karrigan: "Our T sides fit perfectly in all the roles"
After FaZe clinched their spot in the semi-finals from first place in Group B with comfortable wins over Virtus.pro and Astralis, we got a hold of Finn "karrigan" Andersen to find out how the new team have been meshing together and what the challenges were in terms of roles.
Finn "karrigan" Andersen sat down with us after FaZe's lightning quick journey through groups to discuss their experiences from DreamHack Masters Malmö and ELEAGUE Premier and bringing them over to New York:
Tell me about the first two events that you've attended so far, Malmö ending with the group stage exit and making it into playoffs at ELEAGUE Premier, how have those experienced been for you and how are you meshing together thus far?
I think in Malmö we had a very good chance of beating Gambit, we were up 13-10 on Nuke and we even lost four anti-ecos on that map, so I think that was one of the reasons why we didn't do well in Malmö. I think we had a good map pool, we feel confident playing a lot of maps, we can play all maps, since we don't know what is our weakest yet. But that was the issue for us on Nuke against NiP and Gambit, but in my opinion, we should have won that Gambit game and then it could've looked differently.
Coming into this event with two events in the bag, I feel like Atlanta showed a more confident team, and I think we showed that today as well. We keep on bringing that form, playing the same way, and I think our T sides fit perfectly in all the roles, and that's one of the reasons we got these two players.
Talking about the roles, what were the challenges, obviously you have a lot of playmakers in the team now, how hard was it to put them in the right spots?
On the T side I have a very good view on how I want to play as a team. If we play default, I know getting NiKo, olof, rain and GuardiaN into good positions, they're gonna create the round around what I'm calling. So there's a good dynamic between all my players in the default, and we've always been good at playing the structured things as well if we need that. So I think we have a lot of things we can do within our team, I haven't found the perfect mix yet, but we're gonna find that in the future when we start losing more games, we can adapt easier and correct the mistakes.
When it comes to the CT side, there's an obvious problem where kio played a lot of boring roles, or the harder roles, where he played alone, and right now I'm trying to take the position. CT sides have been a little shaky on all maps, so that's something we're looking into, how to adapt to that, since we have two backup players, all-around players in olof and NiKo who like to fly around, adapt to info and gamble a lot. So I think that's something we have to work on in the future. But right now, I think we have a good mix of everything and we just take one match at a time.
Does that put you in a tougher position now that you have to go around supporting people even more so than before?
The other position I had on different maps as CT, I couldn't control the game more. When you're playing solo B on Train, you cannot say 'let's double push alley,' all that kind of stuff. I can call setups, but I always feel like when you're not in that site, you shouldn't try to call for it. We have a lot of good players in that kind of sense, GuardiaN likes to go create the round as CT, go for some peeks, olof and NiKo are good at mid-round pushing, it's just putting a lot of trust to both me as a solo player, but also those players able to play the CT side in the perfect way.
So that's kind of a big role for me to change, and maybe that's why I'm playing even worse individually right now, but as long as we win, it doesn't matter for me. One thing is important, I don't want to change olof to be a solo B player, that's not his best part, but it is a possibility in the future that we force olof, force rain, or whatever to play more solo sites, but right now it works as it is.
What about your tandem with NiKo, I know he had some input in FaZe before the change, how does it work now, does he help you a lot in-game?
I think what NiKo is good at, once we hit the mid T sides, or the ends of T sides, he has an adaption, and in the beginning, we had to tell NiKo that he shouldn't call. He wanted to be in everything, call here or call there, because that's my job. But right now we have developed over the months with NiKo, how to listen to each other and how to adapt and when to do what, when NiKo can take over in a round, once he says that he has a good idea, then I let him call and we take it from there, if the round doesn't work out, it's a mid round call, I take it away again.
But all these players in my opinion are able to call mid-rounds for each other, I take the first hit or I do the first talking and then we see where we get when we're playing default for example. All of them have an idea like 'let me walk through the smoke here, you go B,' if that is what makes sense. All that kind of simple stuff we can always do. That's because we have a lot of playmakers, who get into those positions.
Touching on your match against Astralis, even before the roster change, you clearly had an upper hand in the match-up and it still seems to be the case, what is it that makes your lineups play so well against your old team?
I know how they play CT sides, and the T side has become harder to read over the past months, or since they won the Major, but the CT sides, they tend to gamble a lot and focus on taking map control, especially when you play them on Overpass. If they want to punish you taking A control, they play four A, if they want to punish your B control, they go four B, so you have to be careful about what you call against them. If you play a lot of default, you're going to be torn apart, because they're going to take a part of the map and you cannot be fast enough to adapt.
How we played Inferno is basically doing a mid rush four out of fifteen rounds and punishing them that way if they want to play three guys B. If they play four guys mid, it's a good gamble from them, but it's not often you tend to do that, because then you lose banana control. And that's one of the reasons why I invented this tactic, knowing that we will play against Astralis who like to play three guys banana. Other than that, I just think the way Astralis play fits our playstyle, they play a little different than SK and SK famously always wreck us. But I think our map pool has changed a lot in that sense now, so now we're able to play better against them.
Lately we've seen a lot more power from the Terrorist side on Inferno, we've seen several huge T halves recently, do you think it's just become hard to take control on the CT side, what is your take on this?
It's a hard question. The thing about T side is, if you're able to win the pistol round and put a lot of pressure, many people forcebuy. If you do that, you won't have grenades to take banana control, people are going to punish that, you're going to play afraid on banana and you lose banana control in the first weapon round, and then it's very hard to play Inferno.