Credit: ESL

Three-map thriller goes the way of FaZe

FaZe move past Team Liquid in a close brawl, decided on Inferno

The opening round of IEM Katowice is slowly but surely nearing its end, meaning that we will have seen every team play their first match of the event tomorrow. The last game of day one, however, was between FaZe and Team Liquid. Both teams will seek to kick off the event on a good footing and take avoid the lower bracket of Group B. Going into the matchup Team Liquid's new-look roster, currently ranked at 54 in the world, were the underdogs on paper. Despite this, it was a close three-map series that was ultimately decided on Inferno. FaZe proved the better team in the end and managed to take home a solid 2-1 victory to kick off their event run.

The first map was the choice of FaZe and saw the Bo3-series start on Mirage. When looking at the statistics in the past three months for FaZe it seemed a surprising pick for the otherwise star-studded roster. Having only won 20% of their matches on Mirage in the past three months (5 games), a chance for an upset was on the cards for Team Liquid. The first half of Mirage was a close affair, with both teams showing promise and settling at the scoreline of 8-7. In the second half, however, it seemed as if Team Liquid was in full control. A clinical T-side saw them take home Mirage at 16-11 and put FaZe on their backfoot.

The second map of the series was to be played on Ancient and was, of course, picked by Team Liquid. Whilst our sample size for Team Liquid’s Ancient is very small, it seemed a clever pick as it is equally a map that FaZe have played very little. When Ancient got underway, however, FaZe didn’t seem uncomfortable one bit. In fact, it seemed as if they had all the answers to Team Liquid and ended their CT-sided half with a huge 12-3 lead. All FaZe had to do in the second half was to finish what they had started, and they did exactly that. At 16-6, they moved to the third and final of Inferno to find a victor.

It seemed only fitting that the intense brawl between Team Liquid and FaZe was to end on Inferno, the map known for its thrilling third map showdowns. On their CT-side it was FaZe to further add to their previous success on Ancient. With Liquid struggling to string together multiple rounds the scoreline favored FaZe at 10-5 going into the second half of Inferno. The second half continued exactly as the first, an intense affair with FaZe having the slight upper hand against Team Liquid. At 16-9 FaZe collected their first victory of IEM Katowice 2022.

Highlight of the BO3-series

FaZe - Team Liquid 2-1 | IEM Katowice 2022

16-11 (Mirage) | oSee – 1.40 Rating / 19-12 K-D / 78.6 ADR

16-6 (Ancient) | broky - 1.49 Rating / 23-12 K-D / 97.6 ADR

16-10 (Inferno) | Zyw0o - 1.59 Rating / 26-12 K-D / 94.8 ADR

MVP: Helvijs "broky" Saukants - 1.41 Rating / 70-37 K-D / 83.8 ADR

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