For a while at the start of 2022, FaZe looked like they were starting an era.
But what powered them was an ability to win every single close match. Think of the infinite overtimes against G2 in Katowice in 2022, or the thrilling finish to Cologne’s grand final against NAVI.
That superpower has now deserted them.
Heroic were more clutch than them in Copenhagen, and Liquid were than them this week in Katowice.
Yes, Liquid: The perennial chokers managed to beat FaZe in a white-knuckle elimination best of three to qualify for playoffs. The grand slam will have to wait once again.
Joining them is Outsiders, who put together a lower bracket run against a NIP in turmoil, an OG that had ruggah standing in, and finishing it off by squeaking past Complexity in the last game of the group stage.
Complexity were the big underdog in Group B, putting together a run to match IHC’s in Group A. The first big scalp they took was MOUZ, before topping it off by eliminating fnatic as well.
Grim and hallzerk (who won 13 clutches in Poland) were popping off like never before, but even then Complexity lacked that something special that could have taken them past Outsiders. A 12-9 lead on the T-Side of Inferno looked to be enough but well, you know how it goes with NA by now.
In the winner’s games to decide who jumped straight to semi-finals, Heroic battered Vitality and G2 stomped NAVI — which the losers will put down to wanting an extra game in Spodek and the winners will say confirmed their hegemony.
If only there was a format that could fit eight playoffs teams, eh?