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Published: September 14, 2023

Written by: Stefan Velikov

  • FaZe defeated 9z 2-0 to proceed forward into the EPL Malta
  • The teams had a very close first map, but FaZe obliterated 9z on the second one
  • Karrigan stated this victory was due to a shifting mindset within FaZe

FaZe’s mixed European roster is one step closer to securing a playoff berth at the EPL in Malta after defeating their South American opponents from 9z.

FaZe Defeat 9z

Playing for the first time since their disastrous 9-16th place run through Gamers8 a month ago, FaZe seem to have learned their lesson, as the squad obliterated their opponents 9z in the opening round of Group C of the EPL. Although the South Americans proved to be a tough opponent on the first map, Nuke, they seemed to have run out of steam when the playfield switched, allowing FaZe to dominate them and win the match 2-0.

“Coming into this tournament we talked about having it more chill with less pressure,” said FaZe’s captain Finn “⁠karrigan⁠” Andersen in a post-match interview. “Obviously, we want to win the tournament, but I think the last two years, every tournament we came into we had to win it.”

The Dane also further explained that FaZe’s new mindset is what helped them achieve this victory. “It’s a different mindset now because I feel like we’re the gatekeepers to the top five. If you want to be in the top five, you have to pass us, [but] that’s not fun to be, we want to be higher,” he said.

Meanwhile, FaZe’ Håvard “rain” Nygaard stated that the match against 9z was quite comfortable, and although the team had trouble with the South Americans on the first map, the second one, Inferno, was a whole different story. “It was steamrolling the entire time. Everything we did worked out and Finn had a really good game plan,” he explained.

Here’s How the Match Went

Both teams initially face off on 9z’s pick of Nuke, though it was FaZe who enjoyed the better start. The Europeans were very mobile on the defensive, constantly disrupting the South American’s plans, which led to the former having a large 10-5 advantage by the time the sides switched.

Despite that, FaZe was not out of the woods yet as when the sides switched, 9z’s Santino “⁠try⁠” Rigal and Franco “⁠dgt⁠” Garcia joined forces with 51 kills between them to regain the initiative for their side. However, this was not enough to completely turn the tides of battle, as FaZe managed to eke out victory at the last moment, largely thanks to Robin “⁠ropz⁠” Kool’s performance. This helped the Europeans to get a too-close-for-comfort 16-14 victory on Nuke.

Inferno, however, was an entirely different story, with FaZe completely decimating 9z on the offensive. By the end of the halftime, the European team had a massive 14-1 advantage over their South American opponents. The latter offered some token resistance in the second half, but it was not nearly enough, resulting in FaZe taking Inferno with a whopping 16-3 advantage and winning the match.

Now, FaZe will clash against fnatic, who recently defeated Imperial. The result of the match on September 14 will decide which team will secure a berth for the EPL playoffs. Meanwhile, 9z will go up against their South American colleagues in an attempt to stave off the Last Chance Stage.

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