karrigan: It would be fun to play NiKo
Finn "karrigan" Andersen talked to us following FaZe winning a tight Mirage against Renegades at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas. Apart from that match, we explored the topic of Nikola "NiKo" Kovač joining the team and how he's going to be used, as well as Philip "aizy" Aistrup's departure.
FaZe announced the signing of Nikola "NiKo" Kovač prior to DreamHack Masters, it was however revealed that the Bosnian would play his last event with mousesports in Las Vegas and FaZe opted to use Joakim "jkaem" Myrbostad as a stand-in.
karrigan will get his wish to face NiKo in Vegas
In our interview with Finn "karrigan" Andersen, the in-game leader shared a few details on the departure of Philip "aizy" Aistrup, as well as the prospect of NiKo joining the team after the $450,000 event.
Let's begin with this tournament, which you're attending with a stand-in. In that situation, usually expectations and goals decrease, what do you think those are for this event?
We have a goal to finish top eight, we wanna keep on qualifying for playoffs, since I joined we had a good playoffs run. It's kinda hard to see us going deep at the tournament, but we'll just take it one game at a time. It's no secret that we put jkaem one to one with aizy's positions, there's no reason that we disrupt the structure of the whole team. We just let jkaem play some of the "FPL" positions I would say, he can just run around and hopefully he feels good in that, that's all we can do right now.
Talking about the first game you had, a very close win against Renegades on Mirage, you had a lot of issues on your T side, where were your mistakes?
I think we should've won the pistol, allu already knew and said directly when he lost the 1v1 that it was his round, since he peeked stupidly and he knew it, it was kind of a brain lag. So it could've ended 16-4 if you look at it that way, but in the end we had to claw back into the match, and it was pretty hard for me to find an opening, all the tactics that we had we didn't show to jkaem, so we had to play a lot on the fly and try it out, and that can be hard if people are hitting their shots. But I think we came into a lot of good clutches at the beginning of the T side but couldn't win them, in the end we finally found some of the clutches that made us win the map. If we didn't win those clutches, we would've lost that match.
Is there any preference between mousesports and Na`Vi in who you'd like to meet next?
It doesn't really matter, I think we don't fear any opponent. Of course, Na`Vi is the favorite in the match, but NiKo is in mousesports, so you can never count them out, right? One thing is that I can still see a lot of upset potential in mousesports, it's their last tournament, maybe they'll play with a little bit more freedom. And they have lmbt calling for them this time, but I think we'll play Na`Vi and hopefully we'll play mousesports at some point, that would be pretty funny to play NiKo in his last match of his mousesports career.
While we're on the topic of NiKo, obviously we have to talk about him joining FaZe after this event. It's a very special player to work with, especially from your point of view, do you have a clear idea in your mind of how you're going to use him and what kind of a system you'll have with him?
I think the way we play is gonna fit him pretty much, aizy was one of the more important players, aggressive player, many important positions and many things he did with me. If I'm gonna put him in one to one spots with aizy, I don't think so, it doesn't really make sense, we have to give room to both rain and NiKo.
It also gives me a secondary caller, so if we are split on the map, he's able to give me information I exactly need, because he knows what was important for him to know when he was calling for mouz. So I think that is one thing that I'm going to utilize a lot, having him and me on different sides and he can help calling. I'm just very excited to play with him, it's a dream come true, finally we got the talented child to FaZe, we really believe this is the team that can bring FaZe to a whole new era and maybe trophies here in 2017 with all the great teams around us.
I'm not quite sure what the process was, whether it was aizy's decision to leave or you decided to part ways, can you explain that process?
We had a talk after the Major, we felt like aizy didn't have the motivation or didn't feel so good sometimes. We just asked him "What if North came and asked you to play with them", and just an honest answer if he switched if it was possible, if he didn't have a contract or anything, he said "I would like to play with North". So I think that was the moment where a player would rather play on another team, and we let him go, of course we couldn't let him go for free, so he had to have been sold, and we were able to get a new player.
And that is when NiKo came into the picture, this is where the tradeoff felt like okay, we lost an important player in aizy but we gained a whole new monster, so I'm quite happy with the switch. Unfortunately, I was feeling great with aizy on the team, I think I set him up to do a lot of good stuff. In the end, I think it was a good thing both for North and for FaZe that we have the whole team where everyone wants to play. That's important in every aspect, that every player feels good.
Let's finish this up with the other teams that have made changes, most of which are here, especially SK and fnatic. Talk to me about those teams, how do you think they'll be able to do?
I think many of the top ten teams made a big upgrade, there's gonna be a lot of questions, even in our team, how the roles are going to be… felps is a very aggressive player, they have fer, are SK gonna switch up or how will they do it, that's one interesting thing.
About fnatic, it is about if they can find the old way to play, I still believe they need to change a lot, so if they're gonna keep on playing that old style, I see them having a lot of troubles adapting to winning tournaments. But you should never say never, it is olofmeister, KRIMZ, JW and that lineup. About the other lineups, it's hard to say, because they're not here, so they didn't have their first real test I would say, it's the same for us at Katowice.
We kind of had a similar situation after the off-season last year, where a lot of the top teams changed lineups and the scene was really tight, a lot of them went on to win tournaments, is that going to happen now that a lot of the top ten has changed lineups?
The question is when right, because Astralis is the clear favorite everywhere, they're a composed team, they have a lot of confidence and won two tournaments in a row. So they are the team to beat, if you start beating them, then the whole scene is open. The day Astralis doesn't win the next tournament, or the next two, then I see the whole scene opening because then it gives room to other teams to gain confidence, and you gain confidence by winning. And that's what Astralis did.