Just a little over two years after joining the team, Finn ‘karrigan‘ Andersen has been officially benched by FaZe Clan.
FaZe Clan announced the surprising roster move earlier today via their Twitter account.
karrigan is widely considered as one of the most successful IGL in the game. In fact, since joining FaZe Clan, the 28-year-old has helped lead FaZe Clan to 7 LAN titles, including being just a win away from winning the Intel Grand Slam award. However, despite his mostly successful tenure with FaZe Clan, the team, in general, have been very inconsistent this 2018. Although they spend the better part of the year as top contenders and even ended up winning 3 LAN tournaments, two of their wins came in tournaments where Astralis did not play. More importantly, karrigan, has not performed well individually as of late. Even when the team relieved him of his IGL duties in September, the Danish professional CS:GO player continued to slump. Meanwhile, his replacement, Nikola ‘NiKo‘ Kovač, stepped up his play even more and led the team by example.
With karrigan now benched by the FaZe Clan, three of the top teams in CS:GO — MIBR and Team Liquid being the others — have changed their rosters to close out the year. Judging by the rumors swirling around, it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw a fourth in Natus Vincere in the coming weeks.
Who’s Going to Replace Karrigan in FaZe Clan?
Losing an IGL is huge. Case in point, Natus Vincere only started their recent resurgence when Danylo ‘Zeus‘ Teslenko came back to the roster. During the period between his departure and return, Natus Vincere were nowhere near as good despite Oleksandr ‘s1mple‘ Kostyliev’s best efforts. On the other hand, Zeus had a successful tenure with Gambit Esports, winning multiple LAN tournaments, including PGL Major Kraków 2017.
Having said that, FaZe Clan are likely not going to experience such a drop off. As mentioned earlier, FaZe Clan have already had some time acclimating to playing with a different IGL in Niko. And while the sample size is small, FaZe Clan have done fairly well since the reigns of the team were handed over to Niko, which includes them winning EPICENTER CSGO 2018.
Thus, the question now is, what kind of direction will FaZe Clan take moving forward?
Will they go all-in on Niko as their IGL going forward and double down on adding some much-needed firepower for the team? Or will they look for another IGL to keep the team in check and enable Niko to play at his very best without having to worry about leading the team? Also, another valid question, what happens if the team continues slumping with karrigan already out of the roster?
Hopefully, we’ll have answers to these questions much sooner rather than later.
FaZe Clan will likely have no shortage of offers for karrigan, nor will he have a hard time finding a team in case FaZe Clan decides to keep him until the end of his contract.
As for his replacement, Jørgen ‘cromen‘ Robertsen is a free agent right now. The 23-year-old served as FaZe Clan’s stand-in when they won ESL One: Belo Horizonte 2018 and placed Top 4 at ESL One Cologne and the LAN Finals of ECS Season 5. He’d make for a great fit if they want to double down on firepower and let Niko improve as an IGL. However, if they want to bring in someone to lead the team, Tarik ‘tarik‘ Celik is currently available after MIBR benched him following a similarly lackluster year.
Either way, regardless of their choice, here’s to hoping that they, including karrigan, find the right fit.
What do you think of FaZe Clan’s decision to bench karrigan? Was it a good choice? If so, who do you think they should bring in to replace his spot on the team? Be sure to let us know your thoughts in the comments down below.