going to win the major. By pulling a reverse Boston.
The first round was a massive 3k from Karrigan to keep FaZe in the game, and his replacement for NiKo, ropz took them to OT with a brilliant clutch.
In Overtime, NaVi managed to pull together a single round as Broky showed his great tenacity to take the map victory in a 1v2 clutch.
Nuke - A Storm is coming, Fear the RAIN
Nuke was the perfect battleground for FaZe to usurp the throne. NaVi had picked into the map as a possible comfort pick, hoping to resurrect some of their Stockholm forms. But after falling short on Inferno, they struggled to come online on Nuke.
The pistol round saw Rain picking off NaVi's outside attack with only 27 hp to his name. While the rest of FaZe mopped up the inner attack. And the Norwegian showed no signs of slowing down. In the 3rd round, he used his M4A1-S to get a quick quadra kill and shut NaVi down once again.
RAIN!!!! That is Absolutely Ludicrous!
FaZe continued from strength to strength. Even when NaVi picked up a clutch or two, they managed to pick up a 10-2 score without breaking a sweat. Rain was absolutely dominant and left no path to victory for NaVi on the outside of Nuke. FaZe then picked up the pistol round as well, to put NaVi under extreme pressure. But B1T, who has been the shining light for NaVi throughout the event, shined once again pulling out a miraculous 1v2.
With their money broken, FaZe had to rely on even more heroics from Rain. After opening a round through a secret kill, Rain followed it up with a monstrous force-buy play to take the lead at 13-10. The pressure was too much for NaVi as they finally faltered, handing over the crown to the International Squad.
Dreams Fulfilled for Karrigan and FaZe as they win PGL Antwerp
All eyes were without a doubt on Karrigan. The 32-year-old legend of the game was the greatest player to never win a major for many years. And the Boston finals were an absolute disaster for him, not just in terms of the trophy, but also for his reputation in the scene. He was removed from his team and had to go back down to the borderline tier-2 to pick up a squad of youngsters back to the top.
While MOUZ was at a time the best team in the world under Karrigan, they never got a chance to compete at a Major at their peak form. But the experience was nonetheless important for Karrigan to become even stronger as an IGL.
"I'm stronger than I was in Boston and I think that showed today, whatever we've been through with this team, [we have] a positive mindset. We can lose a 1v5 and we can win the next round."
Now that he has finally achieved that goal, he talked about the importance of lifting this trophy for his legacy and his dreams.
Never back down, doesn't matter how hard life hits you. All I wanted in my life is to make history, an international team to win a major, and we fucking did it in here. I'm proud to call all these my teammates and I'm just so happy where I am right now. FaZe is my family.
"Keep making history, that's what we're here for and that's why I grind CS every day." - Karrigan, The First IGL to Win a Major with an International Squad
That wasn't the only first for this squad however, let's take a quick look at what this win means for each of the FaZe Clan members.
Rain: The Oldest MVP and the First Norwegian
Norway has always been a second-tier scene for Scandanavia. A scene that never had enough players to make a national team but always supplied Swedish and Danish teams with native speakers that performed well. Rain was by far the best talent the region ever produced.
Rain rose to the top of CS on the first-ever International Roster, Kinguin. The roster that included the likes of Scream and Dennis was many people's introduction to the Norwegian Aim God. Ever since then, Rain has been the key piece of almost every great International roster. When G2 bought Kinguin, the team was the first to make the Major Semis at Dreamhack Cluj-Napoca.
But success truly came when the squad was bought out by FaZe Clan. Over the years Rain bided his time until he was finally on the 2017 superteam FaZe. There he was one of the star trio that helped FaZe Clan dominate the scene. To this day, he is top 3 in the highest event ratings ever thanks to his 1.6+ rated ESL One New York 2017.
And today, close to 7 years after his first Major playoffs appearance, Rain has not only won a major but carried his team to the top of CSGO's Mount Olympus. With a 1.24 rating for the entire event, the Norwegian was the highest rated player at the event. And truly established himself as the only MVP candidate, should FaZe win. Mr.FaZe has finally taken the clan all the way to the top.
Twistzz: The Magician is now in contention for Best of NA
Twistzz, much like rain was a player headlined by his Godlike Aim. Throughout his time in NA, he was arguably the best player on the team during their fallow years. But after the summer run, Twistzz never really recovered. That was until he found his home in FaZe. While he already had an amazing number of trophies for such a young player. In FaZe he was taken it far beyond. He is a part of a very elite club as one of only 5 players to win the 4 greatest CSGO achievements.
By winning the Major, IEM Katowice, IEM Cologne, and The Intel Grand Slam, Twistzz is the 4th player to have entered this list of players.
Even his legendary rivals, the GOAT Astralis players, never won an IEM Cologne and thus failed to collect all the biggest trophies. On top of that, the player also made history for Canada, another region that has historically fed talent to NA teams rather than having its own powerhouse.
Ropz and Broky: Early Career Major Wins
For both Ropz and broky, the win is a monumental boost to their early careers, immediately propelling them to the top percentile of all CS pros. With Karrigan behind them, they will continue to add even more to their already-building resume. For ropz in particular, this is a distinct edge he has over some of his peers like ZywOo and NiKo when it comes to the Superstar discussion. They are also the first Estonian and Latvian respectively to win a Major trophy, propelling the Baltics to greater heights in CS:GO.
The End of NaVi
With all these amazing Narratives, the demise of NaVi is a somber tone. With the ongoing conflict, it is unlikely we will ever see this 5-man roster play another event together. Taking nothing away from FaZe's success, the end of this NaVi squad will always remain one of CS's biggest what-ifs. A team that was on track to become one of the greatest ever now languishes in the past like Liquid 2019, FaZe 2018, and many others, but for reasons entirely out of their own hands.
That was our coverage of PGL Major Antwerp wrapped up as FaZe Clan take a much-deserved win. Counter-Strike returns on the 30th of May, and we will once again be there, bringing you all the action right here on Esports.gg.