One of the favorites at the PGL Major have been seen off in a shocking sweep.
FaZe Clan, who entered the $1 million tournament in Krakow with high hopes for a spot in the finals, dropped their third consecutive game on Tuesday in an elimination match versus FlipSid3 Tactics.
FaZe were immediately caught off balance by quick and effective executions staged by FlipSide3 captain Andrey “B1ad3” Gorodensky. Mixing up his team’s strategies on the attacking side of Mirage, Gorodensky kept FaZe from finding their footing as FlipSid3 shot out to an early lead.
Individual players struggled for FaZe even as they were tactically outmatched. Fabien “kioShiMa” Fiey continued his poor play in Krakow, and even star player Nikola “Niko” Kovac was slow to start. Kovac would eventually find his form and surge back for 27 kills, but his great efforts as the game wore on only further highlighted the struggles of his teammates.
Opposing Kovac, Finnish sensation Jan “wayLander” Rahkonen came up big for FlipSid3 tactics on more than one occasion. A quad kill in the second half’s pistol round ensured that FaZe’s attempt at a comeback would be that much more difficult, and it was a triple during a partial buy for FlipSid3 that set the team up with match point, which they would soon seize for a 16-10 victory.
The loss is a devastating one for FaZe Clan. The team had made the finals in five tournaments since March, including a title won at April’s i-League Star Series over Astralis.
Cracks began to show through in July, however. While the squad did manage to make the semifinals at ESL One Cologne the team’s performance was noticeably inconsistent, only just managing the get them into the playoff bracket. Still, few expected opening losses to Big and Mousesports to set FaZe up for an early exit from the major.
Gorodensky pointed to FaZe’s wavering form as a point of confidence FlipSid3 were able to take coming into the match.
“They were 0-2,” Gorodensky said in post-game interview. “We knew they weren’t in the best shape and we could [defeat] them.”
While FaZe and team captain Finn “karrigan” Andersen will be left to pick up the pieces, FlipSid3 will move on to the fourth round of competition looking to prove that their victory was as much about FlipSide3’s strength as FaZe’s sudden weakness.
FaZe were joined in the 0-3 cohort by Vega Squadron, who dropped to PENTA Sports 16-14—despite an 11-4 CT side. North also picked up an important win in the first mid match of the day, beating Mousesports in overtime to send the European side to 1-2.