karrigan: "There's no discussion that we're the best team in the world"
A joyous Finn "karrigan" Andersen shared his thoughts about the victory at IEM Cologne to close out the season after lifting the trophy at the LANXESS Arena.
FaZe bested Natus Vincere in a best-of-five series that went the length, the two teams battling it out for nearly seven hours at the Cathedral of Counter-Strike in front of a committed crowd that packed the LANXESS Arena.
This victory put an end to an excellent season by FaZe, who bagged four Big Event trophies including both ESL Pro Tour Masters Championships, IEM Katowice and IEM Cologne, as well as ESL Pro League and the PGL Major in Antwerp.
Before checking out and going on a well earned time off, the Danish in-game leader took some time to give his thoughts on FaZe's excellent season, the victory at IEM Cologne, beating Natus Vincere in a match between the two best teams in the world, and the team's hunger to win the Intel Grand Slam in the coming season.
First IEM Cologne win for you, another big milestone in your career. What is it like to finally get it?
If somebody would have told me eight years ago, when it was Cologne and Katowice, that I wouldn't win one for eight or nine years, but would win IEM Cologne, IEM Katowice and a Major in the same year in 2022, I would laugh. So yeah, amazing performance, amazing team, amazing support in the arena, and what a final! I think it's the first time a best-of-five final finally showcases what it can do with two of the greatest teams.
What a series it was, going the length on almost every map. You had a couple of good T sides that got you through, particularly that last one on Nuke. What was that got you across the line?
We knew that Nuke could be tough on the CT side, NAVI has been famous for the past three years for having a fantastic Nuke. We lost only one Nuke with the full lineup, I think we lost one to MOUZ with jks, but with the full lineup we just lost to ENCE in Dallas. Coming into Nuke I had so much trust in the T and CT side, and obviously winning the pistol set us up good.
We maybe had a couple of missed calls here and there, but we figured out what we needed to do in the 13-14 round. Then Russel [Twistzz] wanted to repeat the call again and we did it a bit different, he just jumped on Main and got the entry. That's the showcase of how great this team is, when we're in this type of moment. Everyone can chip in with small ideas and we do it all together, and with Twistzz's aim when he wants to do something you just let him go.
Talking about showcasing the full potential of this FaZe, you were coming from a little bit of a drop in form. You won IEM Katowice, ESL Pro League, the Major, but then it seemed like the season was getting a bit long. How did you find that last bit in the fuel tank to win it here?
In Dallas we said what was wrong, at BLAST we really wanted to win, we didn't have the best preparation but we felt like we could play at 90%. But NAVI smashed us, right? We had no chance. Coming to this event we had two or three weeks of practice with some online tournament games to improve our map pool and I think we showcased that today.
We managed to play our worst maps really well against NAVI. What a team performance, I think everybody just gave everything they had during the last four days here heading into the playoffs, just playing, playing, playing. Hopefully people will have a great vacation now.
You had said that winning or at least making the final here in Cologne was very important to close out the season. What is it like going into the break with this win?
It hasn't even gone through my head what we've done this season. We won four of the biggest trophies there is, ESL Pro League with all of the best teams in the world, IEM Katowice, IEM Cologne and the Major. It's not really realistic, I'll have a drink tonight and start thinking about how insane everything is. The main goal for next season is the Intel Grand Slam. When and how we win it doesn't even matter, hopefully we'll have a slow start to the season, it'll be intense but we'll do our best to keep up the same performances.
Talking about the Intel Grand Slam, you now have three victories and six opportunities to get that final trophy you need to win it. How important would it be for you to get that Grand Slam?
That would be huge, right? We were close once with FaZe, but we had a lot of stand-in issues left and right with Olof [olofmeister]. We did our best, but now we're in the driving seat to do it and if we can perform the way we did this season then obviously we're going to win the Grand Slam. How the season starts doesn't matter, we have to get that Grand Slam and the pressure will be on us to do it, but I think we showed this whole season in the highest pressure moments that we can perform at a high level.
Before the final you said that whoever wins here is the best team in the world. After such a series, do you feel like you're the number one, the team to beat going into the coming season?
Yeah, of course. We're the best team in the world when you look at the results of this season, four trophies to us, one to Cloud9, one to NAVI. There's no discussion that we're the best team in the world and I'm super happy to see NAVI perform at this level so far with sdy. They're definitely coming back next season to try and grab that first place.