karrigan: "Vega play one of the best CT sides at this Major"
After FaZe picked up their first victory at the ELEAGUE Major following a 16-8 scoreline on Cache against fnatic, we got a hold of Finn "karrigan" Andersen to talk to him about his team's showing at the main qualifier, among other topics.
At the Major itself, they have so far started well with a 16-8 win over fnatic on Cache in the first round. We caught up with the in-game leader, Finn "karrigan" Andersen to get his thoughts on FaZe's shakiness at the beginning of the qualifier, the Swedish match-up, and their biggest rivals at the event.
Your Main Qualifier showing was quite shaky at the beginning, barely winning against Liquid and losing to Vega Squadron - what were your feelings about how you played at the Main Qualifier overall?
I think the shaky start at the qualifier must be down to us having a vacation, a break. We haven't played any official games, we came in not on point individually. When we started on January 2nd, we had like 0.5 hours, so we had to get all the hours in and I think it started to show now.
When we lost to Vega, I think everyone said 'okay, we need to play a little more now'. I think for every day since that loss I just feel we are getting better and better, so we just hope to have enemies like fnatic, Na`Vi, that is where we strive the most, but we can't underestimate anyone right now since there have been some upsets already, it's going to be a random draw the next round.
Touching on the Liquid match on Overpass, do you feel like you got a bit lucky with the 14-14 forcebuy when they decided to take underpass up against CZs?
When it was 14-14, if this was a normal tournament and a normal FaZe, we would just buy now, risk everything, or we could buy Famas the next round and give them the overtime. But every time we played Liquid we won 16-14, so there was something telling me that 14-14, if we win that round it's going to break them.
So we went for the risky buy and it paid off, it could have been different now if we lost 0-2, we had another enemy in the first round and we could have been 0-1 now. Sometimes you have to take the risk and sometimes it pays off better than nothing.
I heard you have a problem practicing against Vega and their playstyle in general, can you tell me about that, is that really the case?
I think the whole 2017 we had Vega from the beginning, the way they practiced to begin with was pretty random, going for duels everywhere. When you want to try some stuff in practice, which practice is for sometimes, you don't really get to do it, and sometimes it just doesn't make sense if you just went through tactics on a map. That's one of the reasons why we hated practicing against them.
I have to say that they play one of the best CT sides at this Major, they've got good rotations, good teamplay, they're very composed in situations where you're normally not if you're a new team. But they've played together for a long time and I have deep respect for what they have achieved here, I hope for them they go even further, because they deserve it.
You already touched on fnatic being a comfortable matchup for you in general, was that the case in the match itself? It felt like you were in control the whole way through...
The fnatic match was kind of surprising that we ended on Cache, we prepared Train and Mirage. I kind of knew we wanted to end on Mirage and if they want to go for Cache, it's fine for us. It's a map we haven't played officially since the Oakland loss, but I think we've only lost one map on LAN with this lineup, so we feel pretty comfortable in playing all these different maps in best-of-ones and I think that showed today that we are ready to play more than our three famous maps.
Obviously you have to look forward, so is that also to get better prepared for playoffs, potentially?
We decided to play Train against Na`Vi to show a little that we can play Train and just to get some confidence on that map. It's a map we have lost a few times lately but won more, but the losses we have were so tight, so we feel we're good on that map and I think that showed as well.
We could have gone for Train, but I decided to mix it up a little, you never really know what map you're going to play against us if we keep switching up our vetoes from enemies to enemies, so it's harder to prepare against us and if you want to prepare, you have to prepare two or three maps at least.
Based on perhaps practice or maybe what you've heard about the teams' form, who are going to be your biggest opponents?
Based on practice is hard for us to say since we started in the beginning of January with no hours, every time we played we got wrecked. It's hard to say for us, but I think definitely SK must still be favorites to go far, they have still a good chemistry with felps, I think, they're just playing to play. That can be good and that can be bad.
Other than that, Astralis come in with new motivation, it's not a stand-in this time, so let's see if they can beat us in a best-of-three, because that has been the issue for them. There's many teams here, teams like Gambit always tend come in prepared for Majors, so I think we'll just have to see. It's very hard and we've already had three upsets the first three games with BIG, North, and VP losing. The 0-1 draw is going to be insanely hard, so I'm just glad I'm not down there yet.
You mentioned Astralis, the main story with them is that they've apparently switched device to a rifler. As someone who played alongside them, led them for a long time, what do you think about that?
Famously back then in Astralis with cajunb, we played three AWPers on three different maps, so device was always kind of a hybrid AWP, just like me and cajunb are. At that point we transformed him into an AWPer, which he was very good at, I think he wanted to go back to a lurking role, which I always thought device was good at, the way you can use him as an in-game leader.
The problem is, in Denmark you don't have those top AWPers who can take over the game like GuardiaN, kennyS, FalleN, so transforming device into that was a good idea. I guess it has something to do with device not wanting to AWP anymore and dupreeh is open to a new style. It can be kind of surprising, but we all know that AWPing for one or two events is the easy part, keeping it up for 10 events in a row and becoming one of the best is the hardest part, even if device achieved that, but keeping it up for more than one year, two years, is insanely hard. I've been there and tried it, it's very hard mentally.