The credibility of FaZe Clan has been questioned ever since their early exit at First Strike and bumpy road in the first VCT Qualifiers. However, today’s swift dismantling of Team Envy puts them as heavy favourites to win the VCT Masters NA event.
FaZe Clan pass first "real test" with flying colours
FaZe Clan had disposed of XSET 13-6 and 13-3 in round 1 but Team Envy were on paper their first real test. In comparison Team Envy had shown some fragility in their opener with a shaky victory against late addition Gen.G. Regardless Team Envy still headed into their encounter with Faze Clan as slight favourites. The result of today's match however, has drastically altered Faze Clan's image.
Post-victory Faze Clan's Zachary "ZachaREEE" Lombardo acknowledged the teams struggles of late but said the team were delighted their "efforts were paying off and seeing results".
Team Envy frozen solid on Icebox
Faze Clan's confidence on Icebox was self-evident as they took a 9-3 lead on Attack, despite ignoring the existence of B-site. The final round before the swap was literally Flawless, with Faze's Andrej "babybaby" Francisty getting a triple. After the swap despite modest resistance instigated by Envy's Pujan "FNS" Mehta on Killjoy, Faze Clan cleaned up to win 13-6.
“Before we used to permaban Icebox because a couple of players didn’t like the map,” said Faze ZachaREEE post-match. “But then we randomly decided to play Icebox again and we were kind of just farming everybody in scrims. We thought whatever we’re doing right now is working, let’s just keep doing that."
FaZe Clan's record in Icebox recently is impressive with wins over 100 Thieves (13-6), Luminosity (13-7) and T1 (13-8) in the Challengers 3 qualifier.
"We barely scrimmed the map, we thought let’s just do it as we have a pretty good defence setup and we fight people before they’re expecting fights. We force them to use their utility and that really gives us an advantage on that map.”
"Hero plays" by FaZe on Defence Bind
FaZe Clan showed a more patient approach in game 2 on Bind. Team Envy took early control of the match on attack after dropping the opening two rounds but still headed into the swap 7-5 down. As a result interviewer Smix asked ZacharEEE the secret to FaZe's success when they were outnumbered on defence.
"We knew they (Team Envy) were doing a good job setting up early. They're not running too fast, they're not instantly showing us where they are. They were figuring out what site they're going to hit. They did a pretty good job avoiding our strong setup which we ended up noticing," said ZacharEEE.
"We were getting rotates off to stack the site we knew they were going to hit, but it was usually a bit late. But our people who are on the site everybody's really confident that whatever setup we're holding we'll be good, we just need to work together. Even if when they're coming in we're not stacked on the site we still have a chance to either get two/three frags or even hold it down. Or just play retake because we're playing Breach who enables retakes super hard."
Once FaZe Clan were on the Attack they swiftly gained an economic advantage leaving Envy with little to stop their lightning-quick pace. ZacharEEE was quizzed about the approach by Smix post-victory.
FaZe Clan will play Sentinels in the WB Finals on March 19th. The VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) is a double elimination tournament with a $150,000 prizepool, with $60,000 for first place.