BLAST Spring Series Preview: FaZe
After many roster changes in 2019, FaZe has it's five representing them for the year. The international roster is only four months old, but the talent in the team always leaves the team as a threat to dominate an event. FaZe has members that at their peaks have hit No. 1, No. 2 and No. 4 on individual rankings. If this team ever starts to gel, they could be a legitimate contender.
In January, Dauren ‘AdreN’ Kystaubayev joins as a stand-in and Janko ‘YNk’ Paunović as coach … Four months later, AdreN is replaced by Filip ‘NEO’ Kubski for four months … Nine days after removing NEO, Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovács is sent to Na’Vi to make room for coldzera and broky.
Helvijs ‘broky’ Saukants | 1.02 RAT, .64 KPR, .64 DPR, 71.3 ADR
FaZe’s trial player. The final verdict is not out on him yet, but so far he appears to be a worthy asset at no cost.
Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard | 1.07 RAT, .69 KPR, .68 DPR, 78.2 ADR
Previously a No. 4 player in the world. No doubt about his mechanical ceiling, but definite doubts about him ever reaching that point again.
Marcelo ‘coldzera’ David | 1.14 RAT, .75 KPR, .64 DPR, 79.2 ADR
Back-to-back best player in the world. His production combined with NiKo’s could make for some near-unstoppable CS.
Nikola ‘NiKo’ Kovač | 1.16 RAT, .76 KPR, .66 DPR, 82.3 ADR
One of the most gifted players in the world that is leading full-time. His offensive mentality could make or break FaZe.
Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer | 1.01 RAT, .64 KPR, .63 DPR, 69.1 ADR
One of the best to grace the game. A swiss-army-knife for FaZe.
Lead by Example: The story is the same as usual. FaZe has an insane amount of mechanical ability, but the challenge ahead will be harnessing that talent and creating the right team product to lift trophies. NiKo showed he can lead his team to victories at BLAST before. With an entire offseason available to work out the kinks, it is time for NiKo to evolve as a leader.
Back to Form: At 25, coldzera has plenty of talent left. Although he missed 2019's top 20, there is no doubt he can be back on the list at the end of the year. He is still the same force in the server that we remember, but he has not been in big games as often. Playing with FaZe for the entirety of the year should change that, as he will be able to find himself in big tournaments where he will be able to return to the form we are familiar with.
Supporting Cast: Behind the two-headed beast of NiKo and coldzera stands three players that could very well dictate the successes and failures of the NiKo regime. Everyone is expecting these two individuals to always hit their numbers in-game, but the other three individuals will have to do their jobs efficiently during the rare time that the two stars cannot carry.
NiKo - The success and failure of this lineup will live and die by NiKo. When he forced himself into the leadership role, it became apparent that was the only way it could end. With NiKo at the helm, the lineup could be scary explosive. Also, with NiKo at the helm, the lineup could quickly fizzle out.
The Bottom Line:
Just like previous iterations of this lineup, they will live and die on their firepower. Without a tactician leading the pack, there is no other way for FaZe to operate. When it comes to FaZe, though, would you have it any other way?
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All statistics used are from the HLTV database.