EPICENTER was especially interesting this year with some major upsets, including FaZe Clan going down in the dust before teams they would surely consider very much beneath their level of skill.
In this review, we’ll be focusing on just that – FaZe Clan, the world’s number one team, being eliminated from an event by a series of crushing defeats. And so, without any more ado, we give you…
EPICENTER 2017 –
FaZe Clan vs Gambit Esports (2-1)
(24th October, 2017)
Match 1 – Train
Gambit Esports started out very strong, winning the pistol round and 2 more rounds as Counter Terrorists. FaZe Clan then hit back to win round 4 but then lost next round because they failed to plant the bomb in time. Gambit Esports then went on to dominate the first half. Yes, FaZe won the occasional round, but Gambit showed some very good game-play, and amazingly enough, in the first half, it never looked like super-team Faze had a chance. The first half was won by Gambit Esports 12:3.
Gambit Esports started their second half with a win, and now needed only 3 more rounds to win the match. FaZe then hit back at long last, winning 7 rounds in succession. At this point Gambit, amazingly enough, won another round, stepping even closer to a win. Faze pushed back and the match went into overtime 15:15.
Gambit Esports won 4 out of 6 overtime rounds and won match 1, 19:16.
Match 2 – Inferno
FaZe Clan dominated the first half by winning the first 5 rounds as Terrorists. Gambit Esports won round 6 by defusing the bomb and round 7 by stopping FaZe Clan from planting the bomb. Gambit Esports’ defences crumbled as FaZe Clan won 12 out of 15 rounds in the first half.
Gambit Esports really did do their best to adapt in the next half, winning the four initial rounds, stopping all efforts by FaZe to advance cold. But FaZe Clan economized to go all out and take round 5 from Gambit. Later both the teams traded rounds until the match ended in a final win for FaZe, 16:9.
Match 3 – Cache
FaZe Clan lost the first pistol round, but covered up by winning the next 5 rounds as Counter Terrorists. FaZe Clan were shut down in round 7 by Gambit Esports. Gambit Esports made their comeback in round 10 and won almost all the remaining rounds in the first half. But it was very close – FaZe Clan won 8 rounds and Gambit Esports 7.
FaZe Clan took the first 5 rounds by storm in the second half, and things were looking bad for Gambit Esports. But they kept their cool and came back in round 6. After winning round 6, Gambit Esports only lost 2 more rounds against FaZe Clan and the match ended in another 15:15 draw.
Match 3 thus went into overtime. Each team won 3 rounds in the first overtime, which was another draw. In the second overtime, FaZe Clan won 4 out of 6 rounds and thus won the match 22:20.
Here’s the final match between these teams…
Yes it was a win for FaZe.
But only just barely.
It was a foreshadowing of things to come!
EPICENTER 2017 –
SK Gaming vs FaZe Clan (2-1)
(25th October, 2017)
Match 1 – Inferno
This was something on the order of an epic struggle between two continents, the number 1 European team against the number 1 North American team. SK Gaming went straight in for the kill. Because it was a match to qualify for the play-offs and their opponents were FaZe Clan.
SK Gaming took FaZe Clan by surprise and won the first 5 rounds in the first half. FaZe Clan fought back, winning rounds 6 and 7. This is where SK Gaming seemed to go into a decline, losing rounds badly. FaZe Clan ended by winning the first half 8:7.
The whole meta changed in the second half, which was completely dominated by FaZe Clan. FaZe Clan won 8 rounds straight out with no losses, and won match 1 16:7.
Match 2 – Overpass
SK Gaming shocked FaZe – and their extended fan following – in the second match. They started out very strong as Counter Terrorists, and won 5 rounds in succession. FaZe Clan took round 6, but it seems SK Gaming is very much at home in ‘Overpass’. They won first half 13:2. This was too big a gap to close even for FaZe Clan. SK Gaming need just 3 more rounds to win the match. And they won the first three rounds in the second half to win the match 16:2. We can say without a doubt that this was the worst performance by FaZe Clan ever.
Match 3 – Mirage
FaZe Clan was in a decline. They lost the first three rounds as Terrorists. They won round 4, and both teams showed balanced play after that. The first half ended with SK Gaming winning 8 rounds and FaZe Clan winning 7.
Everything changed when they swapped roles in the second half. FaZe Clan just didn’t stand a chance against SK Gaming as Terrorists. FaZe Clan somehow just managed to win a single round in the second half and SK Gaming won the match 16:8 to enter the play-offs. SK Gaming’s “coldzera” was the MVP of the matches.
Check out the last match here…
For FaZe Clan, this was the beginning of the end at EPICENTER
But an even more humiliating defeat was to follow the next day, when FaZe faced Virtus.pro…
EPICENTER 2017 –
Virtus.pro vs FaZe Clan (2-1)
(26th October, 2017)
Match 1 – Mirage
Virtus.pro posed no challenge to FaZe Clan in ‘Mirage’. FaZe Clan not only won the first pistol round, but went on to win 11 rounds straight. Nothing that Virtus.pro could come up with was able to stop FaZe Clan. Finally in round 12, Virtus.pro was able to hit back a little, but it was too late. FaZe Clan won round 13 and 14, and grew a little overconfident, because Virtus.pro were able to take the last round of the first half. It didn’t make a difference, because FaZe Clan won the first 2 rounds in the second half, and took the match 16:2.
Match 2 – Cobblestone
Virtus.pro lost the pistol round to FaZe Clan. But they kept their heads, and decimated FaZe Clan in the next 6 rounds. Vitus.pro dominated the first half 11:4.
FaZe Clan knew by now that this match was going to be a tough one, and they did do their best to hit back in the second half. Despite an initial loss, FaZe won the first three rounds. But Virtus.pro were able to plant and defend the bomb in round 5, and from that point the match went downhill for FaZe Clan. In the end, a fully equipped Virtus.pro played very carefully and defeated FaZe Clan to end the match in victory 16:11.
There was now only one match left to decide whether FaZe Clan would survive, or suffer the greatest defeat they have encountered in recent months, when they seemed all but invincible.
Match 3 – Inferno
This was a fight to the death for both teams, with the winner moving to the play-offs, and the loser booted from the event. It seems that Virtus.pro have chosen EPICENTER for their big comeback, because they have been practicing hard, and have even refused to participate in other events so that they could concentrate on their practice and their run-up to this one.
And it’s paid off big!
Virtus.pro showed some very good tactics and won the first three rounds as Counter Terrorists. FaZe Clan hit back brutally – as only they can – in round 4, by killing all the enemy players. They even managed to detonate their C4 in round 5. Virtus.pro then put together a brilliant defence in round 7, and FaZe Clan ran out of time to plant their bomb. This was the turning point for Virtus.pro, and they won all the rounds except on in the rest of the first half, taking it 11:4.
Virtus.pro now needed just 5 rounds to take the match, and they weren’t about to let this badly-needed win slip through their fingers. But FaZe are tough to beat, even on one of their rare losing streaks. FaZe won the next five rounds, and it was beginning to look like the match was theirs. But Virtus.pro hit back hard, taking three rounds, needing just one more to close the match. But FaZe pushed back, and the match went to round 29. But that was the end for FaZe. Virtus.pro won round 29, to take the match 16:13.
Here’s the last, lethal match…
It was a lethal win
Close fought, so that you can’t really say that FaZe still isn’t the top team in the world. But they were off their stride – enough, at least, to be kicked from this event.
Has Immortals’ ‘boltz’ playing on the side of SK Gaming been part of the reason for this debacle? Perhaps. More than that, FaZe have made a lot of desperate enemies in their long run of domination, and these teams are beginning to hit back. SK Gaming’s recent roster change may have made them a top contender to FaZe once again – and as this event has shown, SK Gaming can and will dominate.
As for Virtus.pro –they seem determined to climb out off the tar-pit in which they’ve been soaking the last year or so. If they do, then there will be a new contender on the scene – or actually, a very old one. At the very least, Virtus.pro have proved in this encounter that any team that underestimates them can die beneath their weapons… even the redoubtable and supposedly invincible FaZe Clan.
The last word?
SK Gaming and Virtus.pro are back in business.
With a vengeance.
And the CS:GO universe may have been forever changed.