Can the new FaZe Clan CSGO roster finally win a major trophy?

By Josse Van Dessel


Feb 23, 2021

Reading time: 5 min

With the additions Finn “karrigan” Andersen and Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken to its Counter-Strike: Global Offensive lineup, FaZe Clan has given new life to its hunt for a major trophy.

Ever since entering CSGO back in 2016, FaZe Clan has been chasing a major title. During the chase, it has tried various players and directions for its roster. Lets take a look at the many players that represented FaZe Clan over the years.

FaZe Clan entered CSGO at the start of 2016. It acquired the G2 lineup built around Swedish AWPer Mikail “Maikelele” Bill for an undisclosed fee. According to reports by journalist Richard Lewis, FaZe Clan paid around $700,000 for the team. The lineup consisted of the following players:

  • Joakim “jkaem” Myrbostad
  • Havard “rain” Nygaard
  • Ricardo “fox” Pacheco
  • Maikil “Maikelele” Bill
  • Philip “aizy” Aistrup

While this lineup had reached the semifinal of the Cluj-Napoca major, FaZe Clan quickly made changes to it.  In April of that year, it benched Maikelele, replacing him with French rifler Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey.

After giving that iteration of the lineup a couple of months, management stepped in again. They replaced fox with Finnish AWPer Aleksi “allu” Jalli and benched kioShiMa to create space for Finn “karrigan’ Andersen, before bringing kioShiMa back to replace jkaem.

After a year, only rain and aizy remained from the original acquired lineup. In February 2017, aizy was bought by Danish organization North, leaving only rain. 

FaZe clan stacks its roster with NiKo, olofmeister, and guardian

Blog post image

FaZe Clan was looking for a marquee signing to fill the gap left by aizy’s departure. It was reportedly interested in signing Adil “ScreaM” Benrlitom, but the Belgian decided to join Envy instead.

Next on the FaZe’s list was Bosnian superstar NiKola “NiKo” Kovac. The 19-year-old was one of the hottest prospects in CSGO, and him joining the squad gave FaZe Clan a new look. NiKo hit the ground running at FaZe, reaching the final of IEM Katowice and winning Starladder I-League Season 3 in his first few months with the team.

But these results were not enough for FaZe Clan to be satisfied. They wanted more, and they wanted to win a major. The whole image of FaZe is built around being the very best.

At that summer’s major, PGL Krakow, FaZe didn’t make it out of the group stage. FaZe decided another change of direction was needed. allu and kioShiMa were let go and were replaced by two of the biggest names in CSGO.

Ladislav “guardiaN” Kovacs had proven his potential to reach major finals over at Natus Vincere, where he had reached two but lost both of them. Olof “olofmeister” Kajbjer was part of the Fnatic team that won back-to-back major titles in 2015.

Cloud9 defeat FaZe Clan in their first major final

FaZe Clan at ELEAGUE Boston

This new version of FaZe Clan took the CSGO scene by storm. They won ESL One New York, ELEAGUE CSGO Premier, and ECS Season 4 to close out 2017. Going into the first major of 2018, ELEAGUE: Boston, FaZe Clan was considered to be the favorite to win the event.

FaZe made it out of the New Challenger stage with a 3-1 record, only losing a game to Vega Squadron. In the New Legends stage, FaZe had a perfect run, claiming a ticket to the playoffs.

In the quarterfinals, they overcame NiKo’s former teammates from mouseports, and in the semifinals, they dispatched GuardiaN’s previous team, Na’Vi. On the other side of the bracket, a cinderella story had unfolded. Playing in front of its home crowd, Cloud9 had surprised everyone by reaching the final.

Cloud9 completed a dream run in the final, winning the Boston Major over FaZe Clan. This loss would haunt FaZe in the following months and years, as the team never reached the same heights again. olofmeister took an extended break, being replaced by Richard “Xizt” Landström and Jorgen “cromen” Robertson.

At the second major of the year, FACEIT London, the lineup imploded. The players lost their trust in captain karrigan, and NiKo temporarily took over in-game leadership duties. karrigan eventually was benched and moved to mousesports, and FaZe trialed Dauren “AdreN” Kystaubayev and Filip “neo” Kubski as replacements.

FaZe Clan struggled to find the right roster

FaZe Clan

AdreN and neo were both temporary fixes, but FaZe Clan took an entire year to get a permanent replacement for karrigan. Instead of getting a new in-game leader, FaZe signed Brazilian superstar Marcelo “coldzera” David and young rookie Helvijs “broky” Saukants in September of 2019. GuardiaN was moved to the bench and later sold off to his former team, Na’Vi. NiKo remained FaZe Clan’s long-term captain.

This FaZe roster never attended a major due to Valve canceling them in 2020. But their results in the online competitions were not meeting expectations set by the organization’s management and players alike. olofmeister took another break in May 2020 before returning at the end of the year.

FaZe Clan tried several solutions to fill the gap olofmeister had left. At first, they singed another rookie in Aurimas “Bymas” Pipiras, only to replace him after three months with Markus “kjaerbye” Kjaerbye.

These signings were indicative of the lack of direction at FaZe Clan. The team was torn between the idea of signing and developing young and talented players, or going after the best veterans that CSGO had to offer. Neither of these last two signings lasted long.

With the more recent addition of Twistzz and the return of former captain karrigan at the start of 2021, FaZe Clan has doubled down on its ideology of going after the biggest stars in the game. The raw skill and firepower on this lineup are unmatched, and it’s up to karrigan to pull the players in the same direction.

FaZe Clan now consists of the following players:

  • Marcelo “coldzera” David
  • Helvijs “broky” Saukants
  • Havard “rain” Nygaard
  • Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken
  • Finn “karrigan” Andersen