Twistzz and his team are ready to lift the ultimate prize in Antwerp

Twistzz: "We are here to fucking win this event"

The Canadian rifler has his eyes on the prize after going 1-1 on the day.

Following the day one games, Dust2.us' Ryan Friend caught up with FaZe's Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken. The two discussed the team's form after the first day, growing as a player with FaZe, the state of the NA scene, and more.

1-1 on the day with a much better second half, a 16-4 scoreline to end. How did it feel to push hard and top the leaderboard?

I think we were in the game, mentally there, and individually we were all warmed up. Our ENCE game was reminiscent of the opening match against them at ESL Pro League. We started very slow, they’re also a top three team in the world, and we have to respect the individuals on the team. You can’t play cold against them. You have to be in their face and play aggressively and shut them down. We didn’t do that.

It's incredibly tough being the No. 1 ranked team in the world facing off with a top-five team in the first round. How did you guys mentally prepare for that ENCE game?

Honestly, we thought it would be Overpass, but they ended up starting Mirage T side. So yeah, maybe we are not so ready for Mirage. We had a good game plan though, but I think individually we had some misses. One unclean aim duel or something can change the round and we had many of those rounds so it just wasn’t there. We lost, I think, multiple three on threes, two on twos, and I think that comes down to the situation. So yeah, just a different game next time and it probably won’t happen.

You’re in a different position now versus about a year and a half ago when you were on Liquid, with a very big environment change. How do you think that the last year and a half of development and change of scenery has helped you develop as a player and as a person?

I think moving away from Liquid and on to FaZe at the beginning of 2021 was a completely different shift of mentality and confidence for me. At the end of Liquid, my confidence was not really there in-game but I was confident in myself to move on to a new project and to work on trying to become a great player again, a top-five player. I had my eyes set on FaZe and they reached out to me pretty fast and we got going. Once I joined, I got all of the roles I wanted, I could be much more vocal in the team, and yeah, I think the environment change gave me a confidence boost.

With this team being such a better environment for you, is that how you’ve now become the best team in the world?

Yes, of course, we have a good environment. We can just jump in and practice some nades, run out and find new stuff. I think that’s why the success has been so strong, we have such a family environment and feeling most of the time. Obviously, all five of us have the same passion, all five of us want to be the best, and I see everyone working their hardest. Seeing everyone work that hard makes you so motivated to give it your all and put in the hours to perform at the highest level.

What has the addition of ropz been like and what have you learned from him?

Not just skill-wise and talent-wise, but the way that he is as a person, he’s extremely likable and a funny person. I personally have gotten along with him a lot just sitting next to him in the seating order, it's like, we are constantly sitting next to each other so I always get to see what he is doing in-game and everything. I was pretty motivated last year and I was trying my hardest to become a way better player, but when he joined I felt a different type of motivation. Him joining made me want to find new stuff for myself and for the team. Just watching him in-game and seeing how he plays his angles and everything, I’m able to take what he does in-game and apply it to my own. That’s a feeling I haven’t had in-game for a long time, where I watch a player and I’m like, “okay I’m learning now” and that’s a special feeling to have.

So you’re more experienced, you’re an older NA player that the region can look up to. Obviously, the region has been pretty decimated with VALORANT players and other things happening to the region. What are your thoughts on the current NA region?

This will come as no surprise that I am saying this, but I have to say that the current region is abysmal. I mean, we saw so many new players moving to VALORANT because they just want the easy money. They see a new game and they see everyone is trying to get into it and it's easy money. I think the switch is for the money and the work ethic wasn’t there in CS to become better.

Liquid’s new AWPer in oSee and the lineup that joined Complexity, do you think those players are the next generation and what they’ve done should be looked up to for new players looking to enter the scene?

Yeah, of course. Seeing the core stick around together for as long as they can and trying to make things work is cool. Seeing them fight after going around the block between Cloud9, Extra Salt, and now Complexity is nice to see, it's good. Obviously, the core must be good friends for them to be together for this long so I think that is definitely the smarter route. But, I will say you can’t always let friendship take over everything and I feel like that’s maybe what happens in the NA scene, you know? You play with your friends and they’re not so good, maybe it’s time to make a new friend. I’m sure there are mechanically talented players in NA that just aren’t being spotted.

You are maybe one of the only North American players with a good chance to win the Major, to at least be favorites in the finals. How do you feel about that and do you feel there is anything special about giving North America another Major?

It's an extremely special feeling for me, but I don’t only think about that. I think about my teammates who have been chasing that Major for so long and they’ve been close multiple times too so I know how it must feel for them to be in this position again. I can feel that they want to capture the moment. As for me, I think we were favorites only one time, which was at the Berlin Major and honestly our team environment did not make us feel like favorites. This time around, there is definitely a feeling of, “we are here to fucking win this event”, we are here to claim the Major trophy for the first time in all of our careers. We are hungrier than ever to win this one.

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