GINX Esports TV caught up with Matthew "Skrapz" Marshall at the CWL Finals in Miami, Florida to discuss playing for FaZe Clan, beating 100 Thieves and winning his first championship.
It's the first time this team has got this far in a tournament, now in the Winner's Finals â€“ what changed to help you push that step further?
This team formed just before CWL London, we got robbed there and I think everybody agrees that event doesnâ€™t count for us; we deserved that win. Then we went to Anaheim and we placed fourth, we lost game 5 twice to OpTic and was just unlucky. In the cross-division play during the Pro League we took losses to 100 Thieves and Units which was just sloppy from us.
But we went home, we were on every day, getting better as a team, watching VODs and spending hours practicing, and now itâ€™s showing.
Do you think itâ€™s down to your improvements in Search and Destroy? At London you were struggling but here in Miami youâ€™ve been playing it really well.
Yeah, it was only a matter of time really. We have so many SnD stars on the team, like Asim, Cellium is probably the best SnD player in the world. Having someone like that on your team â€“ itâ€™s only a matter of time before youâ€™re winning most of your Search and Destroy matches and now itâ€™s paying off.
You swept 100 Thieves 3-0 to kick off the CWL Finals, a match that initially probably looked pretty daunting. How much of a confidence booster is that?
Going into that series we had a lot of confidence. During the Pro League recently they 3-0 swept us, it was a 30-minute series and that just wasnâ€™t us at all. Weâ€™ve come here and shown that, and it was a really big win for us.
Most of this team hasnâ€™t won a championship, but for you it seems to have been a long time coming. Do you feel like thereâ€™s more or less pressure on you, someone who seems to have been in touching distance of championships but never quite made it?
Thereâ€™s no pressure. Up until last year on Red Reserve, that was the first time I was on a top team and surrounded by top players, and when I joined that team we came second and third. In this team, itâ€™s good having Tommy (Paparatto, "Zoomaa") and Trei (Morris, "Zer0") because theyâ€™ve had that experience of winning big events and getting MVP so it helps us out, especially with the young guns in their first year.
Mine is just long overdue. I wake up every morning wondering how I still havenâ€™t got a championship, but Iâ€™m getting there. I know Iâ€™m going to get it.
Weâ€™ve seen a lot of young players come out of the woodwork this year, such as Asim and Cellium. Why do you think this is? Is there something about the game itself, the way the year is formatted?
Before Cellium turned 18 everyone was already talking about the kid, and Asim came through Crowderâ€™s sub tournaments and got his name out there. But everybodyâ€™s been watching these players for the last few years and it was only a matter of time before they turned 18 and got on a team like this.
You guys have seen some tough times over the last year â€“ how does it feel to now be representing FaZe Clan at the highest level? Especially as UK players, it feels like a huge achievement.
Obviously under Red Reserve it was tough, we werenâ€™t even getting paid, weâ€™re each owed like $50-60k off them, so it was tough going to events stressed out. Thatâ€™s not an excuse by any means, because the team wasnâ€™t the greatest. But to be on a team like this, like you say not many European players have done this, so being one of the few Iâ€™m really thankful and blessed to be in this position and Iâ€™ll never take it for granted.
Who do you think is your main competition heading into Champs? Any teams that youâ€™re keeping an eye on in particular?
Obviously outside of 100 Thieves or OpTic, I think eUnited is probably the toughest team to play against. When theyâ€™re on one, itâ€™s really difficult to beat them. But thereâ€™s a lot of great teams â€“ thereâ€™s around six to eight that could all beat each anybody. Thereâ€™s nobody Iâ€™m directing at, I just take every match as it comes.
Skrapz and his teammates on FaZe Clan will be looking ahead to the Call of Duty World Championships, set to take place August 14-18 in Los Angeles, California. Can they see the same level of success as they've achieved at CWL Finals? Only time will tell.
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