Faze supamen and teammates came back from a 9-3 deficit on Ascent to win the series and secure a spot in the Upper Finals against The Guard
During a previous matchup in the Stage Two Playoffs, Faze had three seperate 9-3 halftime leads in a single series against 100 Thieves. Faze would go on to lose that series, choking away opportunity after opportunity to let 100T back in the game.
Fast forward to the North American LCQ, Faze found themselves in a bit of role reversal once again in the Upper Semi Finals against 100 Thieves. Focusing on the decider map Ascent, Faze surrendered a 9-3 cushion in the first half, but ended on a 10 round run to pull out a miraculous comeback in a huge moment.
Babybay drops 313 ADR on Ascent
In an interview with Faze's Smokes player, Phat "supamen" Le, he credited his teammate Andrej "BABYBAY" Francisty for pulling out a monstrous second half performance on the Jett to steal the victory away from 100 Thieves
"Babybay happened, you know? This guy was on a heater, man. Every round I’d be looking at the kill feed and he’d get three or four on almost every single round. That’s when we all knew that this series was ours."
In fact, Babybay dropped a 2.0 KPR in the 10 defense rounds on Ascent and contributed a ridiculous 313 ADR. Mainly setup at Market, his Jett play continuously caught 100 Thieves off guard with lurk timings. Plus, he simply wasn't losing aim duels and 100 Thieves couldn't kill him or move him off his spot.
"Andre, or Babybay, as you guys know him, is one of the best players to ever touch this game," said supamen post-match." I was on his team with Crossfire and the things that guy actually does is insane. Like, I don’t think anyone has seen him compete on LAN yet or the things that he can do on LAN. I feel like right now he’s playing online, but the moment he gets on LAN - it’s over for everyone"
Nonetheless, supamen and the entirety of the Faze roster have improved tremendously over the course of 2022. Babybay always showed the ability to deliver carry performance, but it's the team around him that has elevated the play. The sheer individual talent alone shows a team not far off from being a threat at the International level.
After a third-place finish in Stage Two and now moving two wins away from a date with VCT Champs, Faze has a belief it can be accomplished.
"You know, honestly, if things went a little our way when we were playing against XSET, I think we could’ve taken them and with a change of location and stuff like that."
Faze moved to nicer facilities since Stage Two
After falling out to XSET in the playoffs, Faze players had tweeted out that they'd been playing from a local LAN center with no air conditioning. Now in a series of must-win LCQ matches, I asked supamen if Faze found better facilities to house the team for games.
"Definitely. We’re playing at Maps Gaming. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say that, or if people are allowed to know where we are. But, we’re at a really nice facility, at the moment, so everything's going great. No complaints."
Faze supamen on switching Babybay off Neon
As for adjustments made since stage two, Faze stayed away from Babybay's Neon. A recipe that had worked wonders previously, but has since been studied by teams within the region. Furthermore, Fade has become a difficult counter to deal with as Neon, so Faze opted for meta comps focused around Raze or Babybay on the Jett.
"We don’t have much to go off of and they don’t have as much to go off, except for that we just played a series. And, especially on Haven, they don’t know what they’re doing and we don’t know what we’re doing so that whole Haven game was just adaptability. It just shows how well we adapted against their playstyle and it’s good that we pulled it out on top."
Moreover, momentum is a huge factor in Faze's success. The streakiness of their round wins shows a team that builds momentum off confidence. And, with a team so talented mechanically, confidence allows these dangerous players to take the larger risks.
"We’re already a good team and when you give us the momentum we’re going to be unstoppable"
It's a double-edged sword for Faze because it can result in rather lackluster performances, but it's clear their peak form can push virtually any team. Between the dynamic duelist play from Babybay and Quan "dicey" Tran on the Chamber, it's a group that thrives off their teammates' energy. When it's working, it's explosive rounds and plays for Faze Clan.
Faze supamen having his best career performance
For supamen, he's coming into his own as a player. On Haven, he had a carry performance and showed his usefulness in a multitude of situations. One example is as a site anchor and I asked supamen what it is that makes him so effective when teams execute onto his site.
"The number one thing that works for me is not running into my crosshair and if they don’t clear me out well enough that’s where I’m going to put the round. If they don’t clear me out with util."
Supamen LCQ stats/rankings
- Agents: Omen, Viper
- ACS: 245.3 (4th)
- KD: 1.37 (1st)
- KAST: 81% (2nd)
- ADR: 161.9 (2nd)
- KPR: 0.86 (3rd)
Supamen continued, "I’m not playing for stats or anything like that. All I need to do is do my job and I'm going to do it."
Faze advances to face The Guard. The current iteration of the Faze roster hasn't faced The Guard in any official VCT capacity. The two square off on Thursday, August 11th.