Nick J. May 10, 2020
Make no mistake, c0ntact Gaming will likely lose to a FaZe Clan that is above and beyond the better team in this matchup. Winners.bet has placed the line at FaZe 1.31 to c0ntact's 3.51, which is arguably being generous to c0ntact.
In Europe's Road to Rio, c0ntact has gone 0-6 despite facing teams like Movistar Riders, Copenhagen Flames, and GODSENT, all teams that should have been manageable foes for c0ntact. While they played those lower-level teams close, FaZe Clan is one of the best in the world and would need to stumble in a number of different ways in order to give this c0ntact a glimmer of hope.
FaZe seems to have discovered something that might be considered sacrilege to Counter-Strike purists; FaZe Clan is a bunch of onliners.
Despite long being pegged as a team capable of winning majors, FaZe has consistently fallen short of that mark by both inches or miles. But somehow, during an online tournament that includes every European powerhouse, FaZe has found its form.
FaZe has always been a streaky team, often unable to activate its star players in concert. Here, Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer, Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, Marcelo "coldzera" David, and Håvard "rain" Nygaard are all in peak form. NiKo, coldzera, and rain have all looked like the stars they were earlier in their careers, with each posting ratings around 1.10 over the past month. Coldzera in particular has flourished on the Road to Rio. The former MIBR star has a 62.5% headshot percentage with a 1.35 ADR for a team-leading 1.23 rating. He's a precise weapon that has a devastating effect on both the T and CT sides.
What's even more interesting is that coldzera boasts a 1.56 rating against top-five teams, which is weighed down by a 1.28 against opponents outside that high mark. This indicates that while coldzera has a nearly perfect grasp on the tendencies of pro players at his level, he does play worse against teams that may not play "by-the-book."
Resident newcomer Helvijs "Brokey" Saukants has become a solid fifth for FaZe after the release of AWPer Ladislav "GuardiaN" Kovács, and should continue to mature into a solid AWPer in his own right with a team of veterans. Though FaZe has been consistently inconsistent over the past several years, they aren't here. There's little reason to think that would change against contact.
FaZe Clan's Best Maps
All of them, literally. Here is FaZe's win rate over the past month:
- Mirage: 4-0, 100%
- Dust2: 2-0, 100%
- Nuke: 4-0, 100%
- Train: 2-0, 100%
- Overpass, 2-1: 66.7%
That's a scary breakdown. That said, c0ntact has one small ray of light that some bettors can look towards. Inferno, the classic decider, should be picked immediately by c0ntact if it's not banned by FaZe.
FaZe isn't "weak" on the map, but if the team is soft anywhere, it's Inferno.
- 2-2, 50%
- Losses: Copenhagen Flames, North
- Wins: Movistar Riders, OG
But c0ntact's rating on Inferno is just as interesting.
- 3-1, 75%
- Losses: Copenhagen Flames
- Wins: mousesports, North, GODSENT
c0ntact's wins against mousesports and North suggest the team can hang with serious competition on the map, and could open the door for them taking a win in the series. This is a special case as taking FaZe to win, even at the reduced odds, would normally be the safest bet. If Inferno comes up, at least it's one with some solid statistics in c0ntact's favor even if the wager still carries a good bit of risk.
There's also the fact that FaZe already has an upper bracket playoff berth clinched against Astralis at the European Road to Rio. FaZe may not bring their best against the 0-6 c0ntact. Either way, it will be worth seeing if c0ntact can dent the unstoppable FaZe ahead of Valve's first regional Major tournament playoffs.