FaZe Clan make their case as the second-best CS:GO team in the world after beating Natus Vincere 2-0 in the Grand Finals of EPICENTER CSGO 2018 on Sunday in Moscow, Russia.
Heading into EPICENTER CSGO 2018, most didn’t really expect FaZe Clan to make a deep run, let alone win the tournament. Not with both Team Liquid or Natus Vincere both looking to take advantage with Astralis out of the tournament lineup.
All of that did not matter to FaZe Clan, however.
After a relatively modest showing in the Group Stage, FaZe Clan turned things up a notch come the playoffs. They started things off by sweeping both Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Liquid. Afterwards, they punctuated their undefeated run by handing the crowd favourites, Natus Vincere, a decisive 0-2 loss in the Grand Finals of EPICENTER CSGO 2018.
The win serves as a way to validate their recent leadership change. Handing the keys of the team to Nikola ‘NiKo‘ Kovač, who was also one of the tournament’s top performers, has definitely done the team good if only for this one tournament.
With the win, FaZe Clan will take home the trophy and $150,000. Meanwhile, the crowd favourites, Natus Vincere, will go home with $75,000 for their trouble. Finally, Avangar and Team Liquid will each take home $20,000 for placing 3rd-4th.
FaZe Clan Silence Home Crowd with EPICENTER CSGO 2018 Win
The Grand Finals of the EPICENTER CSGO 2018 began on Cache, where FaZe Clan raced to a 10-5 lead and eventually closed the game out 16-12. Individual plays from their new IGL, NiKo, and Ladislav ‘GuardiaN‘ Kovács left Natus Vincere with no answers at every turn. It also didn’t help that Denis ‘electronic‘ Sharipov was uncharacteristically bad at Mirage, posting a -4 +/- with 17 kills to 21 deaths, which is way below his usual standards.
Unfortunately for Natus Vincere, the Rifler’s woes would continue to follow him as the series switched on over to Dust2.
Where Cache was relatively close, the second map of the Grand Finals was nowhere near competitive. Basically, if not for Oleksandr ‘s1mple‘ Kostyliev doing everything he can do on his own for the team, Natus Vincere could’ve possibly ended the game with zero round wins.
electronic and the rest of Natus Vincere simply just could not give s1mple the help he needed as FaZe Clan clinched the championship with a 16-3 win on Dust2.
What’s Next for FaZe Clan?
It was clear that a change was necessary for Faze Clan. For them to win EPICENTER CSGO 2018 by taking out both Team Liquid and Natus Vincere after switching in-game leaders is good sign, although it may not fully validate their move entirely just yet.
NiKo was absolutely phenomenal throughout EPICENTER CSGO 2018, leading by example and taking his team to victory. But, that’s not really the biggest storyline of the team. Instead, it’s olofmeister seemingly back to performing at a high level now. After spending months on the sidelines because of an injury, olofmeister‘s return to FaZe Clan was not met with as much success as most people expected. And while he no longer is his team’s top fragger, he isn’t at the bottom now either, which gives fans hope going forward.
Winning EPICENTER CSGO 2018 certainly is huge for a FaZe Clan that has struggled to find their form since the return of olofmeister. However, this is just a start. They’ll need to do more if they want people to start considering them as top contenders once again.
What do you think of FaZe Clan’s performance at EPICENTER CSGO 2018? Was it more of a one-off thing, or can we expect them to only get better going forward? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.