rain: "This is one of the best crowds I've played in front of"

After emerging victorious from a thrilling triple overtime affair on Dust2 against Spirit, Håvard "⁠rain⁠" Nygaard sat down with HLTV.org for a quick interview.

FaZe have secured a spot in the grand final of PGL Major Antwerp, but it didn't come easy as Spirit gave them a run for their money in an intense semi-final series. After a hard-fought Mirage where Finn "⁠karrigan⁠" Andersen's side only narrowly emerged victorious, Dust2 saw three overtimes unfold, an intense back-and-forth filled with clutches and thrilling moments of Counter-Strike.

rain is invigorated by the crowd on stage

Following the end of the match, HLTV.org caught up with rain, who has been having an stellar tournament overall, the best performing player on FaZe at the moment with a 1.19 rating across 11 maps and the player with the best opening kill rating in the event, sitting on a 1.46 rating.

The Norwegian spoke about his renewed motivation playing on stage and also to play up to the level of the young talent on the lineup, saying that them grinding the game has inspired him to show he has still got it at his age. He also touched on some of the highlight moments of the match against Spirit, and gave his thoughts on how it feels to be in the best position to claim a Major title since Boston 2018.

Congrats rain, that was an insane series you just went through, incredible overtime battle on Dust2 where Spirit almost took it over the line a few times. Tell me what's going through your head right now.

It feels really good, especially after that overtime win on Dust2 and especially after throwing that one on four versus magixx. I just remember right when it was one on four, I was just like, 'you guys, just please play the f-... play the bomb,' and then everybody was like, '1, 2, 3, 4!' and everybody was peeking and dying one by one, and I was like, 'oh no, not like this.' But I'm so happy that we managed to close that out. If we didn't and it went to Nuke, I would be very upset about that round.

This Spirit lineup are a team you hadn't played yet until this match. Going up against them after the run they've had at this Major, what were you all expecting going into this?

We knew they were going to come in guns blazing, right? They've been playing really confident CS, the youngsters are popping off, and we knew there was going to be a lot of duels and we were going to need to win those duels or else they're going to punish us hard.

Coming into Mirage, we had a game plan to go a little bit faster, not play as slow Counter-Strike against them and try to punish them and play on their rotations, and it worked out perfectly. karrigan did a great job calling versus them, and it made it a lot easier for us.

You individually have been having an excellent event. When I spoke to ropz he said that you're really motivated by playing on stage, having missed the playoffs in Katowice, so what has it been like playing there finally and riling up the crowd?

It feels so good. If you get a one tap you just hear the roar, and whenever you do something, you do something good, you can feel the crowd, you get some extra energy from the crowd. The atmosphere is amazing, and this is one of the best crowds I've played in front of. It's such a motivation boost and energy boost to play on the stage.

Is there anything that changed in the team to for you to be playing so well individually, or are you just motivated right now with the desire to play on stage?

I think it's motivation and looking at the young kids on the team, like broky, Russ [Twistzz], and Robin [ropz]. They're playing so much and I want to keep up with them and show them that even though I'm a little bit older, I can still play as much as them and do it. That's a big part of why I'm getting back to my old self, I would say. I have so many hours in the past two weeks, I'm playing a lot and I'm learning from the kids, and it's such a good environment in the team.

The last time you were in this kind of form at a Major was at Boston 2018, and obviously one of the biggest storylines of this Major is FaZe coming in, karrigan, you, aiming to finally take the crown this time. Has that pressure been building for you?

It's been normal, I don't think we've felt too much pressure. Maybe in our opening game versus ENCE, but the nerves kind of fell away pretty fast. Now, the goal is to win, and we're preparing every single day until 2, 3 AM, just prepping for every team we're playing against. So now, there's no nerves for us in that way, but even if there are any, it benefits us more than it hurts us.

Does this event feel more special to you given the form the team has been in, knowing it's your best chance to win the Major since Boston?

It feels a little bit different, the team composition feels different, the way we play is different as well. I think this is overall a better team in the way that we have all the roles set, and karrigan knows how to utilize everybody to their maximum. So it's kinda the same feeling, but also I feel more confident now than what I did.

You're through to the grand final now, one of ENCE or NAVI are going to be up against you. That is a match that has a lot of eyes on it, most people are projecting a FaZe-NAVI final. What're your thoughts on that, how do you see yourself facing up against either of those teams?

ENCE-NAVI is going to be a really special matchup. They're both playing really good so far, and ENCE this year has been really surprising. They've found really good form and Spinx is playing like a real superstar in his team, I don't think I've seen him have a bad game this entire year it feels like.

They're definitely coming in very hot for this game, but then again you have NAVI with electronic popping off, like old times, it was sick to watch. It's going to be a really good game, I think it's going to be three maps, and it's going to be nail-biter games, all of them. Snappi has a good understanding of how to play with the guys he has in ENCE as well, so it's going to be a really good game.

Is there a team between the two who would give you more trouble if you got them in the final?

No, I think they're pretty equal. We've lost to both of them in the past, and it's going to be a really good final no matter who we play against. NAVI of course have a little bit more experience on stage so they're probably going to be the tougher opponent in that way, but the way ENCE is playing now, they're playing with so much confidence and they're shooting hard, so it's going to be a hard game no matter who we play.

Norway Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Håvard 'rain' Nygaard
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
1.03
Maps played:
1580
KPR:
0.71
DPR:
0.69
Denmark Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Finn 'karrigan' Andersen
Age:
32
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.91
Maps played:
1983
KPR:
0.62
DPR:
0.69
#2
 | 
Finland Cucumber))
good
2022-05-21 21:35
#3
JACKZ | 
France SirC44
Based Vita fans
2022-05-21 21:36
#4
 | 
Asia lanlan
FAZE UP!!!
2022-05-21 21:36
5 replies
#32
lulz | 
Denmark Daweh
Cringe, but ok.
2022-05-21 21:52
4 replies
FAZE UP!!!
2022-05-21 23:27
#61
 | 
Germany Gundobert
FAZE UP!!!
2022-05-22 00:01
#63
 | 
United States DarkFX
FAZETHEFUP
2022-05-22 00:21
FAZETHEFUP !!!!
2022-05-23 07:53
#5
 | 
Brazil iGooH
imagine in Brazil
2022-05-21 21:36
3 replies
+1
2022-05-21 21:37
2023 sao paulo Prayge
2022-05-21 22:16
#54
 | 
New Zealand Iuca5
+1 its gonna be a very good major
2022-05-21 22:42
#6
 | 
Europe Zwenix
Looks like it for sure
2022-05-21 21:36
#7
 | 
Egypt BomberMan_
weren the crowd cheating at times?
2022-05-21 21:36
3 replies
ban crowd pls
2022-05-21 21:51
crowd going "ooooooh" when someone is on a flank is a classic
2022-05-21 22:14
New to stage games?
2022-05-21 22:34
GIGACHAD
2022-05-21 21:36
#9
 | 
Ukraine Daddy_Ropz
BASED RAIN. pretty funny they beat heroic when the crowd was screaming faze players locations to heroic. now navi has people in the crowd yelling call-outs also. ence-faze should be the finalist since they didn't cheat.
2022-05-21 21:37
6 replies
nt, some people were yelling information for faze too. they have a lot of fans there so cheating is certain
2022-05-21 22:06
faze didnt play heroic ????
2022-05-21 22:26
1 reply
#48
 | 
Ukraine Daddy_Ropz
spirit* not heroic
2022-05-21 22:27
#75
 | 
Belgium mylle
you reallise they can't hear the crowd on stage with those headsets right?
2022-05-22 10:36
2 replies
#80
 | 
Ukraine Daddy_Ropz
actually they can lol. there's several articles talking about how loud the crowd is to the players.
2022-05-22 19:50
1 reply
#81
 | 
Belgium mylle
Those headsets are for F16 planes.. Then can't hear the crowd.. they do can "feel" the crowd, that is different
2022-05-23 07:44
#10
 | 
Brazil _Awper
Brazil + France crowd.
2022-05-21 21:37
katowice crowd >>>>>>>>
2022-05-21 21:37
1 reply
no shot
2022-05-21 21:43
rain GIGACHAD
2022-05-21 21:40
Danish crowd >>>>>>>
2022-05-21 21:40
3 replies
stockholm crowd >>>>>>>
2022-05-21 21:51
2 replies
what crowd kekw
2022-05-21 21:55
1 reply
Copen major crowd was wack af
2022-05-21 23:10
#18
 | 
Russia DevilBr0
ofc you love crowd which cheers FOR you, not against like in Boston
2022-05-21 21:41
3 replies
#56
 | 
Argentina Joedash
Is that some kind of compliment or a way to hate rain cause they won against spirit?
2022-05-21 23:07
2 replies
#62
 | 
Russia DevilBr0
neither, just fact. Way easier to play if crowd cheering for u
2022-05-22 00:20
1 reply
#65
 | 
Argentina Joedash
Dunno if "easier" but it motivates you way more
2022-05-22 01:09
just wait to see the full brazilian crowd and we can discuss later
2022-05-21 21:44
#21
 | 
France Nescabir
Love him, this FaZe is so special, tomorrow will be a banger of a final
2022-05-21 21:45
amazing crowd indeed
2022-05-21 21:46
MY GOAT 😎
2022-05-21 21:46
#24
 | 
Norway Tsgkristiz
GIGACHAD RAIN
2022-05-21 21:46
Ofc, because the majority were cheering for faze XDD
2022-05-21 21:50
this crowd is great way better than katowice or koln
2022-05-21 21:50
#35
 | 
United States KhT
beast
2022-05-21 21:58
come back to boston
2022-05-21 22:09
best crowd because they cheer for you or what? XD literally one of the worst stage and crowd i can remember in a while
2022-05-21 22:14
4 replies
+1 They are probably biased after being so long without a big crowd. I remember Sidney, Katowice, Cologne and São Paulo being far better crowds.
2022-05-22 01:59
3 replies
#69
 | 
Belgium BradleyTD
-1
2022-05-22 02:33
2 replies
flag
2022-05-22 04:04
1 reply
#77
 | 
Belgium BradleyTD
hltv.org/news/33875/rain-this-is-one-of-.. Don't undermine the authority of rain, ez for tournament MVP who are you bra71l
2022-05-22 12:58
RAIN MY MAIN PLEASE WIN THIS MAJOR
2022-05-21 22:15
katowice?
2022-05-21 22:15
OK BOOMER
2022-05-21 22:19
he don't know anything about brazil.. wait for major in Rio.
2022-05-21 22:24
1 reply
They will have to prove it or
2022-05-21 22:32
ah yes the amazing crowd, having clear favorites in every game and yelling out positions. Truly amazing.
2022-05-21 22:25
3 replies
#70
 | 
Belgium BradleyTD
Hahahaha bro nobody screams positions, stop judging while you’re not there loser lmaoo
2022-05-22 02:34
2 replies
right, not like you can't hear it on stream loooser lol
2022-05-22 02:45
1 reply
#76
 | 
Belgium BradleyTD
average copium inhaler biased lol
2022-05-22 12:50
good but -rain +whatever
2022-05-21 22:27
#49
 | 
Portugal dracø
carried by br and vitality fans
2022-05-21 22:31
#51
 | 
France J0riS
Crowd = Furia and Vitality fans
2022-05-21 22:32
1 reply
#64
 | 
United States Bernie8817
True lol And a couple of G2 fans in between
2022-05-22 00:38
#52
DD | 
Philippines libon23
the boston major crown was pretty good as well
2022-05-21 22:34
Rain da best entry on major so far
2022-05-21 22:49
#60
 | 
Denmark Tindragon
Rain god
2022-05-21 23:50
#66
 | 
United Kingdom VenoK
Faze the fuck up
2022-05-22 01:21
i choose to support underdogs but crowd is highly fan-based
2022-05-22 02:28
1 reply
#71
 | 
Belgium BradleyTD
Not rlly, in the navi vs ence game we were shouting ence as well. No booing as well which makes it very amusing, only singing fans, waves, claps etc
2022-05-22 02:36
GIGACHAD RAIN
2022-05-22 02:37
#78
 | 
Brazil Gaucho_10
best crowd because they cheer for you worst stage and crowd i can remember in a while
2022-05-22 13:04
#79
 | 
Germany 4ntoN
just wait to see the full brazilian crowd and we can discuss later
2022-05-22 13:11
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