FaZe Clan is a prominent name in all of esports history, and known by gamers far and wide, regardless of your interest in esports. Hell, they were the first org I ever heard of, and they’ve had so many compelling storylines in so many different games. Currently having 44 professional signings, and 47 content creators across 10 games (not including their to-be-announced Halo team), they’re an absolute giant of the online community. Netting 30 trophies across past and active teams (including recent success from their Rocket League team), we can all say we’ve seen FaZe dominate at the top level at least once.
The announcement for FaZe was absolutely insane, to put it lightly. On March 19th 2021, at 14:25pm EST, the greatest rocket league team acquisition in history occurred live on stream during the Verizon 5G Ultra Cup. The first and only org announcement mid-stream, with one of the casters of the match they were about to play in not even aware of what was happening. Watching it live was insanely surreal, as I saw the most recognisable name in the gaming world field a team in the esport I’m so heavily invested in. The series that followed was incredible too, as they went to game 5 against Version1 (what a surprise) and snagged the overtime win, as well as beating SSG the very next round. Combine that with a perfect sweep against PrideStark Empire and yet another sweep over Charlotte Phoenix, they managed to go 4-0 and top their group. Unfortunately, that’s where the fireworks ended for them, as they got edged out by an incredibly on form Rogue 4-3 (side note- this was that one regional where NRG lost to the Soniqs 4-1 in the quarters, just wanted to bring that up in case there were any NRG fans still excited about their recent regional win).
The next regional was much of the same, qualifying 2nd in their group with a 3-1 record (although getting swept by SSG this time). Matched up against NRG in the quarters of the playoffs, the Generals weren’t making the same mistake again, dispatching FaZe with ease. Their 3rd regional under their new banner was only just worse than the last too. Going 2-2 in groups (lost to SSG again), they couldn’t make it out of the knockout gauntlet. Not even making it to the top 8, they only qualified for the final major of the season because of faults from their competitors. Side note: if they didn’t make the major, their season would be over then and there.
In the major, they were put in the same group as SSG for the FOURTH TIME IN A ROW. They managed to clinch NA Championships by only two goals against their direct competitor (Shopify Rebellion) in one of the most intense game 7s and series as a whole I had witnessed in a long time. Their next opponents were G2, who were hitting their stride at this point. Already beating FaZe 3-0 in groups, they dismantled them in a close yet demoralising 4-3 slugfest.
Now onto the North American Championships, with the biggest underperformance from any team in all of RLCS X. Failing to even get a single game 5 against G2, they lost 2-0 in series and 6-1 in games (including getting perfect swept in the second series). After Gyro fumbled to try and carry the absolute garbage that was his teammates, they decided to go ahead and kick him, which just seemed unnecessary at that point. AYYJAYY is obviously an insane player but even I could have taken him with the form he was presenting. The introduction of Best of Sets was to give teams chances to prove consistency, rather than having one bad series. Instead, it turned FaZe into a doormat and the starting blocks for the near-perfect form of G2.
FaZe was predicted to be one of, if not the biggest teams coming into the new season, up there with teams like Envy and NRG. Well, after the first regional, it seemed like they had surpassed even those titans of the scene. Although they went 3-1 in the main event swiss stage, any hiccups and minor issues they may have had were soon to be nullified as they revealed the ice in their veins, as they closed out both Envy and SSG in 7 games, paving their way to the grand finals. Beating NRG 2-1 in series and 9-7 in games. Watching both the gameplay and twitter drama was an absolute joy, and it’s truly a shame that they worked out their differences afterwards, as we need more drama and grudges to solidify us as a Tier 1 esport. Using a playstyle that reminded me of old Queso (back when they could Hit Ball In Net™- but better), they showed insane potential and I was excited to see their next finals appearance.
Regional 2 was quite the different ending. First of all, Allushin did me proud and farmed demos against RBG all series, as they secured an easy 2v3 sweep, plus Allu totalling 18 demos in a single game (the 2nd most in any S- or A-tier event ever and most in RLCS ever, beating Scrub Killa 14). Then having to face the might of Envy, V1, True Neutral and SSG, they didn’t even manage to qualify for the weekend/top 8 portion of the regional. I do think that they had the hardest string of games out of every single team, but they were the reigning champs, so surely they can beat either of the teams they managed to take the win over last time (in Envy and SSG)? It was insanely bad form from the team overall, despite Firstkiller being rated highest for the entire event on octane.gg. There’s a very high chance they’ll have a bounceback, plus that one extra point they got for taking a regional means that they may have a way out of the 4-way tie just underneath them in their region’s rankings if they fall just a bit further- although I doubt they’ll be forced to scrap it out there anyway.
This is FaZe Clan we’re talking about, believe me when I say they’ll bounce back, they’ve got one of, if not the best players in the world with Firstkiller, expect big things from them (just gotta hope they keep their nerve on LAN).
FaZe vs SSG
Whilst doing research for this article I realised that there has only been one tournament since the FaZe dynasty started back in March that they haven’t squared off against SSG in, which was the NA Championships- purely because FaZe threw so incredibly hard. Aside from the Championships, they’ve battled it out in the last 7 events consecutively, and 8 times throughout the entire season. For context, NRG and Envy matched up 9 times throughout season X, whilst BDS and Vitality played each other 12 times. This makes these two teams the 3rd most common matchup through the entire season*. Out of the 17 times these rosters have faced, Faze has taken 4 victories, opposed to the staggering 13 of SSG. FaZe/Peeps has swept SSG once, whereas they’ve been swept 3 times.
*I may be mistaken with this, as I obviously haven’t looked at the head-to-head matchup for every single combination of teams, a combination of TN/Furia or RNG/GZ could match this stat/be higher, but those are regions with considerable focus on only a few teams