ropz: "We are proving that Katowice was not just a fluke run"

After making his second grand final in a row, Robin "⁠ropz⁠" Kool took a moment to give HLTV an in-depth interview.

FaZe have made a blistering start to the year, cruising through their BLAST Premier Spring group, winning IEM Katowice with a stand-in and now making their second grand final in a row.

After their semi-final triumph over FURIA, ropz sat down with HLTV to talk in-depth about the game, why he spends time finding his signature smokes, and where FaZe rank in the hierarchy right now.

ropz led the way in a close battle with FURIA

Congratulations! How does it feel to be in the grand final?

I think it feels even more satisfying now that we got to a final with the actual lineup, all credit to jks still, but we are proving that Katowice was not just a fluke run. We can start consistently tearing stuff up, bringing down top teams, and we are ready to get revenge on ENCE for sure.

Let’s talk about the game – FURIA put up a great CT side on Inferno, getting 10 rounds, why do you think you struggled to break it?

Well on Inferno we lost both pistol rounds first of all. I think we couldn’t really get our banana control properly, and then we lost some early duels and we were consistently in disadvantaged situations.

The FURIA style on Inferno is annoying for us to play against; they are really good at threading the needle on every part of the map and getting gimmick picks, entry frags, all over the map every round. It’s hard to play against if you play a team like FURIA who are so good at it, and I think that was also the issue in the group stage on Inferno, but this time we managed to come back on CT.

Before you did stage that comeback, they won the pistol and got to 13 rounds; is there any part of you that thinks “this is probably over” at that point?

Not really, it’s just the pistol round still, it is obviously very likely that the match is going to go their way, but we’re still professionals and we always play the percentage game. We kept our heads in the game and I think that’s what won us the game in the end, the mentality of the team coming back on both maps. I think it was 13-5, so it was very satisfying to win that match and shut FURIA down.

Moving on to talk about Mirage, you had a strong start getting out to a 6-2 lead, but they grew into the half – how do you think they were able to rescue their T side?

We got off to a very good start indeed, I feel like we had good reads all the time, some of the rounds we just got a bit unlucky I would say. I think we had info almost every round and we had a good estimation of where they would go, but I guess the rounds fell apart because we lost some duels.

Overall I think our CT side was very strong today, even if we lost a 7-8 half, it maybe should have been more rounds for us still.

ropz feels the team is ready to start "tearing stuff up"

The start of the second half was a bit wild, you lost the pistol but won a full eco – could you talk to me through that, it seemed like you had a good plan, going mid together?

We actually didn’t have a plan (smiles). The round started out, we called the full eco, I had enough money to buy a deagle, so I said ‘okay guys, I’m buying a single deagle’ (laughs).

At the start I just wanted to rush mid, but they countered a bit flashing over from A and they got mid control. Mid-round we just got out mid from underground and top mid, and they gave us the picks; I think it was more their mistake probably, but we got the picks, got the trades and then closed it out.

It must be so frustrating to then lost the following round?

The next round was kind of special, in the sense that we did mid control and I was the one going first, so we tried to play off our own tendencies; I kill one or I might die, and they will call that I am the A lurk, and our guys on A might find a gap. I actually got into a really powerful position in window, but I just failed on a guy and lost my duel.

I think it was just a very chaotic round after I died, we definitely had chances to win that round (laughs) but we just lost our duels, and we didn’t react properly. By the time we did, it was already too late.

Is it maybe tough also to get involved in those kind of rounds with FURIA, a team that seems to play for that kind of chaos?

Yeah they definitely thrive off of the chaotic playstyle, and they get a lot of energy if they win a round like this. I think it’s just the FURIA style, that I guess is annoying for us to play against sometimes.

It seemed once you got over the economic damage of losing that round, you were never going to lose – you won 11 of the last 14 rounds to close it – how did it feel in the game?

Towards the end, it definitely felt like we were going to close it out, but when we started out we took it round by round. I think it’s a lot of credit to karrigan, all of us trust him a lot with his calls so I think that’s the most important factor in coming back; we really trust each other as teammates.

When it was 13-13 towards the end, we felt like ‘okay we are going to win this, we are just rolling over them by now and karrigan is on fire with his calls’. We just really didn’t see how we could lose.

I just want to take a step back and ask a few questions about you as a player; coming into a team like FaZe with more firepower than your previous teams, did you have to adjust your style at all?

I didn’t have to change much, comparing my game to MOUZ specifically, the roles are basically one-to-one and there’s not much change. I think it’s more of a mentality change, that I don’t have to go for so many hero plays and I just need to let my teammates get the hang of it sometimes.

I think in the lurk role it definitely depends on if your team gets to a site or an opening, it’s all about the mid round, so if we lose the mid round then my efforts are kind of worthless. Definitely having a team like FaZe and the players we have helps my game, because we can get more mid rounds and put me in better situations, and we just close out the rounds more often.

Another aspect of you as a player I am intrigued by is all of the crazy smokes that you seem to find; is this something you do for the competitive edge, or because you are just so interested by the game?

Definitely both.

The first smoke I found on Dust2, which is the fast xbox smoke, I actually found quite randomly. I was testing some stuff on Dust2 and I noticed a decoy got stuck in xbox (smiles), so I figured out a way we could throw it from T spawn and it pops extremely fast; I would say it’s a bit of a meta-changing smoke.

I’m still interested in how far you can push the limits in CS:GO, I’m always very keen on that and it’s extremely exciting to find new stuff even after all these years that people have played the game. You’ve played Mirage for 10 years, and I still run around the map like 20 times and try to find something new in some corner or something like that. Yeah, definitely both.

ropz thinks you could consider FaZe the best team in the world

You’ve done some secondary AWPing throughout your career, and have continued that trend on FaZe. Is this because you enjoy it, or because the team needs it?

I think both again.

In MOUZ, that was the time where the team needed it, but it’s evolved into I also enjoy it, and we’ve kind of just kept it that way and it’s worked for us. Back in MOUZ chrisJ was doing the secondary AWPing and I was playing bombsites with him, so I had a good way to learn from him, and coming into FaZe I just kept the role.

It’s working out so far, obviously if it doesn’t work out then we always have a guy like karrigan or Twistzz who can pick it up. Maybe not rain (laughs) because he’s obviously not known for having it.

Looking forward to the grand final against ENCE, what are your thoughts?

I guess ENCE will be the final boss so to say of this tournament (laughs). We actually played our first match against them and now we play the final match against then, so that’s quite a funny storyline, but we all want revenge for the group stage match and it would be sweet.

It’s going to be a best-of-five so it’s going to be a long one, I don’t think ENCE have really been tested in best-of-fives…

I think they played one at IEM Fall, but certainly not much experience.

I think best-of-five is definitely going in our favour because in general we play all maps extremely well, besides Vertigo; we’ve basically beaten all the top teams on all of the maps. I think that fact will give us an advantage, and we’re going to be extremely hyped to take them down, we’re really bitter from that loss in the group stage.

We also want to prove that we can win with our full lineup with rain!

Just one last question! You have now beaten NAVI, made back-to-back grand finals, and may make it two tournament wins in a row; are you potentially the best team in the world right now?

I think it’s…. yeah. I would say you could call us the best team in the world, I actually personally have never been on the number one spot in HLTV, after this tournament we will see what happens. I think I was close two times in MOUZ, second two times, so I don’t want to make it three times in FaZe (laughs), so hopefully we claim that spot.

We had a very tough bracket coming into the playoffs, we beat NAVI, and I definitely think we are at least worthy of claiming it.

Estonia Robin 'ropz' Kool
Robin 'ropz' Kool
Rating 1.0:
Maps played:
ok ropz
2022-04-09 23:33
2022-04-09 23:33
2022-04-09 23:33
2022-04-09 23:33
Portugal Leandro7777
why so ez for Faze ?
2022-04-09 23:34
9 replies
North America BoDaddy
Still a honeymoon…
2022-04-10 02:59
8 replies
classic karrigan, win tournaments in honeymoon phase and then do nothing for a year
2022-04-10 04:24
1 reply
Just keep the revolving door going for infinite trophies. WeSmart
2022-04-10 04:39
This is the best Faze roster though
2022-04-10 11:39
5 replies
sorry but... no.
2022-04-10 17:19
4 replies
With broky current form it certainly is
2022-04-10 17:24
3 replies
prime NiKo prime GuardiaN karrigan more consistent rain just leaving prime olof I don’t think so.
2022-04-11 07:18
2 replies
I don't think Niko was better then than now to be completely honest. Olof was far behind his prime, Rain can now just be a supporting element to Twistzz, ropz and Broky all in the form of their lives. Besides that the teams seems more cohesive now than what it was.
2022-04-11 11:28
1 reply
Olof was not terrible the first year of the team and they were very dominant for the entire year. obv if faze keep this up then we can say this lineup is better imo
2022-04-11 12:09
2022-04-09 23:34
one of the nicest guys in pro scene, go robin kool go!!!! I hope he gets big trophies
2022-04-09 23:35
1 reply
2022-04-10 13:06
United States Jxcek
Tomorrow is gonna be an amazing game for both teams.
2022-04-09 23:35
ok Robin, gl in the finals !
2022-04-09 23:35
The fact FaZe might win EPL with a stand in is crazy
2022-04-09 23:35
2 replies
was confused til i read your name
2022-04-10 00:07
2022-04-10 11:34
France marponche
It was a fluke since you'll lose to ENCE tomorrow.
2022-04-09 23:36
1 reply
United States Phanji
nah faze taking revenge tomorrow
2022-04-09 23:39
jks is sadge
2022-04-09 23:38
Great jinx, thanks ropz
2022-04-09 23:44
rain AWP Pog
2022-04-09 23:50
8 replies
Literally every pro says rain is the one person that should never AWP, and that just makes me wanna see it even more. Rain > device
2022-04-09 23:53
7 replies
Saw him awp in retakes, actually not that bad or lucky shot.
2022-04-10 00:14
Italy Skye620
Pretty sure rain only has like 2 or 3 kills in his entire pro career with the awp hahaha
2022-04-10 05:07
4 replies
rain | 
Libya Planum
Actually has over 100 which is still comically low for the amount of time he's played professionally
2022-04-10 12:12
3 replies
Italy Skye620
I've literally never seen one haha.. think I've only ever seen him hold the awp a handful of times. Does he just understand he's bad with it or does he just not like using it?
2022-04-10 12:56
2 replies
He knows, in interview with betway he said he is worst Awp player in pro scene and no one should ever drop this gun to him
2022-04-10 13:45
rain | 
Libya Planum
I think in the 4 years I've watched faze I've only seen a handful of awp kills from him lol
2022-04-10 16:46
Rain even said himself in an interview with betway when asked who is the worst awp in the scene: myself :-)
2022-04-10 13:44
Ropz :)
2022-04-09 23:56
letsgo ropzicle
2022-04-10 00:09
Brazil ImReverx
2022-04-10 01:20
It was a fluke and soon all faze fans wlll realize it. G2 is gonna stomp every team in 2022
2022-04-10 01:27
8 replies
Peru drez_Fs
nice joke
2022-04-10 01:36
You must be a Democrat with this level of delusion lol
2022-04-10 02:36
6 replies
Not even american lol and dont have any political views
2022-04-10 03:13
Czech Republic Evis1337
? lmao
2022-04-10 08:51
Bringing politics to this, and to a non-american? It doesn't matter if you are a Republican or Democrat, you are stupid regardless.
2022-04-10 10:31
3 replies
It was only a simple joke, calm down.
2022-04-10 16:42
2 replies
I really hope so.
2022-04-10 19:43
1 reply
Why do you care so much?
2022-04-10 20:57
Can't be a fluke with Karrigan. He said he was gonna get the team to the top and he did it. Yeah maybe he took longer than people expected, buy maybe getting ropz also took longer than people expected. karriGOAT needs his major, and he needs it NOW!!!
2022-04-10 02:12
sad that they will lose versus ence EZ4ENCE
2022-04-10 02:22
ropz is a G
2022-04-10 02:28
Tactically, Karrigan is on top of the game, you can't name 5 IGLs who can outcall Karrigan today. Mentally they've done with a stand in in kato, now they almost got ejected in the group stage and bounced back, Navi are the only team that has more mental strength and they're out already. Firepower: comparing cores, they have top 3 strongest cores right now, but once you compare full line ups, every team has a okish support, in faze that player is Rain, there's no team with a 5th player better than rain. The only way to make this team better would be finding someone who frags like Art and calls like Karrigan.
2022-04-10 02:52
2 replies
Brazil eyeShot
the team takes the karrigam on its back, not the other way around...
2022-04-10 02:58
1 reply
Lmao nt
2022-04-10 08:13
Brazil eyeShot
they are proving that they are lucky, yes... the team has a lot of quality but Faze is luckier than anything... 😏😒
2022-04-10 03:03
10 replies
BR talking KEKW
2022-04-10 03:04
9 replies
Brazil eyeShot
first you earn what we earn, then you can give your opinion... lmao
2022-04-10 03:07
8 replies
expected from yuurih fan, also furia hasn't earned nor won anything, faze is showing consistency while furia shows what?
2022-04-10 04:03
7 replies
Brazil eyeShot
Okay 👍🏻
2022-04-10 05:02
6 replies
Czech Republic Evis1337
Wow you sit down easily
2022-04-10 08:52
5 replies
Brazil eyeShot
the Czech Republic CS is the one who has the most morals to talk about... : )
2022-04-11 01:36
4 replies
Czech Republic Evis1337
and who cares about cz cs?
2022-04-11 08:28
3 replies
Brazil eyeShot s2
2022-04-12 07:42
2 replies
Czech Republic Evis1337
same with br cs, unless you are from br.
2022-04-12 09:32
1 reply
Brazil eyeShot
So, go to sleep man, keep talking nonsense there...
2022-04-12 23:38
North America BoDaddy
Their luck is off the charts. They can say it isn’t all they want but when you actually watch the games. Every single thing goes their way. Every bit of timing is in their favor
2022-04-10 02:58
5 replies
“If EVERY thing smells like shit, you should wipe your upper lip.” Emphasis mine.
2022-04-10 03:13
So maybe we can agree they cause those timings to happen if its happening too many times
2022-04-10 03:14
then someone could argue that furia is a more luck-based team than faze due to the constant ct pushes which rely on catching t's off guard
2022-04-10 04:05
the giga copium
2022-04-10 08:20
When it happens everytime, it’s not luck. But you are from NA so you can’t really understand cs.
2022-04-10 12:28
wp faze!
2022-04-10 03:21
United States caliprep
I agree ropz, I agree.
2022-04-10 03:57
2022-04-10 04:17
2022-04-10 04:18
Russia Trueteller
actually fluked today that furia choked that hard, I didn't see anything special from Faze to get comeback, only many mistakes from Furia and the Navi game it wasnt the same Navi team, they only came online late in map 2, and Faze would've been in trouble if it ever went to map 3. People overhyping so easy. I say flukers lose and EZ4ENCE
2022-04-10 04:28
Addition of Ropz has made Faze a really strong force..
2022-04-10 05:00
United States cybonics
what if they lose tomorrow....
2022-04-10 06:19
well deserved. ez thropy
2022-04-10 07:07
"I think that’s the most important factor in coming back; we really trust each other as teammates." of all the interesting things said in interviews I don't understand why HLTV articles emphasise the most cliche parts.
2022-04-10 08:10
Furia is still playing with 3 players vs everyone... Remember Guerri playing? It could be anyone to complete for FURIA. Safee and Drop ARE PERFORMING SHIT!!!!! Guerri knows it.. Faze otherwise plays with 4 players..that abuse low sens... I like Faze but thats the truth.
2022-04-10 08:30
3 replies
Czech Republic Evis1337
You're wrong
2022-04-10 09:00
This was problably the worst excuse i've ever heard and i love furia, but trying to excuse 1 thing with another it's just hilarious lol
2022-04-12 23:41
1 reply
ok Saffe was too much..but Drop can be replaced.. Drop high sens is why he is good on some situations but also his weakness
2022-04-13 04:36
Czech Republic Evis1337
My juicer
2022-04-10 08:53
It was never a fluke run, just because the media is saying doesn't mean its true
2022-04-10 09:12
m0NESY | 
Romania wadd
2022-04-10 09:34
2022-04-10 09:41
2022-04-10 09:42
Ireland reyno0o
Definitely the best team in the world. I think if it wasn't for the invasion of Ukraine, NaVi would still be number #1. I think they haven't looked the same since and it's completely understandable - too many distractions. I think Faze are benefiting from the down-turn in Navi's form. I think they would have had the chance to overtake Navi at some point in the year, but now it's happening sooner.
2022-04-10 16:19
Can't be a fluke with Karrigan. He said he was gonna get the team to the top and he did it. Yeah maybe he took longer than people expected, buy maybe getting ropz also took longer than people expected.
2022-04-10 19:17
Scotland winter1337
2022-04-10 20:58
"I think best-of-five is definitely going in our favour because in general we play all maps extremely well, besides Vertigo" I guess they're just good at every map now
2022-04-11 01:16
Denmark M44lik
And they did just that.
2022-04-11 01:47
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