karrigan: "No.1 spot is doable"

Dust2.dk caught up with Finn "karrigan" Andersen and discussed with the Danish veteran FaZe's latest results and their success under his tutelage.

Since picking up Nikola "NiKo" Kovač, FaZe have reached the grand final of every event they have attended, winning the StarLadder i-League StarSeries Season 3 Finals and finishing runners-up to Astralis and SK Gaming at IEM Katowice and IEM Sydney, respectively.

FaZe have been ranked second in the world for a month now, and, if they are able to remain in top form, they could very well make Astralis lose their position at the top of world Counter-Strike by the time next Major rolls around.

NiKo was the only player karrigan wanted to replace aizy

Read on to find out what Finn "karrigan" Andersen had to say on matters concerning calling the shots for FaZe, replacing Philip "aizy" Aistrup, the differences between his team and Astralis, and more.

You can presumably take a lot of credit for FaZe being among the world's three best teams. What did you bring to the team, and what was missing before you joined?

One of the things I have contributed with is leadership, which allows the rest of the team to focus on their own game. FaZe had never really had an ingame leader, and RobbaN tried for a while to fill that role while also coaching, but when the rule about coaches came into effect, the team was hit really hard. Now there is one person who can lead in the game and the rest can just play their own game. But it was really when NiKo joined that we were able to reach the top 3.

Were you involved in the decision-making process behind NiKo’s transfer?

Since the day aizy chose to leave us, I had only one player in mind, and that was NiKo. I was very involved in the entire process regarding aizy’s replacement. I believe NiKo is an upgrade over aizy (who is a really good player), so he was the perfect fit. I did not want to change too much in terms of roles since the ones we had already fit our playing style. NiKo is an all-round player, capable of lurking, entry fragging and AWPing.

How is the playing style in FaZe, compared to the way you played in Astralis? Did you bring the Astralis style to FaZe, or did you have to adapt to a different style?

FaZe gave me a lot of confidence when it comes to this. I brought in the style that suits the team and myself the best. There is a difference between the way I called in Astralis and the way I do now in FaZe, since the players are different. So it is really more about the players having to adapt to the way I lead in-game.

Are you the only one making the calls? NiKo was the in-game leader in mousesports for a while, and RobbaN is also behind you as a coach.

The day NiKo joined, I told him to mainly focus on his own game. He contributes with so many good ideas all the time, which is perfect for an in-game leader, because a constant flow of information makes calling even better. The idea of having NiKo as a second in-game leader happens when I am sometimes dead, since he is great at taking over and doing mid-round calls. We use RobbaN a lot to improve our communication, which is one of our weaknesses.

Do you still have issues with communicating in English, or have you already overcome that problem after all this time?

The language itself is not a huge problem, it is the way the players communicate that is more of an issue. I think all teams have issues with communication, which is an area where there is always room for improvement. There are issues now on the team that I also experienced while I was with Astralis.

There are also some cultural differences. Is this something you have noticed?

We come from six different countries and we all have very different personalities, so you can definitely feel some cultural differences. What is normal in Denmark may not be so in Bosnia or Finland. But that is not really something I think about. But it is fun to see just how different the people on my team are.

You are known for the way you act on stage. Are you conscious of what you do in front of the crowd?

I love to play on stage, that is something I always missed when playing back in CS 1.6, because I did not get to play in front of huge crowds. I do not really think much about it when I play, but I like to feel the excitement of a big crowd since it motivates me so much more. If you can win the crowd over by making some kind of fun gestures on stage, I tend to do it.

karrigan admits he loves putting on a show for the fans

This “beef” that people are talking about between you and Astralis. Was it only to tease them for your upcoming games, or did you just want to beat them?

I do not think there was any beef besides the map veto in the semi-finals. I did not lie about our Cobblestone. They wrote on Twitter that they were glad to punish us in group play for wanting to play Cobblestone, and I wrote back that I was glad they took the bait in the playoffs. It is nice to beat Astralis, but I do not think about that much more than I do when I beat other teams.

How far do you see this FaZe team going? Do you believe you can move up to first in the ranking?

I believe we can, but I think the competition is getting harder and harder. It is good that there is not one team who wins it all. If you look at the ranking, Astralis, FaZe and SK are in the top 3. Those two rivals of ours are the best when it comes to the basic game and they have similar styles, while ours is a bit different. Only time will tell if we can be the No.1 team, but I think it is doable.

What is your playing style like? And how do you see their style?

I always say that the way I call lies between a structured and an unstructured style. I try to adapt our style to our opponent and to what I feel is the best starting point as much as possible. SK and Astralis are really good at being patient with their game, which is something we got a taste of in the final against the Brazilians. We play a lot faster and in a more aggressive way. I think that’s the big difference.

How many good years do you think you have left in CS?

I am going to play until I no longer have the level required or can no longer contribute enough to a team. I do not know when that is going to happen. I try to follow the example of the Virtus.pro guys. I do not know what I am going to do after my CS career is over. I have two options: either I stay in Counter-Strike or I will start using my Master's degree for something completely different from CS. Hopefully, I will only have to think about this in a distant future.

This article was written by rijaH. You can follow her on Twitter.

Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Bosnia and Herzegovina Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
Denmark Philip 'aizy' Aistrup
Philip 'aizy' Aistrup
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
2017-05-11 20:22
2017-05-11 20:23
2017-05-11 20:23
Karrigan best igl eu
2017-05-11 20:23
Karrigan "No.1 spot is doable" Too bad qualifying for ESL Pro League LAN isnt. Rip [*]
2017-05-12 15:59
2017-05-11 20:23
Bulgaria Kreasiner 
Karrigan <3
2017-05-11 20:23
Israel honzalouny 
ez niko
2017-05-11 20:23
2017-05-11 20:23
kissmyass | 
Denmark raaVz 
ez 4 NiKo
2017-05-11 20:23
waw n1
2017-05-11 20:23
mat1 | 
Brazil zepug0d 
2017-05-11 20:23
eneshan | 
Poland [P]iku 
2017-05-11 20:23
United States darth_mac 
No it isnt
2017-05-11 20:23
no it's not
2017-05-11 20:23
Sweden lagcats 
he rly thinks so?
2017-05-11 20:23
not with him lmao
2017-05-11 20:23
Portugal dracø 
obviously, this ranking are so volatile that any team can get top1 with a burst of good form
2017-05-11 20:24
New Zealand fuckislam 
not dignitas LUL
2017-05-12 02:22
Portugal dracø 
given how random csgo is, you never know if the stars won't aline for them lul but yeah, most likely won't happen
2017-05-12 02:53
Fox wont ever be in a top 5 team Lul
2017-05-12 03:51
TOP1 FaZe win next major
2017-05-11 20:25
hahahaha faze will go down again soon. they can´t rely on winning every single pistol to win matches. top 5-7 team nothing more
2017-05-11 20:26
Croatia mds818 
if faze is top7 then north should be top15 imo
2017-05-11 20:31
Uh thats a shit excuse lmaoxD italy cs? I dont think so
2017-05-12 03:51
Cocky Karrigan LOL
2017-05-11 20:26
that's like saying messi is cocky if he says he's good at playing football
2017-05-11 20:40
I meant in general. Karrigan is cocky as fuck
2017-05-11 20:48
I can see why he may seem cocky for some, I don't quite see it that way tho. He's really passionate, one of the few players that actually shows emotions when playing and you can see he enjoys it very much and is passionate about it. There's many pros who seem like they only playing cause they are good and the money, for me karrigan is the opposite
2017-05-11 20:55
Denmark MQllerhjul 
2017-05-12 10:48
FaZe will have succes for the next few months, and then the shit start fall. Exactly the same happened when he was in TSM/Dignitas. Its the karrigan curse
2017-05-11 20:28
s1 | 
Armenia gr1nch 
2017-05-11 20:28
HLTV rankings is garbage.. karrigan should focus on winning tournaments rather than reaching number 1 here
2017-05-11 20:28
>3 grand finals in a row. Astralis only made 2 grand finals in the last 3, and SK only made 1.
2017-05-11 21:51
Denmark InZanity 
Yea and astralis has been in the semi finals the last 8 times!!
2017-05-12 02:10
And lost both games today against nV not even qualifying for Dallas final... Astralis have done nothing since the major than losing games to every tier 3 team out there
2017-05-12 02:22
Denmark InZanity 
But still comes in the semifinal on every lan, online is so hard it's not only astralis who looses to T3 teams tho....
2017-05-12 02:28
Even fnatic managed to win and they are not even top 50
2017-05-12 02:29
cool guy, but SK stomped his ass LUL :> #ezforBR #swedenin2017LUL #SKTOP1 #THESKERA #thecryisfree #thesaltytears #keepemcomin #sktop
2017-05-11 20:29
Croatia mds818 
sometimes its better not to bait the devil mate,you dont want repeat of katowice 2016 or something much worse than 7 1 even throught i know that you're baiting.
2017-05-11 20:32
tell me one thing I said here that isnt a fact. :>
2017-05-11 20:37
Croatia mds818 
everything about sk.
2017-05-11 20:39
top1 atm :> just won a tournment, beating the top2 in the world, wich won ez against the top1... astralis isnt that good anymore, faze won2x already against them, but just faced a better team in the finals :> wasnt even close. sk too superior. #ezforBR #swedenin2017LUL #SKTOP1 #THESKERA #thecryisfree #thesaltytears #keepemcomin #sktop
2017-05-11 20:44
Croatia mds818 
being second best makes you the best?dude im not even sure whatever if you're fakeflagging or not
2017-05-11 20:56
the second best beated the n1 2x in a row ez.. then sk comes and just stomp the second :>
2017-05-11 20:58
your brain have been polluted with the favela too much
2017-05-11 22:53
mad cuz brs too good on cs and u no scene LUL
2017-05-11 23:07
busy not being poor
2017-05-11 23:53
go back to pizza making and stop crying then XD AHAHAHAHHA #thecryisfree #RUNSKG
2017-05-11 23:54
This is why nobody likes you and your people. Prime example.
2017-05-12 11:37
Finland FliE 
How's that puberty going, champ? Still working on that first pubic hair?
2017-05-12 11:42
It's doable that's true and karrigan is a respected legend and good guy, but we will see. :)
2017-05-11 20:30
JW | 
South Africa Papa_Chango 
with oskar :K
2017-05-11 20:32
<3 FaZe
2017-05-11 20:47
FNATIC is coming for ya bois
2017-05-11 20:48
Brazil BuddyINSANE 
nice! We are the champions! We smart, we loyal, we friendly, we are from BRAZIL! Kreygasm
2017-05-11 20:59
Jesus, he's got a Master's? When did he find the time to do that??? He's been playing competitively for like 10 years...
2017-05-11 21:11
rain | 
Romania adsda 
Check Valve Karrigan Profile and you will notice that he took Master's and being a pro at the same time
2017-05-11 21:22
Poland mamba99999 
G2 deny it
2017-05-11 21:54
they have the talent
2017-05-11 21:54
kNgV- | 
Brazil vicTHOR 
LMAO i keked
2017-05-11 22:00
United Kingdom HarryBotter 
SK > FaZe
2017-05-12 00:17
2017-05-12 00:18
Russia bralBry 
AHAHAHAHAHA get rekt karrigan, I hope you will be kicked soon
2017-05-12 00:19
Brazil vinnyzeraNTC 
2017-05-12 02:05
KarrigUN top1
2017-05-12 09:12
Are you guys really that stupid? They played The whole Weekend,came home tired and now saving strats for The major.. They didnt go from #2 spot to lose against shitty G2.. Use The brain god gave you ffs...
2017-05-12 09:16
he is
2017-05-12 14:41
Europe yAskah 
#SavingStratsForTheMajor LMAO
2017-05-12 16:02
g2 > faze confirmed
2017-05-12 14:41
for acne face hltv forum users out there.. anyone could beat anyone these days.
2017-05-12 15:57
real no1 could qualify for esl pro league at least xdd
2017-05-12 20:23
allu | 
Netherlands MarkBurns 
GODAllu #Faze
2017-05-23 14:10
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