Rain tests positive for COVID-19, jks to stand in for FaZe in IEM Katowice quarterfinals

Can FaZe beat Gambit without their complete lineup?

Photo via ESL

FaZe Clan’s long-time rifler Håvard “rain” Nygaard is unable to attend the IEM Katowice quarterfinals at IEM Katowice today as a result of a positive COVID-19 test. The Norwegian tested positive for the first time on Saturday, Feb. 19, and played against Fnatic and Natus Vincere isolated in a hotel room while his teammates were on stage.

Unfortunately for rain and FaZe, ESL doesn’t allow this in the playoffs because it takes place at the Spodek Arena in front of a crowd. The tournament organizer considers there’s a difference of environment and requires all players to play on the stage. Without rain, the Australian rifler Justin “jks” Savage has been called again to stand in for FaZe, this time against Gambit in the second quarterfinal match of the day.

Jks already stood in for FaZe in this tournament. The 26-year-old was called as an emergency substitute on Feb. 10, one day after the star Robin “ropz” Kool tested positive for COVID-19 while the team was still in Warsaw and had to remain quarantined there for 10 days.

With jks instead of ropz, FaZe beat Sprout and MOUZ in the Play-In stage, and defeated Team Liquid in the opening round of the group stage. Even though ropz returned for the two last matches of the group stage, jks stayed in Katowice on stand-by as a result of rain’s first positive COVID-19 test.

This likely diminishes FaZe’s odds of advancing to the semifinals as jks and rain have totally different playstyles. The Australian rifler actually shares some of ropz’s positions and the adaptation was not so troublesome for captain Finn “karrigan” Andersen.

Should FaZe beat Gambit today and advance, rain can play in the semifinals if he’s cleared by the medical staff, according to ESL’s vice president of product development Michal Blicharz. G2’s head coach Rémy “XTQZZZ” Quoniam tested positive for COVID-19 yesterday and won’t be with his players at the playoffs because of the same reasons.