karrigan on returning to FaZe: "It was all about where I could achieve the goals for my career"
The Danish captain explained why he joined FaZe for the second time in his career, what he has figured out in terms of roles so far, and his goals for 2021 in the latest episode of 'HLTV Confirmed'.
Finn "karrigan" Andersen returned to FaZe last month, bringing an end to a nearly two-year-long tenure with MOUZ. His arrival provided a much-needed fresh start for FaZe, who had lacked a dedicated in-game leader since his departure from the international team, in December 2018.
The 30-year-old appeared on Monday as a guest on the 'HLTV Confirmed' podcast and explained why he left MOUZ and gave FaZe another shot.
"There were some issues in mousesports," karrigan admitted. "I would say that since COVID-19 started, there were a lot of issues with the woxic situation, we had to bench him in the summer after we flopped in ESL One Cologne. It was a very unstable period back then, and we also lost Rejin. I felt like I was left in a situation where I had to handle everything myself, and it was kind of tough for me.
"Honestly, I felt really burned out like never before. This is also why I had to take a vacation, even though I didn't want to. I just had to get away and think about my future. My contract was running out. We got some good players, Bymas is a really good player, but he wasn't the player we needed at that moment, we needed an AWPer."
karrigan became the team's main AWPer for a while following Özgür "woxic" Eker's departure, before handing the role to Chris "chrisJ" de Jong. He believes that the team had some decent results, especially considering that they played without a coach for over two months after Allan "Rejin" Petersen was suspended by the organisation when it was revealed that he had used the spectator bug during his time with Tricked.
"Coming into January, it was really tough to decide if I wanted to stay with mousesports or not," he said. "Also, mouz is not an organisation that will go out and buy a super expensive player if that is needed for the team to be the No.1 [in the world]. They are known for getting young players and trying to make them perform at a high level. Obviously, ropz is a wonderful story of how that worked out, he became the best player in the world in my opinion, as a rifler.
"I had other offers, but they didn't sound as interesting as staying in mouz or joining FaZe. In the end, I chose experience over young players. I don't know if I could reach the goals with the young guys in mousesports. FaZe is an organisation that I trust. I enjoyed my time back then with the people around the organisation. I felt that the players in the lineup needed a big voice to come back to the top.
"Knowing that they were so hungry for an in-game leader made my choice easier than if I had to replace another in-game leader. I considered the move for a month, but in the end, it wasn't about the money or the brand. It was all about where I could achieve the goals for my career. I felt it would be hard to achieve with mousesports what I accomplished with FaZe before if the new lineup we had at the beginning of the year didn't work out."
The rumors of karrigan's return to FaZe began to swirl in November, two months before the North American organisation completed the high-profile signing of Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken from Liquid. With approximately two weeks of work, the Danish tactician said that he's still trying to find the best way to make full use of his players.
"I think we have two roles: coldzera as the hardcore lurker and the secondary caller, I think that is an obvious choice, and we have broky as the main AWPer," karrigan explained. "But what I'm trying to experiment with now is putting rain out of his comfort zone and not only hardcore entry-fragging, so it gives freedom to Twistzz to be an entry-fragger in some rounds.
"In mousesports, I was a very aggressive rifler, and now I have to find my balance in FaZe, so the other guys have the freedom to be aggressive as well. I have to figure out when exactly I'm going to use Twistzz as the entry-fragger and when I'm going to use rain."
Moving forward, FaZe will be hiring a psychologist, as revealed by Marcelo "coldzera" David on the 'Flow Podcast' in December, as well as an analyst. karrigan is happy that the North American organisation is allocating more resources to the team than it did during his first spell between 2016 and 2018.
"I want a team around the players and that means one sports psychologist," he said. "It's not like we're going to have one tomorrow, but we are going to get one who fits the team. And we're also getting an analyst. In my first time with FaZe, I did everything myself. We want to have three guys analyzing the game, helping each other out, and giving different views. This is what has to be done during the Spring so I can focus on myself and the team."
karrigan hopes that the team will be able to bootcamp soon, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans will have to be put on the backburner for now. Given how new everything is right now, FaZe haven't set clear goals for 2021 just yet.
"It's something we will do very shortly, but my goal is to be ready for the Major in November and I think everything before that is just part of the learning curve," he noted. "I don't want us to peak in the next tournament and suddenly become the best team in the world or whatever. Obviously, I want to be top four at the Major, it's at least where I want us to be in six months. When we talk in a year, obviously the goal is to be the number one."
You can access the full VOD of Monday's episode of 'HLTV Confirmed' below.