Steven R. February 23, 2019
FaZe Clan will fight on.
After putting on mixed performances in the first three rounds of the 2019 Katowice Major Legends Stage, the European squad came up big when it counted in round four. Facing CompLexity Gaming in an elimination best-of-three, FaZe barely managed to stay alive with a 2-1 series victory.
Though the team will compete in the final round of the Legends Stage, its fate was often in doubt versus coL.
The team’s performance was rough on the opening map of this series. Working on Cache, the FaZe struggled on every level, failing to coordinate and regularly losing duels. This allowed CompLexity to coast to a 16-8 win with a balanced performance that saw each of its players notching between 15 and 18 kills.
Things turned around on Mirage. A strong showing from Nikola "NiKo" Kovač seemed to turn FaZe into a completely different team. After going 10-17 in game one, NiKo topped FaZe’s scoreboard with a 22-19 line, spurring FaZe on to a 16-11 victory.
The deciding showdown on Dust 2 was one of the most intense of the tournament thus far. A back and forth first half led to a strong opening to the second half for FaZe. CompLexity rallied and nearly set up map point, but NiKo posted another series of big plays to give FaZe a 16-14 victory.
While it was a necessary win for the squad, it highlighted many of the issues now facing the team. Despite being stacked with talent, the squad is struggling to find leadership with Finn "karrigan" Andersen on the bench. Though NiKo officially calls the shots at this time, it remains unclear if he’s the team’s long-term leadership solution.
FaZe will need him to step up one more time if it wants to make the playoffs. FaZe plays Cloud9 in the final round of the Legends Stage.