karrigan: "Focus is on rain and aizy"
In another FaZe - Cloud9 matchup the European mixture managed to end up on top once again, getting the 1-0 start at the ELEAGUE Major Main Qualifier. To find out a bit about the rivalry and aizy's resurgence, we talked to FaZe's in-game leader Finn "karrigan" Andersen.
FaZe squeezed a 19-17 win on Mirage to kick off their Major qualification process, completing a comeback from a 10-1 deficit in the first half. After the match, Finn "karrigan" Andersen took some time to talk to us about playing Cloud9 again, their comeback, and the series they lost against OpTic.
Let's start with the obvious, Cloud9 - FaZe again, how were you feeling after you've seen the draw?
I didn't even need to see the draw, I already knew we need to face Cloud9, it's our fate to meet each other. Coming into the tournament it was pretty hard we knew it was going to be Mirage and it's pretty hard to consistently beat a team on the same map. It's hard for us to adapt, we don't know what they want to counter and that's why we had a really sloppy start I think. We lost the first few rounds before we adapted.
On your T side you were 10-1 down, what did you change in that moment, how did you adapt and pick up the next four rounds?
In the first round we did a double fake because I know they are rotating a lot on that map but we got punished somehow. It's a hard way to start, 5-0 down, we tried to go for mid control but they countered our mid control pretty good. We threw those rounds away, and then when you get countered a few rounds you try to do the not so obvious thing that ends up being the obvious thing.
So I started to play a little more loose, I said to the guys, is there something you want to do, something to activate the players. We got the rounds we needed and then the confidence came on the CT side.
In general, is that something you do with FaZe, letting the players tell you what they want to do and then using them like that?
We have different styles, the way I call I want to have a structured side and a more loose style. At the start of a match I always start structured, how I want - explosive, slowly… But if let's say allu wants to peek somewhere I will never say no to him, unless it's the first two gun rounds, because that's how I want to structure the game. In the end I could feel like people didn't have the impact, let's say I could feel that I used kio wrong, it's important for me to activate him somehow into the game, otherwise you just feel like you are running around and dying through smokes supporting your teammates. I think that is important and that's what I try to do in the end. Because they knew what we wanted to do pretty much all the time, and if players want to do something, that's hard to counter.
karrigan and co. managed to complete the comeback against Cloud9
In the second half you had a shutdown CT more or less, how come it went so easy?
That's the problem when you play the team so often, we don't even need to watch the demos, we just learn from our mistakes and watching the games we played before. We know they don't have time to come up with something new, they made a new B strat that I didn't see before so that was something we had to adapt to in the end.
I think that was the key thing that gave them those rounds, they had the B strat, we had the more individual game, players going for peeks and calling around that. So that's the two ways to try and get the rounds we needed.
You don't know who you are going to play next, but at the last two tournaments you played against OpTic and they eliminated you. What went wrong in that matchup, what was the key thing they had that made them better than you?
They are so on point with their players, they hit their peak form at the same time if you ask me. The way they play is like Cloud9, very explosive, but they have the structure that Cloud9 don't have that much. If your form isn't at the peak then you have to fall back to the structure, and I want to see them when they don't have that peak all the time. As long as they peak, they are favorites to qualify if you ask me. For them, the last month was really amazing, but as I said, they went from DreamHack Summer losing 0-3 to winning ELEAGUE. That shows how they are playing around their skill, if their skill is high, they are hard to beat.
Since you joined the team aizy seemed to be activated a bit. Is there anything you changed about him, or did he change something about his game - style, role?
The thing is, before joining this team he was used to having a in game leader like MSL. Coming here and doing whatever he wants - the problem with five players doing whatever they want is that no one is playing around it. Let's say aizy goes for a peek, kio goes for a peek, everyone goes for a peek but no one is taking the initiative to say no no, we need to go together and stuff like that. I think that's the biggest thing I came in with, that he knows when he goes for a play that I am able to play around that.
Basically I try to set him up more, I'm very focused right now on rain and aizy, I think the way we can win right now. And then I need to turn my eyes towards kio and allu for the new year, because I need to activate kio a lot more than I do right now, that is one of the issues I'll have for 2017. But right now the focus is on rain as kind of a entry fragger and aizy as a support player.
Looking forward at the Swiss System qualifier, what are your thoughts on the system and is there anyone you want to avoid or play against?
Playing the Swiss System I don't really want to avoid someone I'm confident we can beat any team here if we play like in the second half against Cloud9. Its best-of-one, let the best team win. I think the Swiss format is the best format for the qualifier and I hopefully it will be amazing for the Major. It's the way to get the best teams. There are of course some seeding problems like having CLG playing Vega and us playing Cloud9, but that's how it is. Even though the seeding is bad, I think the Swiss System is perfect.
Professeur writes for HLTV.org and can be found on Twitter.