The two teams faced off in the lower bracket semifinals of group B. Both were in a position where a loss would mean elimination from the tournament, while they needed two wins in order to advance.
Faze hit the ground running on the first map, Mirage. They established an early lead on their map pick and took a 4-1 advantage on the T side. Furia eventually found an answer when they brought out a double AWP setup, with Andrei “arT” Piovezan and new signee Paytyn “junior” Johnson on sniper duty. junior had an excellent first half, bringing control back to his team with 19 kills in the half.
Furia showed just how effective their aggressive play can be. Their unrelenting pushes and advanced positions had FaZe gasping for air throughout. Even if FaZe managed to enter a bombsite, there was a decent chance Kaike “KSCERATO” Cerato would be there to pull off a round-stealing clutch. Furia ended the first half with a 5-10 lead.
Going into the second half, FaZe Clan was desperate for round wins. They started off promising, winning the pistol round, but then disaster struck. Furia bought a single AK-47, which KSCERATO used to get three kills to open the round. Yuri “yuurih” Santos won the ensuing one-on-two, breaking FaZe’s momentum in the process. Furia stayed in command and ended the game with a 16-8 final score.
FaZe Clan bounced back on Furia’s map pick, Overpass. In a close back and forth, Havard “rain” Nygaard proved to be the difference-maker for the international squad. The Norwegian rifler played an impressive CT-side, slightly padding his stats with an ace against Furia’s upgraded pistols.
Despite a comeback attempt from the Brazilians, FaZe edged out the map, winning in the final round of regulation. A 16-14 win for FaZe Clan meant a third map was on the cards.
The third and final map of the series brought us to Train. But it was a rather short affair. Another great performance by yuurih and KSCERATO spelled doom for FaZe Clan, as the Brazilians dominated from start to finish. FaZe had nothing left in the tank and saw the map, series and their tournament life slip out of their hands. Furia wasted no time, closing out the map in 16-4 fashion.
While the expectations around FaZe Clan are usually set higher than a group-stage exit, the general consensus will be that The team had a decent run at IEM Katowice 2021. With only days to prepare after bringing back Finn “karrigan” Andersen as their in-game leader, the squad still took wins over some stiff competition. They were competitive across all series played, but Furia proved to be too strong.
Later today, Furia will face off against Virtus.pro with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line. Reaching the playoffs of this top-tier event would be a huge coup for Furia. The team signed junior earlier this year as a replacement for Henrique “hen1” Teles, breaking the full Brazilian core in the process. The addition of junior meant the squad had to start communicating in English rather than Portuguese.
But while junior signed with the team back in January, travel restrictions kept him from joining his new teammates in Europe. Furia was forced to use Lucas “honda” Canos as a stand-in, delaying the integration of junior intp the team. With the team being in the same continent just days before the start of IEM Katowice 2021, expectations were low. Now they’re just one series away from the playoffs, and could be a dark horse to knock out some of the favorites to win the event.