The European squad got off to a slow start in their match against Heroic on Mirage, but they were able to come back from a 9-14 scoreline and pulled through in overtime, securing their first win in Sweden.
In our second interview from Stockholm, rain talked us through FaZe's point of view of their first match in a month and commented on the technical issues that occurred at the beginning of it, explaining how it affected the team throughout the encounter, among other topics.
This off-season has been different compared to previous ones considering the Major is coming up, how has that changed your approach to practice and your schedule in August?
We took a break straight after ELEAGUE when we lost and we said we were going to go back on August 19, and then on the 20th we went straight to Copenhagen where we had a one-week bootcamp with like 13-14 hours of playing a day. That's the preparation for these tournaments (laughs). And then after Stockholm, we're going to do another bootcamp.
Looking at your first match, you got off to a slow start against Heroic, can you talk me through it and how you managed to come back from a 9-14 deficit in the end?
At the start, when we lost the eco and they won the forcebuy, we got an entry in the next round and the server crashed. I think people were fighting too much about us wanting to play 5v4 instead of focusing on the next round we were going to play.
So we got a slow start and I think people had it in their minds a little bit that we should have won that round because we had an entry. We just tried to keep our heads cool, it was the first game of the tournament and of the season, so it was really stressed, but I think it's going to be better for the next games.
So was it just down to dealing with the stress of the first match in over a month?
Yeah. We were at the bootcamp and we had really good communication, we were calm, we made jokes and stuff, but right now, it was like 'gogogo! gogogo!', it was super stressed. I think people panicked a little bit.
How do you feel going into the rest of the tournament now that you've shrugged off that slow start after coming back from a long break?
I feel pretty good. Everyone has been playing a lot and worked really hard to try to win these two tournaments coming up and we feel really prepared, even though it might not have shown during this Heroic game, that was a little bit sloppy, but we're going to do better in the next games for sure.
This is your last chance to grab the Intel Grand Slam, what would winning here mean to you?
It would mean a lot. I've been wanting this since the first tournament when we won New York, I was like 'okay, this is our thing to win, we're going to do this.' So losing all those finals we lost put us down a little bit, but I think we're more motivated than ever to win this tournament.
This is your second event with olofmeister back - at ELEAGUE Premier it didn't work out, so what has changed for Stockholm now that you've got more time with him back in the roster?
During ELEAGUE, I think we were all a bit burnt out from the entire season. olof came in with fresh hunger and more motivation, but I think the rest of us were burnt out, there was a long season.
Me especially, I think I overplayed for the last two events, I've never played before tournaments as I did then and it didn't work out. Bringing olof back in is also good for the team, nobody can replace him.
Considering that there has been a long break, we don't really know who's in good form and who isn't, so perhaps basing it on practice, who do you feel are going to be the strongest teams here and your biggest opponents aside from Astralis?
The only team I can think of is Astralis, even in practice they're playing some really good Counter-Strike and they're really hard to play against. Maybe Na`Vi, as well, if they manage to step up a little bit. We know they can do better, so... either Na`Vi or Astralis, I think.