rain: "We're finally getting our confidence back after a rough start to the season"

Håvard "⁠rain⁠" Nygaard gave HLTV.org an interview ahead of his team's match against Liquid in the IEM Chicago semi-finals.

FaZe found their groove in Chicago, where they went on a three-match win streak against LDLC, MIBR, and Astralis, to secure a semi-final spot at the IEM event. Now, they are set to face the local team, Liquid, for a spot in the grand final.

FaZe have had a good showing at IEM Chicago so far, topping their group ahead of the semis

Some of the topics touched upon by rain in the interview include learning how to read Astralis, the dynamic between Nikola "⁠NiKo⁠" Kovač and Finn "⁠karrigan⁠" Andersen when it comes to preparing matches and calling, and the atmosphere in the team after a good result at EPICENTER and a good start at IEM Chicago.

You won all of your matches and are straight through to semis, how is that sitting with the team?

It's really good, we're finally getting our confidence back after a rough start to the season, and with everything else going on... but yeah, our confidence is slowly coming back.

I'm sure a lot of it has to do with the EPICENTER win. As you said you had a rough start to the season, did you think you'd be able to turn it around winning in Moscow and going straight to semis here?

Yeah, of course, despite the letdown at BLAST, where we went out in groups... although when we lose at BLAST it doesn't feel the same as losing at another tournament because the format is so weird and you have those useless matches at the end, but coming out of EPICENTER we knew we had our confidence back, and we knew we could play. Astralis wasn't there, though, so we had to beat the big boss before we can say anything and now we beat
them, so it feels good.

As you said, Astralis weren't at EPICENTER, but you got to play them here. Did you think you'd be able to 2-0 them?

Yeah, I think we're starting to understand their game a little bit better than we used to. Every time we played them before we'd get hit with 200 grenade damage every round, and I feel like now we're starting to understand how they play, we're learning and developing.

Tell me a bit about how the calling is working now. Is it all NiKo or is it a shared thing? What's the dynamic?

NiKo prepares the matches, he says what we're going to do at the start of the rounds, and then if he runs out of ideas or gets a bit lost karrigan jumps in to help out. He also helps NiKo a lot with the mid-round calls, so it's a good combination for now.

There have been some rumors and whispers about karrigan's future, even perhaps this being his last event. Is there anything set in stone or can anything happen?

There's nothing set in stone. We told karrigan we're going to try this out, that he's going to be our support and NiKo is going to try and call. We haven't said anything about last events or anything like that. A newspaper in Denmark twisted his words and it came out as if BLAST could have been his last event with the team, but nothing is actually set in stone. We haven't even sat down to discuss anything, so...

Now that you're in a good spot to win another event, and having won EPICENTER not too long ago, are you confident you can take it all the way?

Yeah, of course, I definitely see us going all the way here in Chicago, but I don't know... I think Astralis have something up their sleeve that they didn't pull out during our match, and I think they'll play a little bit differently if we play them later on. Also, Liquid is still in it and they're always a tough opponent. We'll see how it goes, but we do at least feel confident.

You're going up against Liquid in the semis, too.

It could be a good or bad match-up against Liquid, on some days we can cut right through them like no other, and sometimes they can do it to us, so I feel like them and a team like mousesports are pretty evenly matched up against us, although we just beat Liquid at EPICENTER.

You had the rough beginning of the season, and you're turning it around now. Have there been any other changes than the NiKo/karrigan role swap that have helped?

We haven't really changed much, that's really the only big change. Of course, NiKo calls a bit differently and does some different stuff, but other than that our practice is the same and everything else is basically the same, so really it's just the IGL change.

Right when NiKo took over the IGL role, he said he was hoping to get some help from RobbaN. Has the way he works changed at all with NiKo being IGL now, as opposed to how it may have worked with karrigan?

Yeah, I think NiKo and RobbaN are working together. I know NiKo wants to do a lot of VOD watching himself, and he writes all of the stuff down. I do think they're working together, though, but you know... I usually just sit in the background playing deathmatch (laughs). So yeah, it's up them to figure out the matches.

Norway Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
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:
2018-11-10 21:21
rain > ferBOT
2018-11-10 21:21
fnx | 
Sweden Blueface
don't lie
2018-11-10 21:21
Ya YeeT
2018-11-10 21:57
Turkey Slapdash
Idk why but it laughed to this
2018-11-10 22:14
2018-11-11 19:57
Fer "like"
2018-11-10 21:22
2018-11-10 21:29
+1 but fer is not a bot
2018-11-10 21:33
Poland Unluko
2018-11-10 21:21
Agreement RainMONSTA
2018-11-12 13:14
2018-11-10 21:21
2018-11-10 21:21
2018-11-10 21:21
Latvia Ricix
rain pretty good
2018-11-10 21:21
India a_n_a_n_d
ezzy for faze
2018-11-10 21:22
2018-11-10 21:24
Noice, Karrigan stays, knew it.
2018-11-10 21:24
Finland coswell
Gl against liquid :)
2018-11-10 21:25
A newspaper in Denmark twisted his words and it came out as if BLAST could have been his last event with the team, but nothing is actually set in stone. oh dont be such a pussy :) iem will end bad for u guys, u drop karrigan and case closed.
2018-11-10 21:26
United Kingdom sy3d
nias jinx raterd
2018-11-10 21:31
2018-11-10 21:46
United Kingdom sy3d
nice jinx retard, now it wont happen
2018-11-10 21:47
It happened
2018-11-11 04:25
United Kingdom sy3d
thank god
2018-11-11 23:13
I always tell the truth :) #liquidrektbots
2018-11-11 12:27
2018-11-10 21:34
U were saying? :)
2018-11-11 12:28
they've already secured a 3-4th finish at worst, not even that bad of an event if they lose against Liquid, which they probably won't
2018-11-10 22:45
Everything except #1 is a loss in their eye since they got most at stake :) most expensive lineup + shitty recent results....aka win or gtfo
2018-11-10 22:47
lmao you retard, orgs like FaZe make like 1% of their profit from winning tournaments. they don't have to win shit, as long as they make good runs and play entertaining CS they'll still sell merch. you seriously think FaZe will kick guys like NiKo, olofmeister and GuardiaN for not winning this tourney? hahahaha I almost feel sorry for you if you seriously believe that
2018-11-11 00:13
that's like basic knowledge when it comes to sports or esports xddd
2018-11-11 00:33
NiKo | 
India Sishir
Absolutely +1 At least someone is smart here
2018-11-11 09:00
Liquid Just boned faze. Bye karribot :)
2018-11-11 11:41
NiKo | 
Europe DRM7MD
rainy boy
2018-11-10 21:27
rain | 
United Kingdom EKersh
2018-11-10 21:28
Norway ludvik33
like what I see
2018-11-10 21:28
getting confidence back by eliminate against liquid on semis ?
2018-11-10 21:28
Switzerland rigoN
2018-11-10 21:31
X doubt
2018-11-10 21:37
2018-11-10 21:39
United Kingdom winter1337
really good to know
2018-11-10 21:41
Belgium KileaN
2018-11-10 21:58
Turkey Slapdash
Kul Not even nt
2018-11-10 22:15
Belgium KileaN
What's kul?
2018-11-10 22:32
Turkey Slapdash
2018-11-10 22:38
Norway HoDoe
kul means cool in Norwegian, so its cool
2018-11-10 23:27
kul comment dude
2018-11-11 00:35
The real #1
2018-11-10 22:11
Norway HoDoe
2018-11-10 23:27
+1, non-biased statement
2018-11-11 00:35
Hawad Naidaad
2018-11-10 23:07
inb4 losing to Liquid.
2018-11-10 23:40
Indonesia segopecel
2018-11-10 23:55
good news Nygaa rd
2018-11-11 00:00
"Yeah, I think NiKo and RobbaN are working together" LUL
2018-11-11 01:29
1-16 xDDD
2018-11-11 03:59
JD | 
Poland tutatek
Yea, we can see that XDDDDDDD
2018-11-11 04:00
2018-11-11 04:23
United States SilveryoHD
2018-11-11 04:24
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA "confidence back" aka, niko is carrying
2018-11-11 04:26
2018-11-11 04:26
rip confidence rough start, rough end (._.')
2018-11-11 04:29
2018-11-11 04:29
Bosnia and Herzegovina @NiKo
Not today.
2018-11-11 05:27
AJP | 
Colombia ^pip
this aged badly
2018-11-11 05:35
Indonesia Exodd
Just like last time when they lost right after karrigan said they needed consistency... Pro tip: don’t flex before you win the tournament
2018-11-11 07:15
RIP [*]
2018-11-11 07:19
Russia og_loc
very nice person
2018-11-11 07:23
India a_n_a_n_d
It's time faze step up and buy simple....
2018-11-11 07:49
Aaaaaaaaand it's gone
2018-11-11 08:30
He said "starting to" though, not that it was there yet to be exact. ;)
2018-11-11 08:33
Cool story bro.
2018-11-11 11:40
2018-11-11 11:50
Sweden Gh0st89
Karrigan can't leave Faze Clan!! This roster is the best if they can play like they did before!!!! FAZE UP!!!!
2018-11-11 15:08
Rain you getting closer to kick +cromen -rain
2018-11-11 22:26
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