On 17th July 2022, FaZe Clan defeated Natus Vincere in a nail-biting yet long Intel Extreme Majors(IEM) Cologne 2022 Grand Final. The victory marks FaZe’s dominance in the Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) competitive scene. They won $400,000 as prize money, 3200 BLAST Premier points, and a place in the IEM Katowice 2023 tournament.
FaZe Clan had an undefeated run in the competition. They swept past 00 Nation, Team Spirit, and Astralis in the Groups. The side marched ahead in the Playoffs, unflinched by Movistar Riders in the Semifinals.
We saw Natus Vincere (Na'Vi) on a similar boat with FaZe crossing paths with them in the Grand Finals. Let’s have a closer look at the matches between the two titans.
IEM Cologne 2022 Finals - Na'Vi vs FaZe Clan
They fought the first match on Inferno with FaZe playing as terrorists in the opening half. Na'Vi had the CT-side advantage and came on top with a score of 9-6.
The second half saw Na'Vi sustaining the lead for a few rounds. However, FaZe came back strong and turned the tide to win 13-16.
The second match saw Na'Vi playing as terrorists in the first half on Overpass. It was neck and neck as Na'Vi finished the half with just a single round lead over FaZe. The second half had Na'Vi struggling in the opening few rounds, but the Ukrainian side managed to get a hold of the game and win 16-13.
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The two finalists played their third match on Ancient. Na'Vi dominated the first half with a score of 12-3 on the CT side. However, as soon as Na'Vi won 15 rounds, FaZe showed incredible resilience to turn the game and take the competition into overtime. Unfortunately for FaZe, Na'Vi didn’t slip and won 19-16.
The fourth match on Mirage was a little one-sided. FaZe dominated the game and gave Na'Vi just nine rounds. The final score was 9-16 in FaZe Clan’s favor.
The deciding match on Nuke was thrilling to watch. Na'Vi got a great start on the Terrorist side, but FaZe caught up fast and leveled the score to 6-6. While it looked like the Ukrainians would win the first half with a significant lead, FaZe snatched seven rounds.
With momentum on their side, FaZe took an important lead in the second half. However, NAVI were not giving up either. They played wisely and, with some cheeky moves, got themselves 14 rounds. That said, Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken had other plans. He switched on and took the 29th round like a storm.
Turning the momentum, FaZe sealed their victory with a score of 14-16 in the Grand Finals.
The team will now look to prepare for the BLAST Premier Fall Groups 2022, set to start on 19th August 2022.
IEM Cologne 2022 - Is FaZe the new Na'Vi?
The Counter-Strike community knows how NAVI reigned supreme last year. However, recently they have struggled to convert brilliant tournament runs into trophies. The only win they had in a Grand Finals was at BLAST Premier Spring Finals 2022.
On the other side of the road, FaZe Clan have slowly improved and showed their authority on the scene with silverwares in multiple competitions as proof of their tremendous form.
This conjures a thought amongst the community. Maybe Na'Vi have stepped down from the pedestal, pushed back by Finn “karrigan” Andersen’s talented team. Has FaZe Clan replaced Na'Vi?
The answer is no. Although Na'Vi have not been on the stage lifting trophies in major competitions, their place in the competitive CSGO is far from gone. If we look at the IEM Cologne 2022 tournament, Na'Vi were a force to reckon with, and they will be unless there is a serious shuffle in the team or something is really wrong with the organization.
What Na'Vi has achieved as a team is not a product of individual brilliance or temporary form. It is more permanent than fans think.
The coordination and chemistry they possess even in times of their nation’s distress and in the absence of their in-game leader Kirill “Boombl4” Mikhaylov is impressive. They are a proper team with a hunger for victory.
FaZe Clan has definitely switched gears in 2022. They are the team to beat right now and have what it takes to build an era. However, it’s too early to judge. CSGO is a fickle game; teams who stay on top need everything it takes to maintain their position.
With the amount of competition and talent in the scene, we don’t see a single team staying on top long enough to build an era. That said, this is just our opinion. It is Counter-Strike, and you can never say never in this beautiful and unpredictable game.
For more on the game, please check out our section dedicated to CS:GO esports, news, updates, and much more.
Featured image courtesy of ESL.