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FaZe Clan Win First Major Title at PGL Antwerp

Zakaria Almughrabi

PGL Major Antwerp has come to a close, FaZe Clan has defeated the defending Major champions Natus Vincere in a 2-0 win. This win marks the first Major title for FaZe Clan, for all of the FaZe players, and for any international Counter-Strike: Global Offensive roster.

FaZe win PGL Antwerp

Karrigan and FaZe Clan have won PGL Major Antwerp, overcoming their demons from Boston four years ago. (Image Credit PGL)

FaZe Clan’s PGL Major Antwerp journey began in the Legends Stage. Although their first map of the tournament was a loss to ENCE, they quickly bounced back to go 3-1 and qualify for the Champions Stage. Their half of the bracket was no walk in the part, and a potential Grand Finals matchup against the defending Major Champions was in the cards.

Calm and Collected Against NiP

The first Champions Stage match was between FaZe Clan and Ninjas in Pyjamas. The Swedish squad were big threats to FaZe’s run right out the gate. After FaZe won their own Nuke pick 16-10, NiP fired back with a solid 16-13 victory on Overpass. Inferno was the tiebreaker, and FaZe would not let it slip past them.

After falling to a 7-8 deficit at the half, FaZe mounted a flawless CT side to take the map 16-8. During this streak, Robin “ropz” Kool put up a 14-2 K-D ratio and 114.6 ADR, good for a massive 2.23 rating. FaZe was firing on all cylinders. If they continued this form into the rest of the tournament, they had a great chance of taking it all.

Slipping Past Spirit

FaZe’s semifinals matchup was against the upstart Team Spirit. This CIS squad surprised everyone by going 3-0 in the Legends Stage and earning first seed overall. Now, FaZe had to take care of business against one of the hottest teams at Antwerp.

Mirage was the pick of FaZe Clan. After putting up a dominating 10-5 T side half, FaZe closed out their map 16-13. Then came Dust2. The young aim gods of Team Spirit put up a hell of a fight on the map. Both sides traded blow for blow as both scores creeped ever closer to 16. In the end, two overtimes were required to determine a winner.

Right when it looked like FaZe would run away with the map, Boris “magixx” Vorobiev made magic in the 1v4 against FaZe. However, FaZe kept their composure. They immediately fired back with aggressive executes and closed out Dust2 25-23. Finn “karrigan” Andersen ended it with perhaps the most stylish kill of PGL Major Antwerp.

FaZe Overcome their Demons Against Na’Vi

The PGL Major Antwerp Grand Finals would indeed be between FaZe and Na’Vi. The number one team in the world against the number two, and the defending Major Champions to boot. Map one was Inferno, the map that FaZe had lost back at the Boston Major in 2018, causing the title to slip through their fingers.

FaZe got off to a blazing T side start, winning eight rounds in a row. Na’Vi did recover the scoreline a bit, but FaZe still held a huge 10-5 lead going into the favored T side. They were even helped out by an Ace Clutch out of Havard “rain” Nygaard in the second pistol round. After converting the second, FaZe held a 12-5 lead with plenty of time to close out. However, NAVI would not go down easily.

The CIS squad put together an even better T side streak, winning 10 of 11 in a row to earn map point first. All of the sudden, FaZe were again staring down the barrel of a thrown Inferno, the same situation as four years ago. At this moment, karrigan stepped up massively to avoid another heartbreak with three kills on the A defense. Overtime would be required to separate the teams.

FaZe started their defense with another two consecutive rounds to go up 17-16 at the swap. In round 35, FaZe were down 3v4 after a failed B site hit. All of the sudden, an amazing call to quickly out rotate Na’Vi back to A was made, allowing FaZe to plant with one second left. The ensuing 3v3 went their way, giving FaZe Inferno and righting their past mistakes.

Closing Out on Nuke

Na’Vi’s pick to try and equalize the series was Nuke. Just like on Inferno, FaZe had a roaring early first half and took a 10-2 lead. This would turn into another 10-5 half time score. FaZe’s efforts were led by rain, the longest standing FaZe Clan member, who also experienced that heartbreaking Boston Major. This time, the Norwegian took things into his own hands.

Rain would finish Nuke with a 30-16 K-D, 132.1 ADR, and an insane 1.84 rating in a Major Final map. Standing behind him was the rest of FaZe, preying on every mistake their opponents made. Na’Vi’s attempt at a comeback this time would be stomped flat, as FaZe Clan took four consecutive T side rounds to finish Nuke 16-10 and claim the PGL Major Antwerp trophy.

With this win, karrigan and rain have overcome the shadow of that lost Boston Major four years ago. Ropz has finally found a team that can enable his potential as a super star. Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken has surpassed the heights of his 2019 Team Liquid squad that fell apart after their era. And Helvijs “broky” Saukants has proven that he is a world-class AWPer and was the right choice all along when FaZe started their rebuild in 2019.

This FaZe Clan team is special. They have won every top-tier trophy throughout the first half of 2022, and they still have so much potential to reach new heights. A team of superstars with one of the greatest in-game leaders in the history of CS:GO. Their eyes are now set on the Intel Grand Slam, which they only need two more ESL/IEM trophies to claim over the next eight tournaments.