FaZe Clan became the first completely international roster to win a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive Major after winning the PGL Major Antwerp. In-game leader Finn “karrigan” Andersen (Denmark) alongside Håvard "rain" Nygaard (Norway), Helvijs "broky" Saukants (Latvia), Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken (Canada) and Robin "ropz" Kool (Estonia) beat Natus Vincere 2-0 in the Antwerp Major final.
Previous CS:GO Major winning teams have typically been composed of players with one nationality like Astralis (Denmark), Cloud9 (United States), SK Gaming (Brazil), Team Envy (France) or Fnatic (Sweden). Last year, NAVI won with a Russian and Ukrainian roster. However, FaZe are the first team with five players who are all of distinct nationalities. Notably, Twistzz became only the sixth North American player to win a Major after the five Americans who won the Boston Major with Cloud9 in 2018.
Speaking of the Boston Major … the Antwerp Major win is redemption for karrigan, rain and the FaZe Clan org after FaZe infamously blew a 15-11 lead to Cloud9 at the Boston Major. Cloud9 ultimately won NA’s first and only Major. Four years later, karrigan, rain and FaZe have won their first Major.
At 32 years old, the fan-favorite veteran karrigan has won several big CS:GO tournaments, but a Major has eluded him until now. Meanwhile, rain not only won his first Major but also was named tournament MVP. Rain led all players in the server with 30 kills on the series deciding map, Nuke.
Photo credit: PGL
The 2-0 victory over NAVI followed FaZe’s 2-1 quarterfinals victory over Ninjas in Pyjamas and a 2-0 win over Team Spirit in the semifinals. Team Spirit pushed FaZe in the second map which FaZe ultimately won 25-23 in triple overtime. NAVI pushed FaZe to overtime in the first map of the final, which FaZe won 19-16.
The Antwerp Major win is the latest in a dominant run this year by FaZe, who have cemented their place as the No. 1 CS:GO team in the world. FaZe have now won the three biggest CS:GO tournaments this year: IEM Katowice, ESL Pro League Season 15 and the PGL Major Antwerp.
Fittingly, FaZe beat NAVI, the best team in the world in 2021 and winners of the last Major, the PGL Major Stockholm. The final of the Antwerp Major surpassed 2 million concurrent viewers, according to Esports Charts, making it the second-most watched CS:GO Major ever after the Stockholm Major.
After the final, NAVI superstar Oleksandr "s1mple" Kostyliev congratulated FaZe and karrigan via social media. S1mple, widely considered one of the best CS:GO players in the world, won his first Major with NAVI in Stockholm last year.
NAVI have now been runners-up at four Majors: DreamHack Open Cluj-Napoca 2015, Columbus 2016, London 2018 and Antwerp 2022.
FaZe will look to pick up another trophy at the next big tournament of the year, IEM Dallas, which starts in just over a week. IEM Dallas, which takes place May 30 to June 5, will be the first big CS:GO tournament to take place in North America since the start of the COVID pandemic. Both FaZe and NAVI will be among the 16 teams competing in Dallas.
Lead photo credit: PGL
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