Examining broky’s road to FaZe

A virtually unknown player has joined CS:GO's superstar squad on trial. Who is Helvijs "⁠broky⁠" Saukants and what will he bring to FaZe?

If you are one of many who had no idea who broky was when the news came out, you shouldn't feel bad about it. Putting it straight, the 18-year-old Latvian simply isn't a big name in the scene. He has played just shy of 6,000 hours of CS:GO, attended just six small LAN events, and, as of the writing of this article, is followed on Twitter by merely 1,810 people. So how did he get the chance to trial for FaZe?

The youngster's addition to FaZe surprised many

broky's first recorded HLTV match was on October 20 of 2018, when he attended the BESL Pro Season 2 Finals with the Latvian team Wolsung, which he would end up winning while averaging a 1.14 rating. His path to that point is very "new-gen": broky made a name for himself through a PUG system instead of climbing the lower-tier local teams like was the norm in the old days. pro100's Mareks "⁠YEKINDAR⁠" Gaļinskis, broky's teammate at the time, remembers his breakout:

"I actually didn’t notice broky's growth in the local scene, it was so fast that I only heard rumors that there was an insane talent in Latvia and the next thing you know he is already in FPL competing against the best players in the world. That’s when other players and I were truly interested in him as a player, that’s why we called him to play the BESL league with Wolsung." - YEKINDAR

As an unproven player, he, of course, had a fair share of cheating accusations hurled his way and the tag of a LAN dodger, but after the BESL Pro S2 Finals and the following Baltic Esports League Finals — where he was the best player with a 1.62 rating —, all of that went away. He established himself as an AWPer in Wolsung with 56.52% of his kills being with the Big Green, despite roles mostly being up in the air in that team. "broky was really a level above us with the AWP, that’s why we asked him to play the usual AWP roles," YEKINDAR recalls, adding that broky is a very flexible player who can also lurk and play as a secondary AWP if needed.

That is more or less what broky's role became when he joined Epsilon in February of 2019 as the team were looking to restructure after the departures of Benjamin "⁠blameF⁠" Bremer, Aaron "⁠frei⁠" Frei, and Daniel "⁠djL⁠" Narancic. Teodor "⁠SPELLAN⁠" Nikolov, the squad's in-game leader, noticed broky while playing FPL and offered him a spot:

"At that time I played a lot of FPL and I was playing with broky almost every day. I like working with young players with potential and I saw that broky could become really really good if he gained some experience as he was already playing pretty well in FPL. I decided to ask him to join us and he accepted instantly." - SPELLAN

Epsilon at Charleroi Esports, where they beat G2

Despite his limited experience, broky fit into his role and "was doing pretty well from the very beginning in the team", SPELLAN recalls. He also noticed that the Latvian "felt really confident on the AWP as CT" despite having limited access to it as Joey "⁠CRUC1AL⁠" Steusel was the main sniper, while Nils "⁠k1to⁠" Gruhne and SPELLAN also liked to wield the weapon from time to time. In the mind of the Bulgarian caller, the only thing that broky needs to succeed is to gain experience and improve his mental game so he can avoid tilting in tough situations and "bring more positivity all the time, no matter what happens".

With Epsilon, broky peaked at 22nd in the world rankings on April 15th, shortly after the Charleroi Esports LAN, where his team finished 3rd-4th and beat G2 in a BO1 group stage match. Other than that, broky's notable results with Epsilon included winning ESEA MDL Season 30, a non-promotion season, and placing 5-6th at Copenhagen Games 2019 and Good Game League 2019.

The team started to taper off after k1to, one of the stars alongside CRUC1AL, was transferred to Sprout. Despite the roster being released by the Belgium-based organization in July, broky kept playing with the team until early September, when rumors about him joining FaZe started growing louder.

Even though the European squad managed some decent results during his tenure in the team, broky never caught the spotlight as he was a middle-of-the-pack player, rarely topping the scoreboard or having stellar performances, which reflects in his 1.08 rating over 2019 and a relatively low impact rating at 1.02.

Where broky really made a name for himself was in FPL, for which he qualified as early as July 2018. "He came to FPL quite 'silently', since at that time he was unknown to the professional and semi-professional scene, but we had big expectations looking at some stats he had shown during his qualification journey," remarked Miloš Nedeljkovic, one of the key people behind the FACEIT Pro League. broky has been very active in FPL, averaging 3.5 matches played per day; his high placings have also earned him just under $20,000, a significant chunk of change for a young player still trying to break out.

Unlike some other FPL talents, broky does not tend to rack up huge numbers of kills game after game, but he still stands out in the all-time FPL leaderboards, where he is placed second behind Mathieu "⁠ZywOo⁠" Herbaut, boasting a high number of games played and an impressive win rate.

"Over the months he became better and better, culminating in August 2019, when he had one of the most outstanding months we have ever seen from a player in the FPL — 69% win rate across 119 matches —, and that was also the month we had the highest number of professional players playing in the FPL." - Miloš Nedeljkovic

broky's excellent month in FPL couldn't have come at a better time. FaZe, whose experiments with veteran players such as Dauren "⁠AdreN⁠" Kystaubayev and Filip "⁠NEO⁠" Kubski had produced middling results at best, turned towards a young and, crucially, contract-free talent, and gave the Latvian a shot.

As a player from the Baltic region who broke out through FPL, broky has earned comparisons to Robin "⁠ropz⁠" Kool by many, including Nedeljkovic: "In terms of attitude and discipline on the server, according to many FPL players, he reminds a lot of ropz, taking FPL very seriously, playing slow and smart". However, their styles and skillsets in the game are very different. Don't expect broky to meticulously clear angles on a lurk and display pixel-perfect crosshair placement as the Estonian star usually does. broky is definitely capable of lurking, but lacks a layer of finesse and composure ropz has always had, even in his rookie year.

Glancing over broky's statistics raises questions about his skill levels and doesn't make him look like a convincing pick for a team of FaZe's caliber; a 1.08 rating across almost 200 maps, with most of the opposition coming from the third tier of European Counter-Strike, is not a sign of an up-and-coming star. broky does not have big carry performances that often — he has recorded just two 30-bombs in regulation this year, against Spirit (16-14) and AVEZ (16-13) —, and he doesn't stand out as a big clutcher or an entry player either, reflected in his low impact rating, 1.02.

broky is comfortable sitting back and giving space to his teammates

But FaZe doesn't need broky to be most of those things. What they need from him is a stable player who can fill in the gaps and not take up too much space, and that is exactly what he was good at in Epsilon. Playing anchor positions as CT such as B on Mirage or Ivy on Train, broky was content with jump peeking and jiggling without overextending, rarely going for risky plays even when he picked up the secondary AWP. On the offense, he alternated between passive lurks, such as B apartments on Mirage, and the second-entry role, such as following up on k1to while taking map control on Overpass. broky is a player that will allow Nikola "⁠NiKo⁠" Kovač and the rest to do what they want on the map and will be comfortable doing so.

While we won't be sure about how the AWPing will be handled in FaZe until we see them in action — as they now have four players proficient in using the gun —, according to rumours, the sniper was mostly used by broky and Olof "⁠olofmeister⁠" Kajbjer in practice. Even if broky becomes the main AWP of the team, the game surely won't be built around him, with a more Liquid-esque approach to the AWP to be expected from FaZe going forward.

If there is one thing broky will surely have to improve, that is his utility usage. Over the course of 2019, he has averaged merely 0.03 flash assists per round, with a 57% success rate per flash. As someone who is looking to facilitate the stars on his team, those numbers must go up. For the short term, he might be able to make up for that with his good pistol play, as he is averaging a remarkable 1.22 pistol round rating this year.

In our recent interview with NiKo, the Bosnian said he is convinced that broky will fit in well. His future will depend on how well he does this week in New York and in FaZe's upcoming outings in the ESL Pro League. Even though broky has been stable no matter the opponent he plays or the environment he is in, this will be a different beast. Playing your first Big Event alongside and against players you looked up to not long ago is immensely difficult, but he needs to step up to the task and deliver to earn the respect of his new teammates. If he can't, his fate will be no different from that of Jorgen "⁠cromen⁠" Robertsen, who was left behind despite helping the team to pick up some respectable results in 2018, including an ESL One title.

Poland Filip 'NEO' Kubski
Filip 'NEO' Kubski
Age:
33
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
1681
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.67
Latvia Helvijs 'broky' Saukants
Helvijs 'broky' Saukants
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.05
Maps played:
207
KPR:
0.69
DPR:
0.63
Estonia Robin 'ropz' Kool
Robin 'ropz' Kool
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
614
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.62
United Kingdom Aaron 'frei' Frei
Aaron 'frei' Frei
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.06
Maps played:
227
KPR:
0.72
DPR:
0.66
Germany Nils 'k1to' Gruhne
Nils 'k1to' Gruhne
Age:
22
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.02
Maps played:
555
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.70
Kazakhstan Dauren 'AdreN' Kystaubayev
Dauren 'AdreN' Kystaubayev
Age:
31
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.01
Maps played:
1392
KPR:
0.70
DPR:
0.68
Bulgaria Teodor 'SPELLAN' Nikolov
Teodor 'SPELLAN' Nikolov
Age:
23
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.00
Maps played:
878
KPR:
0.67
DPR:
0.66
Sweden Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Olof 'olofmeister' Kajbjer
Age:
29
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
1291
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.65
France Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Mathieu 'ZywOo' Herbaut
Age:
20
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.30
Maps played:
499
KPR:
0.88
DPR:
0.62
Latvia Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Mareks 'YEKINDAR' Gaļinskis
Age:
21
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.09
Maps played:
541
KPR:
0.76
DPR:
0.70
Netherlands Joey 'CRUC1AL' Steusel
Joey 'CRUC1AL' Steusel
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.08
Maps played:
673
KPR:
0.74
DPR:
0.66
Sweden Daniel 'djL' Narancic
Daniel 'djL' Narancic
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.86
Maps played:
626
KPR:
0.57
DPR:
0.66
Norway Jorgen 'cromen' Robertsen
Jorgen 'cromen' Robertsen
Age:
25
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.04
Maps played:
380
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.67
Bosnia and Herzegovina Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Nikola 'NiKo' Kovač
Age:
24
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
1096
KPR:
0.81
DPR:
0.67
Denmark Benjamin 'blameF' Bremer
Benjamin 'blameF' Bremer
Age:
23
Team:
No team
Rating 1.0:
1.17
Maps played:
316
KPR:
0.79
DPR:
0.63
#1
JaCkz | 
United States M1RBO
He is pro
2019-09-26 13:30
19 replies
no men he noob
2019-09-26 13:30
17 replies
#20
 | 
India _SHM_
-broky + S1mple or Oscar or Zywoo
2019-09-26 13:33
16 replies
oskar
2019-09-26 13:38
5 replies
YEKINDAR
2019-09-26 13:59
4 replies
#62
 | 
Myanmar xdcc
"as of the writing of this article, is followed on Twitter by merely 1,810 people. So how did he get the chance to trial for FaZe?" YEKINDAR only half of broky followers on twitter. Clearly not good enough for faze.
2019-09-26 14:00
1 reply
#83
 | 
Europe _EpiC_
he is so average is actually worrying
2019-09-26 14:21
EZ FOR Helvijs “broky” Saukants
2019-09-26 14:00
1 reply
0.5 rating for niko EZ
2019-09-27 01:46
#40
 | 
India _SHM_
they should get KennyS to make 2016 best team
2019-09-26 13:41
1 reply
#154
 | 
Brazil rod_gst
+1
2019-09-27 12:37
oksar xDDDDDDDD -oskar +markeloff
2019-09-26 13:45
1 reply
-markeloff +maikelele xD
2019-09-26 14:36
#80
hate | 
Bangladesh drvken
too easy with s1mple and zywoo
2019-09-26 14:18
#87
 | 
Czech Republic PlaSSma
oscar is mixwell... Our AWP god is named Tomáš "oskar" Šťastný
2019-09-26 14:24
1 reply
GuardiaN?
2019-09-26 20:22
last time i was watching oscar he was in worst form than he ever was
2019-09-26 15:43
S1mple or Zywoo. Hmm okey you’re right but he can improve himself for FaZe. We must give him a chance
2019-09-26 18:20
#158
 | 
China KennyszzZ
oksar is a joke
2019-09-28 04:10
Rip cromen
2019-09-26 19:21
#2
 | 
United States cyrus2121
nice
2019-09-26 13:30
#3
 | 
United Arab Emirates Akshati
Nice
2019-09-26 13:30
nice
2019-09-26 13:30
nice
2019-09-26 13:30
#11
 | 
Europe LoookATme
Won't work
2019-09-26 13:31
it wont work tbh idk what is faze doing with these 5th players on loans and as stand ins just sign some igl
2019-09-26 13:32
4 replies
Which one ? Which fucking one ? There are NO IGLs available. And don't even try to mention NBK or shox , they are as good of an IGL as NiKo is...
2019-09-26 13:58
3 replies
Aleksib, but they're not interested apparently
2019-09-26 14:06
2 replies
#102
 | 
Sweden ConaN007
Literally this..
2019-09-26 14:52
#156
 | 
South Africa C_9_4_LYF
+1
2019-09-27 15:28
Aleksib jois HAVU
2019-09-26 13:32
2 replies
Ez top10
2019-09-26 14:21
#135
 | 
Germany v0l1t
Name checks out
2019-09-26 17:13
#15
 | 
Greece NaviGuy
cool
2019-09-26 13:32
FaZeUP
2019-09-26 13:33
LOL
2019-09-26 13:33
#18
 | 
Hungary fasomlul
noob
2019-09-26 13:33
Reported for pointless thread
2019-09-26 13:33
#21
 | 
Slovakia itsab8
EZ 4 Helvijs "broky" Saukants
2019-09-26 13:33
GL Mens))))
2019-09-26 13:33
#25
NBK- | 
China Gnikiv
faze…superstar squad… rly? its 2019
2019-09-26 13:34
4 replies
stfu china
2019-09-26 19:33
3 replies
+1
2019-09-27 06:07
eat too much Kimchi and fan of niko 0 major sure you dumbass
2019-09-28 19:58
1 reply
china 0 major korea 0 major it's same lol why do you put yourself on the same line as major winner? LOL
2019-09-29 06:10
Very good article! Interesting to see the story of players that arent well known
2019-09-26 13:35
2 replies
+1
2019-09-26 14:55
+1
2019-09-27 19:25
good read
2019-09-26 13:38
#31
 | 
Chile nachooww
gl boe
2019-09-26 13:38
#35
 | 
Norway PeteZz
Tbf. If he’s decent, and crucially, obedient, he might be of use. Say what you want about 2019, but the four others are star player who have won a lot, and have massive amounts of experience. Skillwise niko and cold are wild, while rain will be more role players, but both with solid fire power. Broky fellah will just need to learn to support well. Hold bomb sites and fuck up as little as possible. I am sure he has decent skill as well.
2019-09-26 13:39
#38
 | 
Sweden Trkmag
Will be very interesting to see how he does, if he does bad they should pick a competent IGL
2019-09-26 13:41
2 replies
i'd like to see them get NBK honestly, think he'd be a good fit
2019-09-26 13:54
1 reply
#67
 | 
Sweden Trkmag
Not on the same path, I'm not too fond of his IGL'ing, so and so individually as well, best quality is his supportive element I guess but I rather get an IGL that's really good at calling
2019-09-26 14:05
#44
 | 
Norway k3ron
GL to Helvijs!
2019-09-26 13:46
#45
 | 
Canada roylin
Unexpected
2019-09-26 13:46
gl mens hope you get most fantasy points, if she more than faze playrs can commend
2019-09-26 13:47
GOD
2019-09-26 13:48
#48
 | 
Latvia latvianguy
I hope he will stay, but he probably won't.
2019-09-26 13:48
ez
2019-09-26 13:50
Merely 1800 followers on Twitter. K
2019-09-26 13:50
4 replies
what has fucking twitter followers to do with anything ?! rofl
2019-09-26 13:56
3 replies
That's what I'm saying HLTV putting in random ass facts.
2019-09-26 14:16
2 replies
I would expect it to be pretty obvious but the number of Twitter followers was used in combination with other facts in the first paragraph to describe that broky is a very unknown player to the majority of people that watch CS. In comparison, someone like ZywOo or ropz who came from FPL had a decent following even before joining their first pro team. broky is not like them Thanks for coming to my TED talk
2019-09-26 15:13
1 reply
It was obvious. They are either baiting or stupid.
2019-09-26 15:34
#52
 | 
Brazil danluchesi
Well, looks like Coldzera found his bait....
2019-09-26 13:52
2 replies
He's cast his line
2019-09-26 14:08
÷1
2019-09-26 15:47
#54
 | 
Thailand hahahoha
i like his nick. has a masculine feel to it
2019-09-26 13:55
top 2 in 2020 just right behind rain
2019-09-26 13:58
Coldzera's bait spotted Btw did they kick GuardiaN? Or GuardiaN left ?
2019-09-26 14:02
2 replies
Guardian VAC banned
2019-09-26 14:08
kicked to open money for cold.
2019-09-26 14:18
Where cromen ??????
2019-09-26 14:08
NT
2019-09-26 14:10
Aimhaus
2019-09-26 14:12
IMO mistake to put him in such huge event like esl ny. Its just too much pressure for someone who never played on a big stage like that. We know how toxic coldzera and niko can be towards their team mates. coldzera once even tweeted about showtime, and he was just a stand-in. Saying that he didnt know the basic aspects of CS:GO... But shoowtime is super shitty player.
2019-09-26 14:17
1 reply
This comment hasn't aged well. He top fragged 21-17 omegalul
2019-09-26 22:12
Gl
2019-09-26 14:18
#77
 | 
Lithuania KingOfPing
wish him luck and hope show some magic :D
2019-09-26 14:18
Good luck, broky
2019-09-26 14:18
i give him 2 months
2019-09-26 14:19
new coldzera bait teammate
2019-09-26 14:19
He is bringing latvians from their caves on hltv
2019-09-26 14:23
1 reply
Actually true
2019-09-26 16:05
Easy for brokenz
2019-09-26 14:25
In essence: there is too much talent at the Faze so we take the first silver available.
2019-09-26 14:28
2 replies
#113
 | 
Malaysia Suno[t]
LMAO
2019-09-26 15:45
#155
 | 
United Kingdom HeeliumZ
I don't think so. Checking the game yesterday against EG, he was top fragger in Nuke as well as he clutched some rounds for the team. Playing in pro league first time ever and being top fragger makes him at least better than you ;) In Essence: Let's leave a comment trash-talking cos my life sucks anyway :D
2019-09-27 13:47
Gl youngster
2019-09-26 14:29
1 vs 9
2019-09-26 14:31
#92
ZywOo | 
India atiz
Oskar was a better option
2019-09-26 14:34
it's time for young talent. old men retire young G's invade CS:GO scene!
2019-09-26 14:34
#95
 | 
Brazil bandicoot
gl luck man, hope you make it
2019-09-26 14:38
he might not do much in the tournament but he is set up for being legit in 1-2 years
2019-09-26 14:40
great... another cheater
2019-09-26 14:41
nice upgrade
2019-09-26 15:00
noobky
2019-09-26 15:01
3 replies
Name me a csgo pro player from luxembourg Go
2019-09-26 15:56
2 replies
LMAO LATVIA MAD
2019-09-26 16:07
1 reply
ok so no pro players from luxembourg got it
2019-09-26 16:28
Damn... That winrate... Nice
2019-09-26 15:03
#107
 | 
France kyojiNs
Very much pressure on his shoulders, do not except him to be amazing at esl one ny, he will need some time obviously.
2019-09-26 15:06
is he close enough to Guardian?
2019-09-26 15:28
7 replies
no, he is better
2019-09-26 15:51
6 replies
xaaaxax u drunk?
2019-09-26 16:30
5 replies
u will see soon
2019-09-26 16:40
4 replies
xaaxaxax see what?
2019-09-26 16:42
3 replies
that he is better than guardian
2019-09-26 17:56
2 replies
xaaxax u drunk
2019-09-26 18:06
1 reply
noo, just ate some LSD and now i am seeing the future
2019-09-26 18:07
Again 2 month delay..
2019-09-26 15:35
Let's make Latvia csgo great again (out of the cave)
2019-09-26 15:51
good luck brother
2019-09-26 15:51
Why not just cromen? He was much better for FaZe than adren and neo..
2019-09-26 15:57
1 reply
Both rain and cromen have similar role (entry).
2019-09-26 16:56
18 yo in FaZe PogU
2019-09-26 16:13
good luck to him
2019-09-26 16:18
interesting artocle
2019-09-26 16:19
Good luck to him and let's see how this new line-up will work
2019-09-26 16:28
#128
 | 
Hungary Shiron212
What a story I hope he's going to fit in FaZe nicely
2019-09-26 16:31
#130
 | 
Latvia stenlijs
brokij ludzu izpis visus sitos dumjos cilvekus, kuri netic tev un dievam. veiksmi un amen
2019-09-26 16:41
3 replies
#134
 | 
Sweden sounDyGOD
brokij ludzu izpis visus sitos dumjos cilvekus, kuri netic tev un dievam. veiksmi un amen
2019-09-26 16:56
+1
2019-09-26 20:24
:DD
2019-10-01 14:17
broky LUL
2019-09-26 16:45
soon examining -broky
2019-09-26 19:00
OMEGALUL
2019-09-26 19:58
#145
 | 
Germany tmgg!
broky beast
2019-09-26 20:19
#148
 | 
Latvia tibr0
GOAT
2019-09-26 20:46
GL boiii.
2019-09-27 08:43
#159
 | 
Kazakhstan k4harman
broky is awper, guys?
2019-09-28 08:10
1 reply
yes he can
2019-09-28 11:55
broky God 💙
2019-09-28 19:55
He is good. He deserves better than this tier 100 team #SaveBroky
2019-10-01 03:40
#167
 | 
Russia ArtyoMM
good text, thanks for insight.
2019-10-01 14:23
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