DeKay: Why the future of FaZe Clan CS:GO is looking bleak - Dexerto

DeKay: Why the future of FaZe Clan CS:GO is looking bleak

Published: 27/May/2019 22:07 Updated: 20/Sep/2019 15:34

by Jarek "DeKay" Lewis


While FaZe Clan’s CS:GO roster was one of the most hyped rosters ever, things have begun to spiral, with the future of the roster now looking incredibly bleak. 

FaZe Clan entered professional Counter-Strike in early 2016 when they acquired the entire G2 Esports roster, which featured Håvard ‘rain’ Nygaard and Joakim ‘jkaem’ Myrbostad . At the time, it was the most expensive transfer of players in the history of Counter-Strike at a value of around $700,000. 

The players had only been with G2 for a few months and, outside of their semi-final appearance at DreamHack Open Cluj-Napolca, had not placed particularly well at tournaments. Nevertheless, the acquisition made a statement: FaZe Clan have the money and they will do whatever it takes to get the best Counter-Strike team. What has happened to that attitude? Why are the team so reluctant to sign a permanent fifth player?

ESL/Helena KristianssonNiKo joined an already stacked FaZe Clan roster in February 2017.

Well, signing the best players in the world is an expensive business, and in the midst of legal battles, it may be that FaZe Clan can no longer afford to splash out like they did In 2016 and 2017, when they assembled one of the most talent-heavy rosters to ever exist. Just two months after getting their team, they purchased Fabien ‘kioShiMa’ Fiey from Team Envy to replace Mikail ‘Maikelele’ Bill. 

Six months after that, they grabbed Finn ‘karrigan’ Andersen from Astralis, and over the next year they stacked star after star onto the roster by adding Nikola ‘NiKo‘ Kovač, Ladislav ‘GuardiaN’ Kovács, and Olof ‘olofmeister’ Kajbjer. 

Each player came with a tremendous buyout figure that FaZe appeared to pay with ease.

ESLOlofmeister remains with FaZe Clan despite a bumpy road over the last year.

The lineup they built was something the world had never seen before and was almost inconceivable. They had one of the top in-game leaders in the world, one of the finest AWPers in the world, and easily the best rifling trio you could ask for at that time. 

The first six months with karrigan, rain, olofmeister, NiKo, and GuardiaN saw them win three large international tournaments and come close to a Major in Boston. The talent of their roster almost guaranteed them a place at the finals of every event they attended.

Olofmeister’s period of inactivity in mid-2018 for personal reasons was a turning point for the roster and eventually the organization. When he returned, they had a group stage exit at ELEAGUE Premier 2018 and quarter-final appearances at DreamHack Masters Stockholm 2018 and the FACEIT Major: London. 

This caused the players to turn their backs on karrigan – they had lost faith in him and handed the reins over to NiKo to lead the team. The old FaZe Clan would have replaced karrigan immediately and paid any price to get a new fifth player, but that didn’t happen.

Karrigan finally departed the FaZe Clan roster in January of 2019.

Karrigan hung around on the roster for five more international tournaments before finally being replaced by Dauren ‘AdreN’ Kystaubayev in January 2019. AdreN was a free agent and it was immediately announced that his signing was a temporary move. They have since replaced AdreN with Filip ‘neo’ Kubski, who was also a free agent and is unsurprisingly listed as a temporary addition. 

They could have instead grabbed Mathias ‘MSL’ Lauridsen prior to him joining OpTic Gaming, or gone all-in with a star pick-up like Valdemar ‘valde’ Bjørn Vangså. Valde has conveniently started in-game leading for North, which is something FaZe need to free NiKo back up as one of the best players in the world.

Members of the team have mentioned that they haven’t added a long-term fifth player because they can’t find one they like, but in my opinion, the issue extends well beyond that. CS:GO is much further down the totem pole of importance at the FaZe headquarters than it was previously. 

On top of that, the company have found themselves in the middle of legal trouble. Last year, FaZe Clan were sued by an apparel company for alleged trademark infringement and now they are embroiled in a new lawsuit with Fortnite Battle Royale player Turner ‘Tfue’ Tenney.

Instagram: FaZeFaZe Clan is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Fortnite Battle Royale pro Tfue.

The financial toil from their legal troubles will almost certainly have an impact on their teams and if they weren’t willing to spend money on a new player before, they definitely won’t be willing to now. 

Also, the financial return from selling their superstar players might be too tantalizing to pass up. Unless something changes, they have either accepted that they’ll never have a top roster again or plan to exit CS:GO entirely in the coming months. 

Despite it being pure speculation, I am convinced they won’t have a team come this time next year.


ForZe under fire for signing CSGO coach implicated in cheating scandal

Published: 24/Oct/2020 21:30

by Alan Bernal


Russian esports org forZe are facing backlash for signing former Hard Legion coach Aleksandr ‘zoneR⁠’ Bogatiryev, who was banned by ESL for abusing a coaching bug that was found to compromise competitive CS:GO matches.

After the initial wave of backlash, forZe clarified that zoneR was brought on for a “testing coach period” to the ‘forZe School,’ a project that teaches and develops emerging CSGO talent. They do not recognize the forZe School as an academy team and said its not affiliated with the main roster.

“Zoner has made a big shameful mistake but we’ve decided to give him a second chance as he’s still a well-experienced coach,” forZe wrote in a statement. His work with the school will be conducted under supervision with the team’s management.

Despite org CEO Sergey ‘MegioN’ Ignatko’s optimism for the signing, debacles within the CSGO competitive landscape in the last year created a perfect storm for doubt on the deal.

“Not the smartest brand development choice, forZe have a lot of lovable characters and their storyline is exciting,” esports host and commentator Alex ‘MACHINE’ Richardson said. “Would be a shame to see an ill-thought out decision damage their reputation or fan base.”

Moreover, people are concerned that the org would position young, impressionable players to work with a person who was found cheating.

“This has to be a joke, right?” FaZe Clan coach Janko ‘YNk’ Paunovic said. “The most blatant cheater in coaching is supposed to set an example for young players? My mind is blown, absolutely disgraceful from forZe.”

On September 1, Hard Legion announced they were parting ways with zoneR, who went by the in-game name ‘MechanoGun’ at the time, following ESL’s decision to ban him as well as two other coaches after an investigation found them guilty of using a coach’s spectating bug.

ESIC csgo coach bug ban
ZoneR, listed here as ‘MechanoGun,’ was given a 36-month ban after ESIC found 16 cases of using the coaching bug.

It was initially decided that zoneR would be banned for 24 months from playing or coaching in ESL or DreamHack events. ESL later upgraded his ban to 36 months after the Esports Integrity Commission (ESIC) concluded their investigation of the bug’s abuse.

Of the 37 CSGO coaches found cheating, zoneR’s three-year ban was the longest penalty issued by far. He was found of using the bug in 16 cases, and had “Tier 1 Aggravated” sanctions levied against him.

This comes at a sensitive time for the CSGO community, who have been anxiously awaiting any further reaction from Valve on the coaching scandal. Some are worried the publisher might create bigger consequences or tweak team structures to prevent it from happening again in the future.

“If Valve removes coaching it’ll be because of some BULL**** like this,” CSGO commentator and BOXR CEO, Mohan ‘launders’ Govindasamy, said.

A similar concern sprouted when CSGO teams whose coaches were implicated in ESIC’s findings were simply demoted from the position to an analyst role; thereby using a loophole to keep working with the team.

ForZe will monitor their partnership with zoneR for the time being, but said they could part ways with him after the testing phase for his position has concluded.