CS:GO Teams Series
The story of FaZe Clan – Part 2
The story of FaZe Clan continues. In the first part of our journey, we went through their beginnings and the forming of a superstar team. A team that no one ever could even imagine at the time. How did this team perform? Stay tuned to find out.
Era of dominance
If you put together a team built to win trophies, you can’t expect anything less from them. What’s the point for CS:GO Hall of Fame talents to join forces unless they dominate all of their peers, right? And they did! They dominated the scene like no one else before.
From August 2017 to March 2018, FaZe Clan put up a spectacular form. Out of 10 international tournaments, they won 3 titles and played in 7 Grand Finals.
At ESL New York 2017, FaZe Clan didn’t drop a single map. They won that tournament flawlessly without letting their opponents even threaten them. In fact, out of the seven maps they played, only one opponent managed to reach double digits on the scoreboard while other opponents never got more than seven rounds.
That was unimaginable dominance and FaZe defeated their old rival Team Liquid in a best-of-five series for their first international trophy.
Their rampage continued in the ELEAGUE Premier where they once again did not drop a single map. This time, it was eight straight victories. On top of that, they crushed the pistol rounds with a 73% win rate. Even when they lost the pistol round, they always went for an aggressive force buy and often won the second round. FaZe were just winning one way or another.
With so many highly skilled individuals, many wondered if this team could ever be stopped.
Everything seemed perfect and FaZe Clan were finally ready for the Major.
The Boston Major – 2018
But to truly prove that they were the best, FaZe Clan had to win a Major. The first event of 2018 was ELEAGUE Boston Major. The squad was in their best form and their biggest opponent SK Gaming came with one player short due to tournament’s roster regulation rules. Phelps replaced Ricardo "boltz" Prass in the active roster which only helped FaZe achieve their goal. It was the perfect opportunity for this team to win the Major. Their biggest opponent was weakened and no one else could stop them.
The Major in Boston was the first Major with a new tournament format announced by ELEAGUE and Valve. The offline qualifier was named The New Challengers Stage and it was played in Atlanta. FaZe Clan won 3 out of 4 matches and qualified for the tournament as a third-placed team. The group stage of the tournament was also re-named and played in Atlanta. It was now called New Legends Stage and FaZe Clan were flawless, scoring 3 straight victories against fnatic, Vega Squadron, and SK Gaming.
After defeating SK Gaming, they qualified for the playoffs or the newly-called New Champions Stage. FaZe then went on another winning streak and won 2-0 against mousesports in the quarterfinals and 2-0 against Na’Vi in the semi-finals.
- READ MORE: The story of Na'Vi – Part 1
Those two victories brought them to their very first Grand Finals of a Major event where they would face Cloud9.
David vs Goliath – Boston 2018 Grand Finals
It seemed almost impossible for FaZe Clan to lose in the Grand Finals against Cloud9. Fans were happy and the whole of Europe expected them to win.
The euphoria was completely justified. FaZe had played three best-of-three series against Cloud9 only a few months before the Major and won all three without dropping a single map. In fact, Cloud9 didn't even manage to get double-digit rounds on 5 out of 6 head-to-head maps they played.
The map veto also went very well as karrigan managed to pull some tricks out of his sleeve. The maps that were going to be played were Mirage, Overpass, and Inferno. Those three maps were also the best maps for FaZe as Cloud 9 had zero victories over FaZe on any of these maps.
The first map went well and FaZe won the Mirage with 16-14. However, Cloud9 were an NA team and they had the crowd's support. They battled back and won the Overpass with 10-16. It all came to the last and final map, Inferno.
Things were looking good for FaZe and they established a solid early lead. After the half, FaZe took a few more rounds and had 13-8, which put them only 3 rounds away from the Major title. They played really well and got to 15-11 and 4 championship rounds. However, Cloud9 players pull some clutches and got to 15-14.
The last round was intense and one bad call from Finn "karrigan" Andersen to rotate was enough for Cloud9 to get it. They rotated to B-site with no time on the clock. FaZe came to the site with only 7 seconds to plant the bomb and Jacky "Stewie2K" Yip singlehandedly managed to deny that plant and get the much-needed overtime.
Cloud9 won in overtimes and they were crowned as the ELEAGUE Major champions.
Champions without a trophy
Less than a month after the Major, FaZe went to StarSeries Season 4. There, they got their revenge against Cloud9 with 2-0 and won 2 more matches to qualify for the semifinals. This team won against all key opponents but just not when it mattered the most. They were literally the champions without a trophy. After reaching semi-finals, FaZe went against Na’Vi and their golden boy s1mple. Egor "flamie" Vasilev and Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev took the initiative and won the match. Although FaZe hadn't had any trouble defeating Na’Vi before, they lost that match only because it was in the late stage of the tournament.
The next tournament was the IEM World Championship and FaZe once again won every single match up until the Grand Finals. They had 2-0 lead in a best-of-five duel against fnatic but still lost that match 2-3 and went home without a trophy once again.
Not so long after that, Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer took personal leave and left them one player short.
- READ MORE: Olofmeister leaves, FaZe Clan going young
Despite their bad luck, FaZe Clan still won 3 big tournaments during that year. They won IEM Sydney, ESL One: Belo Horizonte and EPICENTER 2018.
New roster changes
With the beginning of 2019, Robert "RobbaN" Dahlström stepped down as an active coach and FaZe acquired Janko “YNk” Paunović, former CS:GO analytic and MIBR coach. In addition to that, karrigan left the team and Dauren "AdreN" Kystaubayev came as a substitute.
With AdreN in the team, they won 2 tournaments: ELEAGUE CS:GO Invitational and Blast Pro Series: Miami. However, he was just there as a stand-in and left. His place was filled by Filip "NEO" Kubski. FaZe Clan didn't win a single tournament with NEO and had a poor performance on StarLadder Berlin Major 2019, finishing 12th-14th.
Both NEO and Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács parted ways with FaZe Clan after the Major and Marcelo "coldzera" David and Helvijs "broky" Saukants came as replacements. With coldzera in the team, FaZe went to win one more tournament in 2019 – BLAST Pro Series: Copenhagen 2019.
FaZe Clan started 2020 pretty well and won the first two tournaments before the COVID-19 outbreak. They are currently placed as a third team in the world behind fnatic and G2. They look confident and have decent results in online tournaments. The year 2020 will have only one Major and it is currently postponed for November. FaZe Clan surely have enough time to prepare for it and maybe lift the trophy they so desperately want.
If you like reading about famous esports teams? Check out our other pieces in our The story of series: