FaZe CS:GO finds last-minute replacement for first tournament of 2023

Karrigan and crew secured the services of an experienced rifler.

Image via FaZe Clan

Patrick “⁠es3tag⁠” Hansen will stand in for FaZe Clan at the 2023 BLAST Premier Spring Groups, the CS:GO team announced today.

The Dane will be taking the place of star rifler rain, who is on paternity leave as his first child is about to be born and therefore can’t attend the tournament. FaZe initially planned to use former Astralis player Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke as a stand-in, but BLAST didn’t allow the move because he was listed as Heroic’s substitute for the tournament. On top of not having rain, FaZe will also play without head coach Robert “RobbaN” Dahlström, who will miss at least this weekend because of personal reasons.

After BLAST didn’t give the green light to k0nfig and FaZe, the international team had to hurry to find a substitute that was either living in Denmark or ready to travel to Copenhagen as soon as possible. Es3tag has been looking for a new team since December 2022, when Ninjas in Pyjamas placed him on the bench to open space for the arrival of Daniil “⁠headtr1ck⁠” Valitov.

Es3tag has played multiple roles in his CS:GO career thus far, including support and primary sniper, which makes him one of the best stand-ins FaZe could have found on such short notice. The Dane is expected to take on a rifling role in karrigan’s team as the AWP duties are already handled by broky.

FaZe and es3tag will debut at BLAST Premier Spring Groups tomorrow at 5am CT against Complexity. While this situation isn’t ideal for FaZe, it’s a good opportunity for es3tag to put his name out there for other organizations that haven’t decided on their roster yet.

Update Jan. 19 12:41pm CT: BLAST revealed that es3tag won’t play versus NiP should FaZe meet them later in the tournament. Both organizations are aware and agreed with it.