The race to kill the demons of Rio

Harry Richards
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With Friday came the start of BLAST Fall Final’s playoffs, but there was no crowd just yet.

In Heroic’s way stood G2, a battle of the old, quantifiable, power of the NiKo-huNter duo against the post-Rio favourites of stavn.

Luckily, jabbi got help from his old boss: HooXi dropped a 0.24 rating on Mirage and 0.78 on the decider of Vertigo in a huge surprise to absolutely nobody as G2 slumped to defeat once more, sending them home for the year.

Meanwhile, G2’s old boss had no such issues. Aleksib’s NIP smashed into NAVI, silencing s1mple and bouncing back from their 0-3 record at the Rio Major.

FaZe were next up for Aleksib, and like in Katowice his luck ran out. NIP won map one before gathering a 14:7 lead on Nuke, two rounds away from the grand final.

But this wasn’t the Rio FaZe. This was the real thing: the FaZe that pulls 3v5s out of their arse whenever they feel like it. The comeback was inevitable, as was the 16:8 stomping of a shattered NIP on the decider.

Seems like losing a few BO1s and one BO3 doesn’t mean you’re suddenly useless overnight, eh?

Heroic also had the ghosts of the past as they marched into the Royal Arena. Boo’d last year by the same crowd, they were treated like true heroes this time round. Copenhagen were all comediaNs this year.

And that came with a new pressure. Heroic had been the villain against Astralis last year, the villain against FURIA at the Major. This team wasn’t used to the expectation that comes with the crowd’s adulation

Yet, the team we all thought were onliners weren’t fazed. Liquid were blown away by the home team, YEKINDAR’s efforts — top fragging for his team on all three maps — leading to nought.

YEKINDAR stood in pale comparison with Heroic as an individual trying to drag along a rusty old banger in the face of a well-oiled dynamic Danish machine.

In the final, that Heroic machine will face as stern a test as they did in Rio.

FaZe are undefeated in grand finals this year, and have only lost a BO3/5 series in front of a crowd to one team this year (Cloud9 at EPL & Dallas).

If Heroic want to put Rio behind them and win the final, they need to hit another new peak. This is a boss level on par with Jame’s band of merry savers.

And so, the stage was set for Grand Final Sunday: karrigan’s FaZe against cadiaN’s Heroic. gla1ve didn’t even get invited to the showmatch.

November 27, 2022

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