Corey on FaZe’s place in NA Valorant: “You can’t consider us underdogs”

Published: 19/Feb/2021 8:15 Updated: 19/Feb/2021 9:47

by Andrew Amos


Corey ‘corey’ Nigra’s FaZe Clan has always been there or thereabouts in Valorant, but they’ve never been number one. Corey is confident though, FaZe, can break that barrier though and cement their place in history with the Valorant Champions Tour in 2021.

Corey is one of North America’s most exciting prospects in Valorant. The duelist player is the backbone of a FaZe Clan that is slowly rising up the rankings.

While they were once completely outside of the Top 5 conversation, Corey believes the team is firmly moving towards the top, just in time to peak ahead of the Valorant Champions LAN in December.

Corey playing OWL for Washington Justice
Ben Pursell For Blizzard Entertainment
Corey left Overwatch behind to succeed in Valorant, and he’s finally reaping the rewards.

Leaving behind Overwatch

FaZe Clan are somewhat of an enigma in NA Valorant. The way they play is fast, aggressive, and punishing. It’s almost like watching a completely different game compared to the methodical nature of others like 100 Thieves.

That niche they’ve carved out for themselves is nature, not nurture.

Unlike most other teams, FaZe have a spine of four ex-Overwatch pros ⁠— Corey, Rawkus, babybay, and ZachaREEE. This, ultimately, dictated how they approached the game.

“We have the most unique style of play for a team because of how aggressive we play and the way we use our abilities to take certain fights and space away. It’s something a lot of teams say when they play us ⁠— we don’t let a lot of teams get into their comfort zone,” Corey told Dexerto.

“On top of that, I actually think we’re a very impatient team, and that comes from Overwatch when you’re just running around doing stuff, so it’s really hard for us to sit still and wait.”

Overwatch League/Robert Paul
Most of Corey’s FaZe teammates, like Babybay (pictured), have a backbone in Overwatch.

When Corey departed Overwatch, he was widely considered one of the game’s best rising stars, having made a splash on an otherwise-mediocre Washington Justice in 2019. He left behind the Overwatch League as he was peaking, but he doesn’t regret the move one bit. He’s been able to leave behind the stress

“I have no regrets for sure. I actually personally think Overwatch is really stressful and you constantly had to play all day, every single day. The way you communicate in Overwatch, the way the game works, it’s something. After you play a long six-hour day, you’re just beat,” he admitted.

While some have tried to pin a rivalry between him, the other Overwatch players, and OWL 2019 MVP-turned-Valorant star Jay ‘sinatraa’ Won, Corey doesn’t see it.

“I honestly wouldn’t really call him a rival. We were teammates, and I was on the Justice and he was on the Shock, so I don’t even know if a rivalry was really there ⁠— we didn’t win,” he laughed.

“Playing versus him now, he still plays the same way he’d play in Overwatch in Valorant. He plays really aggressive, doesn’t care at all. In a sense, he’s alpha, he’d just go in and fight. I play the same in Valorant as I do in Overwatch too ⁠— I just take 1v1s and swing and fight.”

Robert Paul for Blizzard Entertainment
Corey and Sinatraa’s (pictured) relationship is less of a rivalry than it is just “mad respect” for each other.

FaZe, no longer the underdogs of NA

FaZe’s start in Valorant was rocky. First, there were the roster issues with jasonR. Then, once they got their full squad together, it took some time before they posted decent results. However, running into 2021, they’re finally getting into their stride.

Corey admitted there’s a long way to go yet. The team doesn’t even believe they’re at their full potential. However, they can no longer be considered the underdogs they once were, and have a real chance at becoming NA’s best team.

“We definitely weren’t satisfied with how we were playing, especially recently. We’re not at where we are happy with everything we have so far. We’re still adding a lot of stuff to our play. We were pleased that we are able to still find our way through the bracket and still beat teams even if we are underperforming,” he said.

“I wouldn’t necessarily call us an underdog [though]. When we started we definitely were just because of our tournament placings and how we were playing. Nowadays, you can’t really consider us an underdog.

“We destroyed Envy in our match in JBL. We destroy teams who are high in the list, and even if we don’t beat them, we make them close games. Anyone can beat anybody at the top, and whoever has the stronger will will come out on top.”

This is all leading up to a big chance to show up at Valorant Champions. With only three slots for North America, FaZe is hoping their experience on stage in the past will pay off when LAN comes around.

“LAN is a big thing for us because we were playing on LAN in every single match in Overwatch, and that’s what drove us to keep trying our hardest. Playing online is a little bit rough for us.

“It’s like ‘cool, I’m playing you at home in my chair;’ it’s kind of whatever.

“We also genuinely think there are just onliners. When it’s time to actually play on a stage, in front of that crowd, people will crumble to that pressure. There are a lot of new names in Valorant that’ll have a tough time.”

FaZe next play in the Valorant Champions Tour Challengers 2 Closed Qualifier on February 20 against Sentinels.

Call of Duty

CDL Super Week Day 3: OpTic back to winning ways, Empire & Thieves escape upsets

Published: 25/Feb/2021 1:35 Updated: 25/Feb/2021 1:40

by Albert Petrosyan


The Call of Duty League has combined Weeks 2 and 3 of Stage 1 into one massive Super Week of matches, and everything you need to watch and follow the event live can be found below.

  • OpTic 100-point club Ultra in confident victory.
  • TJHaLy puts up rare numbers as LA Thieves improve to perfect 3-0.
  • Empire clutch up in five-map thriller to avoid upset vs Royal Ravens.
  • Day 4 preview: ROKKR vs NYSL, OpTic vs LAG, FaZe vs Mutineers

Due to the inclement weather in Texas and other parts of the United States causing power outages for a lot of pro players, the CDL opted to combine the Week 2 and 3 matches into Super Week.

Seven straight days of matches will see all 12 teams in action at least three times, and with the Stage 1 Major looming around the corner, this will be the final opportunity for teams to improve their seeding for the $500,000 tournament.

CDL Super Week: Stream

The CDL streams all of its matches exclusively on YouTube, which is where you can also find replays of matches that have already been completed.

CDL Super Week: Schedule

Day 3: Wednesday, February 24

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Royal Ravens 2-3 Empire LON 250-160 (Moscow) DAL 6-3 (Moscow) DAL 3-2 (Garrison) LON 235-228 (Garrison) DAL 6-4 (Miami)
Match Replay Thieves 3-2 Surge LAT 250-231 (Checkmate) SEA 6-4 (Raid) LAT 3-2 (Raid) SEA 250-222 (Moscow) LAT 6-0 (Moscow)
Match Replay OpTic 3-1 Ultra CHI 250-68 (Checkmate) TOR 6-4 (Raid) CHI 3-1 (Raid) CHI 3-1 (Raid) N/A

Empire & LA Thieves escape upsets, OpTic back to winning ways

Having already suffered an upset loss at Opening Weekend, Dallas Empire barely avoided back-to-back such defeats in their match vs London Royal Ravens. Despite getting completely dominated by the Subliners the day before, London pushed the defending champs to a fifth map before ultimately coming up just short of their first win of the season.

LA Thieves found themselves in a similar situation against the Seattle Subliners, who, just like London, were swept the day before. A back-and-forth affair saw the match pushed to a game five, but that was the most resistance that Surge could offer as LAT dominated the final S&D 6-0, thanks to some historic numbers put up by TJHaLy.

The third and final match of the day saw OpTic Chicago back in action for the first time since their Opening Weekend loss to FaZe. Faced with a stiff test in Toronto Ultra, the Green Wall started off with one of the most dominant Hardpoint wins in CDL history, putting Ultra in the dreaded ‘100-point club.’

The series settled down and got a bit closer after that but OpTic ultimately edged out the victory in four maps, improving to 2-1 on the season while Toronto dropped to 1-2.

Day 4: Thursday, February 25

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 26)
Game 1 ROKKR vs Subliners 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 OpTic vs Guerrillas 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 FaZe vs Mutineers 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 5: Friday, February 26

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 27)
Game 1 Thieves vs Royal Ravens 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 Ultra vs Legion 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Empire vs Subliners 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 6: Saturday, February 27

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Feb 28)
Game 1 FaZe vs Legion 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 ROKKR vs Royal Ravens 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Ultra vs Guerrillas 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Day 7: Sunday, February 28

Match PST EST GMT AEDT (Mar 1)
Game 1 Subliners vs Surge 12:00 PM 3:00 PM 8:00 PM 7:00 AM
Game 2 OpTic vs Mutineers 1:30 PM 4:30 PM 9:30 PM 8:30 AM
Game 3 Empire vs Thieves 3:00 PM 6:00 PM 11:00 PM 10:00 AM

Past scores & daily recaps

Day 1: Monday, February 22

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Guerrillas 1-3 Mutineers LAG 250-133 (Crossroads) FLA 6-3 (Miami) FLA 3-2 (Garrison) FLA 250-172 (Garrison) N/A
Match Replay Ultra 1-3 FaZe ATL 250-247 (Raid) TOR 6-3 (Raid) ATL 3-0 (Raid) ATL 250-128 (Garrison) N/A

Mutineers get first win of 2021, FaZe stay unbeaten

After losing their season-opener at CDL Opening Weekend, Florida Mutineers’ new-look lineup got their first win of 2021 with a 3-1 victory over LA Guerrillas, who now sit at 1-2. LAG won the first map in dominant fashion before the Mutineers ripped off three straight maps to secure the series.

The second match of the day was a battle of the unbeatens as Atlanta FaZe took on Toronto Ultra. The series started back-and-forth, and if it wasn’t for a clutch break at the end of the Raid Hardpoint, Atlanta may have found themselves down 0-2 early.

But things settled down after the second map as FaZe took games three and four quite comfortably to secure the 3-1 victory. The win now gives the boys in red a league-leading three wins, against just zero losses, while Ultra drop to 1-1.

Day 2: Tuesday, February 23

  Match Hardpoint S&D Control Hardpoint S&D
Match Replay Mutineers 0-3 Legion PAR 222-220 (Garrison) PAR 6-4 (Checkmate) PAR 3-1 (Raid) N/A N/A
Match Replay Subliners 3-0 Royal Ravens NY 250-151 (Garrison) NY 6-1 (Checkmate) NY 3-0 (Checkmate) N/A N/A
Match Replay Surge 0-3 ROKKR MIN 250-163 (Checkmate) MIN 6-5 (Raid) MIN 3-2 (Raid) N/A N/A

Legion & Subliners sweep their way to first wins, ROKKR stay hot vs Surge

After going 0-2 in the Opening Weekend, Paris Legion finally got their first win of 2021 at Super Week, and what a win it was. Despite being underdogs to the Mutineers, Legion pulled off a shocking sweep that featured a rare Hardpoint ending on time.

Following Paris’ script, the New York Subliners also notched their first one in the win column after sweeping London Royal Ravens in perhaps the most dominant performance we’ve seen so far in 2021.

None of the three maps were close, especially the Control, which saw NYSL shred their opponents from start to finish and not give them even a chance at making any sort of comeback. With the loss, Royal Ravens now sit at 0-2 early on in the season.

Rounding off a trio of Day 2 sweeps was Minnesota ROKKR grabbing their second win in a row after taking apart Seattle Surge 3-0. The series was closer than the final scoreline would suggest as Surge did make solid comebacks in both the S&D and Control, only to fall just short in both.

The win is ROKKR’s second in a row after their upset victory over Dallas Empire at Opening Weekend. Meanwhile, Seattle falls to 1-2, suffering already their second sweep this season.

CDL Super Week essentials

CDL Super Week: Format & CDL Points

  • Location: Online
  • Prize Pool: N/A
  • CDL Points: 10 per win
  • Maps & Modes:
    • Hardpoint: Checkmate, Crossroads, Garrison, Moscow, Raid
    • Search & Destroy: Checkmate, Garrison, Miami, Moscow, Raid
    • Control: Checkmate, Garrison, Raid
  • Matches are best-of-five (HP, S&D, Control, HP, S&D)

CDL Super Week: Teams & Rosters

CDL roster spotlight: Minnesota ROKKR’s new-look lineup delivered an upset victory over Dallas Empire at Opening Weekend.

All 12 teams are participating in the Week 2 event, split into the two groups that were drawn at the start of Stage 1. All teams within the same group play each other once during the Stage, for a total of five matches.

Group A

Team Roster
Dallas Empire Crimsix, Shotzzy, Huke, iLLeY
London Royal Ravens Alexx, Dylan, Seany, Zer0
Los Angeles Thieves Kenny, SlasheR, TJHaLy, Temp
Minnesota ROKKR Accuracy, Attach, Priestahh, MajorManiak
New York Subliners Clayster, Asim, Diamondcon, Mack
Seattle Surge Octane, Gunless, Prestinni, Loony

Group B

Team Roster
Atlanta FaZe Simp, Cellium, aBeZy, Arcitys
Florida Mutineers Skyz, Owakening, Slacked, Neptune
Los Angeles Guerrillas SiLLY, Assault, Apathy, Vivid
OpTic Chicago Scump, FormaL, Envoy, Dashy
Paris Legion AquA, Classic, Fire, Skrapz
Toronto Ultra Methodz, Bance, Cammy, CleanX

Make sure to check out our CDL 2021 Season hub for the latest standings, full schedule of all events, a breakdown of the season format, and more.