The semi-final exit in Dallas leaves FaZe with just three more chances to pick up the $1 million Intel Grand Slam prize, after winning ESL One New York 2017 and this year's IEM Sydney event.
Read on as karrigan discusses the team's heavy defeat to Astralis, the reasons for Danish team's recent success, FaZe's plans for the future and the situation of Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer, who is currently on a break.
We should jump straight into the semi-final against Astralis. It was just a spanking, not sure what else to call it, tell me about your point of view of that match.
I think we got off to a pretty okay start, we won the first two gun rounds on the T side on Mirage and, suddenly, we came out of our comfort zone. Astralis are good at trying to put you outside of your comfort zone, they really succeeded at that at the beginning, and there was this round where we saved a CZ without armor, I was the one guy doing it, and we saved a CZ armor and two weapons.
I think that was the turning point of the half, where Astralis felt like they shook us out of our comfort zone. Other than that, they just played way better than we did on the day. Not much to say, I think we have to learn from the mistakes. It's just one of those days where nothing worked for us and everything went their way.
What's your overall opinion of Astralis and how they've been playing lately, given how dominant they have been, barring the IEM Sydney final, of course...? Why are they so ahead of everyone else at the moment?
Obviously, they play the best CS right now and the best that I've seen in the last year, at least. I think other teams are dropping off as well, so it's a mix of Astralis really improving well and other teams falling off, like us losing olof and trying to get back into form with Xizt. I think that is the main thing people have to look at why Astralis are playing very well.
Besides that, I think they have a very good tactical approach, it really works for them, they're really confident in their roles and everything just seems to fit them very well. What everyone knows is that it's hard to keep it up once people find out how they play.
Another thing is, Dust2 came in in the perfect scenario, they didn't play so much Cobble and suddenly they get a seven-map pool while they're on the rise towards being the best team in the world. All in all, it's three things: Dust2 coming in, teams dropping off, and Astralis playing individually very, very good CS right now as well.
Speaking of Dust2, you have been actively avoiding it, banning it against anyone aside from Cloud9, who did it for you at this event. Why don't you play it yet? Have you not had the time to practice it?
Obviously, we've been in Sydney and here, so we have had time to practice it and play it, but we feel comfortable on our other six maps right now, so there's no reason for us to pick it, I would say. Often if you go to a third map and you don't feel like an underdog, you don't want to play Dust2 if you don't feel like you have the upper hand.
We did it against Grayhound because their Nuke seemed to be okay and we'd rather play Dust2 than Nuke as the third map if they wanted to risk it. That's the only time we played Dust2 because it made sense in the veto. Other than that, I think we have to go home now, we have more time to practice and prepare for the next upcoming tournament, and then we have to see.
Now we've got about two to three months before the Major starts looming, what will your goals be in that time with Xizt?
Right now, we're just focused on trying to win the Grand Slam. I think we have two out of three chances to win it, Belo Horizonte is the event we have to win if we want to have a chance, so that is one thing on our horizon right now because that's even before the Major.
We want to try to get that and try to create a big result for us, that's been our goal since day one when we won New York. Other than that, we have time to figure out how we want to play. Like we said, time is strained in how long we're going to play with Xizt and people have to wait, maybe it's coming soon, maybe it's going to be one or two months that olof is coming back.
So, you really still don't know for sure when olof will be coming back?
We have way more news now. Hopefully, we can soon reveal what's going to happen and give a timeline to the fans. We just have to wait and see, whenever he's ready, we're ready to take him back into the lineup. Xizt has been playing well and it was very good that we won a tournament with him, 2018 has been really good for us.