karrigan: "We have to beat those teams, it doesn't matter if you meet them now or later"
IEM Rio was no short of a disaster for FaZe. On top of the world for most of 2022, the international squad looked prime and ready to win the Intel Grand Slam on the biggest stage in the world in front of a ravenous cloud. Things looked decent coming out of the RMR, but their hopes crashed and burned with a surprisingly quick 0-3 in the Swiss Stage. Just before the finals between two unlikely candidates, Dust2us' Ryan Friend talked with FaZe's in-game leader, Finn "karrigan" Andersen, about his team's unfortunate downturn and the rest of the CS:GO circuit.
After elimination, you've still been here for a few days, have you seen the sights?
Yeah, this is the first time I'm really enjoying a city while I'm there for a tournament. The first reaction when getting eliminated in the group stage is to go home, but I wanted to see FURIA in playoffs, I wanted to see the arena and experience that feeling. Brazil is treating me really well, but I hope next time I won't be eliminated and I'll still be playing CS.
You guys obviously didn't do so well at this event. You were so dominant the whole year, one win away from the IGS, do you feel like there was fatigue from constantly performing day after day?
Honestly no. When we played Pro League we realized we were not at our 100%. Then we had our second bootcamp, nine days long, and it felt really good. I was talking to the players and we all felt confident that we would go far. But, if it doesn't click in game, that's it. If you have one bad day at the Major, and it's the first day, you go 0-2, and that's what happened to us. We even played good teams until the BNE game, that was a rough one. I don't think it was fatigue, that's not an excuse, but sometimes it doesn't click and it hurts when its the first day of the Major.
A lot of talk has happened about the seeding, do you think it needs to be changed at a Major?
I think this is the first time we've seen really rough seeding in terms of the Legends and Challengers Stages. We could have won against Cloud9. It is what it is, we have to beat those teams, it doesn't matter if you meet them now or later. It is rough to meet them early on when you're not warm yet. For me, this is the first time I've seen a big problem with the Major seeding.
There's a new break in the player schedule in 2023. I saw on Twitter that you guys didn't seem to know about it until it was announced. How are you feeling about it? I know a lot of North American pros are somewhat happy with the changes, but for you guys, the Europeans, do you find more difficulty with it?
I think there's two things to it. Many players wanted a break after the Major, but for me I think we should just ask to change the Majors dates, which would be a better solution. Especially for many of these young players, eighteen or nineteen, have plans for university. They usually do their exams during the break. People have kids, they are still in school in June, so you can't really travel anywhere. There's a lot of cases that take issue with it. They wanted a break after the Major, which I understand, but I think it makes sense to go back to the old system and see what we can do about the Majors.
With the Major schedule, and the schedule overall, coming out of COVID, it seems a little packed. Do you think there needs to be more space, or do you think the pace of events has been good this year?
I think it's pretty good. Obviously, for a fan, it looks like a lot. Pro League is six weeks, but as a player, you only play a maximum of two weeks. This season, we have played every tournament that makes sense, and for me, I haven't experienced fatigue. The only one that had a lot of fatigue was IEM Dallas after the Major. That was rough, but you're gong into the tournament knowing it's going to be rough, so it is what it is. I feel like the situation where we're at right now is good, where even if the big teams say no, there's a storyline at the event.