Despite a back-and-forth match up, FaZe Clan got the best of NRG in the lower bracket semi-finals to power on for a chance to compete at VCT Masters Copenhagen.
Both teams stepped up from their group stage performances, executing more cohesive strategies that consider the whole team’s abilities instead of relying on one player. Though FaZe came out with the win today, both teams should be proud of their improvements this stage.
On Icebox, FaZe played a slower, defensive style, and mostly opted to go for retakes on defense. FaZe has struggled significantly with their retakes this stage, but despite some chaotic moments, they were able to regain control much more effectively this time around. Meanwhile, NRG continued to struggle to execute their plans on attack.
After FaZe won nine rounds in a row, they started to get more confident with their defense. Babybay to pushed forward with his Tour de Force, and supamen took a risk by deploying an aggressive Viper’s Pit to deny entry onto B site. It worked, and the half eventually ended with FaZe up 10-2.
NRG narrowly took the pistol round in the second half of the map, with Ethan barely defusing the spike through a snake bite. Buying into the next round, NRG netted themselves a flawless retake to get another round on the board.
While Babybay certainly got the better of tex in the Chamber matchup on the first half — obtaining a lot of value out of his Headhunter and Tour de Force — tex came back in the second and didn’t miss a bullet.
Though NRG staged a nearly perfect comeback attempt in the second half of Icebox, they lost the map 13-11.
NRG took the pistol round on FaZe’s map pick of Haven, then quickly cleaned the players of FaZe off the C site in the second round after FaZe force bought. NRG rode this momentum (and FaZe’s broken economy) for several rounds, going up 7-0 before FaZe managed to win a single round. NRG exited the half up by a score of 8-4, after succeeding with their strategy of keeping FaZe closed off from the edges of the map.
FaZe opted for an aggressive defense on the second-half pistol round, but NRG knew exactly what was coming and easily picked them off to flawlessly take the round. Despite a few errors and FaZe taking some eco rounds to keep the map alive, NRG didn’t let it shake them, and won the map 13-8.
Heading on to Ascent, the analysts on the desk were surprised by FaZe’s agent composition that saw Babybay switching on to KAY/O instead of his usual duelist. This composition paid off at first, and FaZe took the first two rounds easily. Caster dusT described the new composition as “smeag goes to grad school” — referencing an elevated strategy in comparison to past FaZe.
Supamen got an incredible clutch ace in round 7 that completely destroyed NRG’s defense. The first half was all FaZe, with NRG only managing to win two rounds on defense.
The second half continued to go back and forth almost endlessly until round 19, when Flyuh clutched the spike defuse and put FaZe on match point. In the decisive round, it was again Flyuh who shined, spraying down a newly-resurrected hazed to maintain a numbers advantage for FaZe, before dicey ultimately secured the final kill of the match.
FaZe will now play XSET in the lower bracket final for a chance to compete at Masters Copenhagen in July. If FaZe win against XSET, they will go to a VCT international LAN competition for the first time. The match is scheduled for tomorrow, June 25, at 3pm CT.