The PGL Major is one of the most important tournaments of the year and there have been some surprising results thus far, to say the least. It would be a tough sell to say that even Counter-Strike’s most seasoned analysts would have chosen BIG and Gambit as the first two teams to attain the coveted legendary status via going undefeated in Swiss play. Furthermore, it would have been near impossible to predict that FaZe would bow out of the tournament without a single win. One can attempt to break things down to see what went wrong in Krakow, but in the case of FaZe, it simply seems as though their star-studded lineup picked the wrong time to have a bad few days of Counter-Strike.
The Swiss system: Not the culprit
Not only did FaZe exit early, but they did so in quite an abysmal fashion. They lost to BIG, mousesports and Flipsid3. Many have gripes with the Swiss system in that occasionally teams can get the short end of the stick and have incredibly difficult draws throughout the tournament; however, FaZe didn’t even get the chance to play against another top 10 team. The conversation would certainly be different if FaZe drew the Astralis’ or the SK’s of the world, but instead, they were only able to amass a whopping 33 total rounds against the 12th, 17th and 25th ranked teams they faced.
FaZe was comfortable with map picks
The next point of examination would be map selection. Once again, it would be hard to pinpoint map picks as a legitimate reason for FaZe’s downfall in Krakow. That is to say that it isn’t as if FaZe was forced to play maps that they weren’t comfortable with. They played BIG on Inferno, and while the German side has shown their propensity for this map, FaZe has also been very good on this map in the past as well. Aleksi “allu” Jalli is infamously considered one of the world’s best AWPers on Inferno, and FaZe recently has had success on this map against the strong Danish sides of Heroic and North. The same goes for Mirage, where FaZe had taken down both SK and Cloud9 recently as well. The only map one could try and form an argument around would be Train, but this was the map they came the closest to winning as they fell in overtime to mousesports.
The stats don’t lie
In this case, the tournament’s format and map vetoes played very little into the demise of one of the world’s best teams. Rather, FaZe simply did not play to the standards one might have expected them to play at considering this is one of if not the biggest tournament of the year. Star player Nikola “NiKo” Kovač did not pump out the numbers many would have expected him to, and support players Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey and Finn “karrigan” Andersen both had several low ADR (Average Damage per Round) games including both just barely breaking 30 ADR in their overtime bout with mousesports. It is quite ironic that the losing team NiKo was once essentially bound to as a hostage is now coming into form without him.
At the end of the day, Counter-Strike is a game that comes down to teams playing as a unit and players hitting their shots. FaZe Clan did neither in Krakow, and as such are now eliminated from the major that many may have considered them a favorite to win. The Game Haus would like to offer its condolences for all the Pick’Em Challenges that FaZe destroyed in cold blood with their surprising and unfortunate 0-3 exit from the PGL Major.
Featured image via https://www.hltv.org/