After a very successful run at Masters, FaZe Clan lost against Sentinels on Friday, pushing them to the lower bracket, but they will get a shot at a rematch in the grand finals if they can win Saturday.
Andrej “babybay” Francisty has been one of the most exciting players to watch at Masters. He makes incredible plays including attacking his opponents from unexpected angles, playing aggressively and hitting his shots with impeccable aim.
Many players have said that FaZe play very aggressive and PUG-y (a more random pick-up style), but babybay says there is a method to the style that no opponent has figured out yet.
“I think that they have no idea what they’re talking about because we don’t actually play PUG-y at all. Everything that we do, we’ve gone over in the lab and in the game. It looks PUG-y because it looks like we’re just taking fights,” babybay said.
It does seem to be true that no one had figured out how to beat them when they are playing this way until Sentinels did Friday. They are one of the most unpredictable teams in NA right now. Team Envy’s Jake “kaboose” McDonald is one of the players that has doubts about FaZe’s ability to stay on top.
“I think a playstyle like [FaZe’s] in VALORANT will always be in the pro scene, teams will always have that style, but I think it’ll just always be, never a top team,” kaboose said of FaZe’s recent success.
Babybay doesn’t agree.
“If they think that we’re just PUG-ing it out all the time and we don’t have stuff, and that we don’t know what we’re doing, they’re just going to lose, straight up. If you really know the game and you are really good at the game and you pay attention to what we do, you’d see how we do certain things. It’s a lot more than just the aim and running in,” he said.
Although babybay’s recent success is incredible, he does think his team deserves more credit, saying, “my teammates are so good, they’re setting me up and making it easy.”
His teammates can all hold their own in most situations. The majority of FaZe’s VALORANT team came from an Overwatch background. Many fans and fellow players doubted the success of a team with only one former CS:GO player, Jimmy “Marved” Nguyen.
In the first Masters match against XSET, everyone on FaZe except for Marved had a K/D over two on the second map, and both babybay and Zachary “ZachaREEE” Lombardo had the highest K/D of 2.7.
As for babybay’s individual success, not even he knows why he’s doing so well.
“It’s just happening, I don’t know. People ask me ‘what are you doing, what have you changed? I’m like, dude, I don’t know the game just feels easy when I’m in a match, it’s just crazy.’ I have a harder time playing ranked getting kills, I swear,” babybay said.
The team has taken additional steps to ensure success aside from their player’s skills. They started taking the game more seriously and committed to watching more VODs. The results have certainly followed, since FaZe made Challengers 3 look easy and surprised a lot of fans with their run in Masters.
“It felt like we were in this limbo where we did have a full smeag rushing playstyle, and it was working for a little bit, but then teams adapted. There just wasn’t any structure behind it. Getting a coach that helped us work on a structure for the playstyle, and then also telling us the fundamentals about trading and rotations and certain stuff like that. That was very beneficial,” babybay said.
Thomas “Trippy” Schappy was recently hired as the coach for the team just before Masters. Previously an analyst for the team, a lot of fans have attributed FaZe’s recent success to his input as a coach. They did go through Challengers 3 with no head coach, but they still look as good as they did in the qualifying tournament. Trippy’s addition might just be the push FaZe needed to break through to the top spot in NA if they end up winning Masters.
After Masters, FaZe have their sights are set on Iceland, where Masters 2 is set to be held in May. Only two NA teams will qualify for the Masters tournament in Iceland, and FaZe is already preparing to qualify.
“We’re on a high right now, and it’s really good because I feel like we haven’t even peaked yet,” babybay said. “I think we’re all looking more down the road already, like six months down the road we think we’re going to be the best team in the world at that point. It’s a very good start for us, and we’re definitely on the right path. I don’t think any team in this tournament wants it more than us.”
Lead image credit: Activision-Blizzard