The ending stages of the recent StarLadder Berlin Major were not a happy time for FaZe Clan. Rumours of secret meetings, disillusionment from those up top and even reported practice sessions without legendary figures Neo and GuardiaN all came leaking out of the FaZe camp as they once again flattered to deceive at a major tournament this year.
With the latter stages of the competition being filled with surprise knockouts courtesy of Team Vitality and ENCE, very few were sparing a thought for FaZe Clan who had already exited the competition with a shocking 1–3 score, which included losses to Vitality, CR4ZY and Renegades.
It was a shocking return for a side that is one of the most well-known and financially heavy-hitting orgs in the CS:GO world.
The knives were quickly out after the disappointment in Berlin, but it seemed like FaZe were in no hurry whatsoever to actually announce who Neo and GuardiaN’s replacements in the side would be. Following a CS major, it’s pretty commonplace to see a rapid, frenzy-like series of swaps and transfers amongst sides, which only added to the confusion radiating from the FaZe camp.
In fact, FaZe entered this year’s edition of ESL One New York without a fully recognised and complete squad to talk about. Young hotshot ‘broky’ was quickly drafted in, but FaZe would finally break cover and announce the signing of legendary Brazillian ‘coldzera’ on the eve of their opener against North American side Evil Geniuses, formerly known as NRG.
Whilst hardly the most surprising announcement the CS:GO world had ever seen, it did complete what, on paper, looked like a mightily impressive FaZe side for a tournament that they had previously won back in 2017.
However, whilst the blend of youth with ‘broky’ and the experience of ‘Niko’, ‘olofmeister’ and ‘coldzera’ could well be the winning formula for the European powerhouse, the early signs haven’t been great.
Vs. Evil Geniuses
In what most people saw as Group A’s crunch match, FaZe began their opener against Evil Geniuses on Nuke in good form. Pulling out a great T side and running up a 9–1 lead, the lack of cohesion in the side slowly began to get exposed by their seasoned rivals and they eventually slumped to a 16–12 loss.
If Nuke had been a disappointment for the European org, the next map on Vertigo would prove to be an absolute disaster. Succumbing to a disappointing 16–6 loss, it was nothing short of a humbling. ‘Niko’s’ in game calls were hesitant and unsure to begin with and ended up looking pretty self-serving by the end, ‘olofmeister’ missed a series of relatively simple headshots and ‘coldzera’ looked like he was on a one man mission even before a round started. Clearly, there’s still a lot of learning to be done for FaZe going forward.
Positives Still To Take
We do have to remember that this is FaZe’s first game as a team and these kinds of teething issues are completely understandable. An org such as Fnatic, who also announced wholesale changes following their failures in the build up to StarLadder, were able to welcome their new side with a far more friendly matchup against Spanish side Heretics, for example. As we eluded to above, there are a few positives for the side to take from their 0–2 loss to Evil Geniuses.
First off, ‘broky’ looks like he could be bringing a lot of talent to this side as a skilled fragger. Ending the match with kills of 21 on Nuke and 17 on Vertigo is a great start for the eighteen year old Latvian and he’s sure to only improve as the team does.
Secondly, ‘coldzera’ showed more than enough in his first match for FaZe to justify all the hype leading up to his announcement. Even in a middling MiBr side, the Brazilian was still able to win the respect and admiration of the community and his form is going to be crucial for the success of FaZe in the stacked series of competitions coming forward.
FaZe play Optic Gaming tonight in what is looking like make-or-break for them at ESL One New York before moving onto Dreamhack Masters Malmo at the start of October.