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April 17, 2023

FaZe Clan took the final spot for the Paris major, much to the chagrin of Cloud9, BIG, B8, and Aurora. And the whole country of France. Maybe it’s not all bad.

Red Rio Redemption

Illustration by NovaH. Source: BLAST

If you thought you had a little time to breathe after the whirlwind of the RMRs, think again.

Within a week of monumental failure in Copenhagen, Cloud9 (and to some extent, BIG - but their failure was more predictable) have a shot at redemption in Rio.

It seems so soon after the RMRs, but in a way, it’s nice for the teams to build some rhythm going into the biggest event of the year; after all, six of the eight Legend teams are in this event, and a boatload more who qualified for Challengers.

Cloud9’s redemption arc will have to start by upsetting the home crowd, as their first game is against the eponymous hometown heroes MIBR. There’s certainly easier ties to kick off an event, but then it’s probably not scarier than Monte.

First, though, we’ve got the small matter of watching NIP vs The Ghost of FalleN Past and NAVI vs TheMongolz to start us off. If there’s ever a game NAVI are nailed on to lose, it’s a BO1 to TheMongolz at the start of an event a few days after going 3-0 at the RMR.

We’ve then got BIG trying to prove they’re not that bad against MOUZ and Heroic vs surprise package 9INE in what should be a superb game to watch.

The aforementioned Cloud9 vs Brazil game occurs at the same time as Vitality vs OG, which seems an easy choice for viewing preference, and the first round ends with FURIA against fnatic and FaZe vs 9z.

FURIA vs fnatic is a completely unpredictable game. We have literally no idea who will win that. None whatsoever. Seriously.

We do then move into BO3s to end the day, but we imagine a lot of you will be asleep by the time the last game ends. If only there was a twice-a-week newsletter you could sign up to keep you in the loop.


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KaiR0N- disappears

Illustration by ANDYJ. Source: Virtus Pro

Erm, what?

No, but seriously, what on s1mple’s green Earth has gone on here?

KaiR0N- has left, having joined Outsiders just after the last Major and having played one event (well, 80% of one event) on VP. For some reason.

Genuinely, we have no idea why. The only thing we’re given is some vague rhetoric about ‘pressure’, and then he’s not just dropped from the team but made into a free agent as well.

You don’t cut someone’s contract short like this because of the way they handle pressure, wethinks.

For the moment, n0rb3r7 is back in - but one imagines that the player who was cut in the past won’t last long this time, either. Never go back to an ex, guys and girls. It almost never works.

All that’s left now is speculation. Why KaiR0N- has left is likely to stay under wraps, not least because the VP players don’t seem the type to spout off. In the meantime, the player was quick to remind us he speaks English, Russian, and German.

If we were him, we wouldn’t mention we speak German, just in case BIG tried to sign us.


This time with copium

  • MSL and aizy are back, back again. This time on ‘Sashi’, with three players you’ve almost certainly not heard of before. We’re sure this time; this is the team that MSL will bring back to the top tier. Hey, don’t take that copium canister; we need that.
  • SAW have dropped JUST for arrozdoce, making him the third player they’ve signed from FTW in the last year or so. Just buy the org at this point.
  • PANIX has replaced phzy on Sangal, leaving the Swede on the bench of the team he’s on loan to. Must be hard being unwanted by two teams at the same time.
  • An embarrassing showing at the RMR has left Team oNe needing a change, or indeed, two

Staying UnFaZed

The bigger they are, the harder they fall. An old adage, but one that rang true again this week when last month's Pro League finalists C9 and FaZe had to play each other for the final major spot.

Both teams were disappointing in their RMR groups by bottling all their BO3s and going 2-3. Now I can hear some of you thinking: “Wait, but doesn’t that mean they’re out?” which is a valid question. Fortunately for the European teams, the Americas were so poor at the last major that they lost an RMR qualification spot straight to EU. Thus, the last-chance qualifiers were born.

In this last chance bracket, Cloud9 had to fight through B8 and BIG to earn their LCQ Final spot, whilst FaZe benefited from a high seeding and only needed to beat Aurora.

So, now we’ve established the background, we’ll finally talk about the game: and what a game it was. Nafany’s C9 boys started off with some absolute FIRE; the Ax1le & sh1ro combo was cooking harder than Marco Pierre White. They snowballed to a 14-5 lead, and many thought the game was over, which was naive of us. How could anyone forget that we’re dealing with FaZe?

So, in FaZe Clan fashion, they clutched the game completely unFaZed. They turned the tides despite giving C9 map point and carried their clutch into all four OT rounds.

If you’re C9, at this point, your mental must be broken. We already saw sh1ro break during C9’s game against ENCE, so none of this could have helped, which was pretty clear to see on Inferno. FaZe started on the hipster's favourite T-side and didn’t give C9 an inch of space; it was basically over before it started.

FaZe closed the game, won the series 2-0, and still made the major after all. Deserved because this line from Karrigan before the game was ice-cold.

Here’s an overview of all the qualified teams:

Legends stage

  1. 🇺🇦 NAVI
  2. 🇵🇱 9INE
  3. 🇧🇷 FURIA
  4. 🇪🇺 fnatic
  5. 🇩🇰 Heroic
  6. 🇬🇧 Into the Breach
  7. 🇪🇺 Vitality
  8. 🇽🇰 Bad News Eagles

9-16. based on results from Challengers stage.

Challengers stage

  1. 🇺🇦 Monte
  2. 🇧🇷 paiN
  3. 🇪🇺 G2
  4. 🇪🇺 GamerLegion
  5. 🇷🇺 FORZE
  6. 🇪🇺 Apeks
  7. 🇪🇺 Ninjas in Pyjamas
  8. 🇪🇺 OG
  9. 🇪🇺 ENCE
  10. 🇪🇺 MOUZ
  11. 🇺🇸 Liquid
  12. 🇦🇺 Grayhound
  13. 🇺🇸 Complexity
  14. 🇲🇳 TheMongolz
  15. 🇧🇷 Fluxo
  16. 🇪🇺 FaZe

Massive Missmanagment

⁉️ Do they know? (what they’re doing)

💣 Players being players

🤏 That’s almost everything


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