FaZe Clan has reached the top 6 at IEM Katowice despite not always playing with their full roster. How far can the team go?

FaZe Clan has had an unfortunate few weeks and despite the luck the team has reached the IEM Katowice 2022 quarterfinals. Twistzz and co. have had to play with a stand-in and still managed to deliver.

A few days before the start of the iconic event, Robin “ropz” Kool tested positive for COVID. The team brought in Justin “jks” Savage as a stand-in until Ropz was clear to play. Then Håvard “rain” Nygaard tested positive and if he is unable to play on stage, jks will stand-in for him.

Despite these unforeseen circumstances, FaZe Clan still managed a top six finish at IEM Katowice, the first CS: GO LAN event of 2021. Esports.gg spoke to the FaZe players in a press conference shortly after the group stage. Here’s what they had to say.

IEM Katowice Quarterfinal: Will Rain Play for FaZe Clan?

Twistzz and FaZe Clan will play at the Spodek Arena this wek.
IEM Katowice returns to a live audience at the Spodek Arena this week.

The biggest question on everyone’s minds is whether FaZe Clan will turn up with their full squad at the Spodek Arena. Rain testing positive for COVID is a big blow, but there’s little the players can do about it. Fortunately, they do have a stand-in in jks who has had good performances at Katowice.

Right now it’s a question mark but we are preparing ourselves as if Rain will be playing at the Spodek Arena. If not, Jks will step in.

“We don’t know right now. We have to wait and see what happens,” said Finn “karrigan” Andersen. “Right now it’s a question mark but we are preparing ourselves as if Rain will be playing at the Spodek Arena. And if not, jks will step in.”

But playing with a stand-in obviously affects the team’s preparation. FaZe is still practicing with Rain and they only practice with jks in case Rain is not feeling well. The team’s ultimate goal is always the long-term results and they are ready to give it their best at Katowice, but the result will not bother them as much.

“It’s only practice with rain and in case Rain feels really bad, then we practice with jks. We just gonna believe that he is ready and we also have to progress as a team,” continued karrigan.

“So mixing jks, who is there for one tournament in the practice will only make everything harder in the long run. So right now, we’ll just do our best here and whatever happens, happens.”

FaZe’s final group stage match, against Navi, ended in a very close but heartbreaking 19-22 loss on Mirage. Karrigan had a particularly poor performance in this series going 29-70 over three maps.

Acknowledging his poor performance in that series, Karrigan believes he did pretty well as a leader. He is proud of the team to have reached the quarterfinals despite the various problems faced by the roster.

“I think it’s pretty obvious when you let your team down a little bit. But overall, I think I did pretty well as a leader. I tried to keep the mood up and stuff like that. Obviously, it’s been long days, here in Katowice. I think in the end, it was tough to focus on the crosshair and stay focused for four hours.

Karrigan on his performance versus Navi

“With everything that happened the last ten days, we still made it to playoffs and I have time to show that’s not really our level,” said karrigan.

He continues saying that his LAN stats from the past six months prove that the poor performance against Navi was an anomaly. The team’s lack of preparation four days before the event started was one fo the keys reasons for his drop in form.

Karrigan: “I think if you see the previous LAN stats from the last six months, I have proved that. You can have a bad tournament off-game somewhere but yesterday was obviously an unacceptable level from me.

But it happens and I will just have to look forward and do my best to get back in shape. Like I said, the preparation, not playing four days before the tournament starts, obviously can hit my level of performance.”

Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken: “Before we came into BLAST Premier, we didn’t have much practice. I would say probably just under two weeks of practice.

But from our scrim results I felt like we are in a top three team area, but now it’s hard to say because we haven’t practiced with Ropz in a while. I’d say we are still a top three team right.”

Twistzz: “I think the LAN buff for FaZe Clan has always existed”

This tournament will be the team’s first LAN event in front of a crowd. FaZe Clan added Ropz earlier in the year and they came into BLAST Premier Spring Groups with just under two weeks of practice. But FaZe Clan has always been known for their exemplary performances on LAN. The LAN Buff for FaZe Clan could be just what the team needs to make a run through the playoffs.

Twistzz: “Ofcourse, I think the LAN buff for FaZe Clan has always existed. This is by far the biggest LAN event we have had in three years.

I think everyone in this team plays under the pressure well. I think people can expect a good FaZe showing in our playoffs.”

Looking ahead: The quarterfinals

Q: You are now going to face Gambit in the quarterfinals. This is exactly the same stage where you faced them before in Cologne. At the time you beat them with an insane performance by Broky. I wanted to ask your opinion about Gambit right now and if you think you have a good read on them even though you still lost to them at IEM Winter.

Karrigan: “It’s very hard to play Gambit to be hones. In my opinion, they are a really underrated team. I will say that maybe we have a little more experience of playing on stage. They have done it once in PGL and that was a really good experience for them. But everyone I’ve played them it’s a really tough game and there were a lot of great mid-round calls from both teams.

Both teams were shooting hard so every time we played it’s been near overtime and 16-14 maps so I definitely expect the same but I also feel like we are a better team now than we were before.

So I definitely see a good opportunity to beat Gambit but they have really good players now and I think you saw that from the HLTV ranking last year with three of their players really high ranked.”

Q: You just said that everyone in FaZe Clan play really well under pressure. So my question is was there an pressure to perform well here in Katowice in play-ins and group stage and before playoffs.

Twistzz: “I think this event is an anomaly for our team’s situation. Of course I guess there is some pressure for us to make it through the play-in and stay in the tournament as long as we can. I think that was the only pressure that we had given our situation.

Playing with Jks, we have realized that we have a stand-in. Everything we did was really rewarding, winning with a stand-in and knocking these teams out and then getting Ropz back and qualifying for playoffs with him. But before that I don’t think there was any pressure and given our situation, I don’t think there is still any pressure.”

Q: Out of all the teams in Katowice from the Play-in Stage till now, which team has been the biggest disappointment and which was the biggest surprise?

Broky:

  • Biggest disappointment: OG maybe. 
  • Biggest surprise: Heroic, how they beat Virtus.Pro for the semifinal spot. They just won 2-0 easily.

Ropz: “I think the biggest surprise would be NiP that they managed to keep performing with Dev1ce with a stand-in. Even though they didn’t get through the playoffs but they are still showing signs of positive play.”

Q: Yekindar of Virtus.Pro he said Heroic’s playsytle is that they try to guess where the opponents are going. Do you think that kind of risk of stacking a bombsite is worth it or do you prefer a playstyle where you don’t have to gamble on a site?

“It’s pretty surprising that Yekindar is saying that considering VP is doing exactly the same thing often. But I think it’s different style and lots of things come down to the situation. If we leave one side and they go to opposite side, you just save and play the money game. 

In my opinion, when you know teams are doing that you have to adjust your style and mid-round calling so you’re aware of it so you can react to the way they play. To me it doesn’t really matter what style people play. There’s only one style that I always like and that is SK style back in the days.”

“The latest updates have all been CT sided” :Karrigan

Finally Karrigan also spoke about the meta in Counter-Strike right now. Most of the recent updates have pushed CS: GO to be more favorable to the CT side.

“I think there’s a lot of teams with new lineups don’t know their lineups 100% yet. But I also think the CT meta has it really tough with a silencer and I think we are playing very good CT side. And I think if we get really rolling 11-4 on the CT side it’s easy to play T side after.

So yeah, I think the meta is CT sided at this point and some of the maps we picked like Inferno it’s not that CT sided as other maps, so maybe that’s the reason. I think after looking at specific match-ups there might be some differences. But generally it is CT sided all along.”

This new meta, the CT sided. How much has it affected your guys’ tactics and choices of maps?

Karrigan: “It has not affected anything, because if people can do it to us, we can also do the same against them. You just have to be confident in the map pick and have a good start.

But yeah, the grenade drop in my opinion is CT sided and the silencer also is buffing the CT sided, it’s a cheaper and better gun.

The latest updates have all been CT sided and we have to wait and see if some people can figure out to make it more T-sided in the future.”

Stay tuned to esports.gg for the latest CS: GO news and updates.

Rohan - Content Editor

Rohan

Content Editor | Twitter: @rohan_esports | Twitch: rohan_3105

Started esports with Dota, moved to CS, then OW, back to Dota 2 and now a bit of Valorant. I love city-building games, have spent hours in Cities:Skylines only to have the traffic defeat me. Love travelling, an admirer of fine movies, writing a sci-fi novel in spare time and coding (Javascript)