Is Twistzz their secret weapon for 2021?
Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken has been one of the leading players in North America for a long time now. After two years of team hopping, Twistzz found himself with an org he would later call home. For three years, Team Liquid climbed the ranks with Twistzz by their side the entire time. They won a total of thirteen events together and became legends within the competitive community.
Twistzz is clearly a prodigy and one of the best players to ever touch Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). After falling short to first-place one to many times, Twistzz made a decision like no other. He left his team of three years and moved to competing in Europe with FaZe Clan.
Both Twistzz and FaZe have a lot to work on if they want to succeed in different circumstances. Both parties are chalked full of talent, they just need to find a groove that works for them. Twistzz is a highly awarded player who has seen the top twenty list two years in a row.
At the age of 21, he has nearly a million dollars in earnings along with multiple titles. His trophy case is packed full of cups which is why he chose to make his move with FaZe. Twistzz wants to continue his streak of success by playing with the best possible orgs in CS:GO. He made a huge commitment to Team Liquid years ago and is clearly ready for a move.
The main area that Team Liquid always struggled with was their performance at Major events. They’ve won everything from IEM and BLAST to a million dollar Grand Slam from Intel. But it’s their Major event placements that always seem to get in the way of Team Liquid celebrating. In 2018, they finished in fourteenth-place which was a complete let down for the org.
That same year they earned a fourth-place finish but lost complete composure against Astralis in the semi-finals. Lastly they finalised their results in 2019 with two top eight placements. Loss after loss only led to frustration, especially for the young and talented Twistzz.
WHAT HAPPENED TO FAZE?
Within the past couple of years, FaZe has had their fair share of ups and downs throughout the competitive scene. In 2017, they fell short to multiple Major events but also won four S-Tier tournaments. They started off 2018 with one of the biggest matchups in the history of CS:GO.
FaZe lost to Cloud9 in the grand finals of the ELEAGUE Major in Boston after failing to keep up the pace in overtime. In 2019 their earnings began to drop along with a decrease in Major placements.
Last year was definitely the slowest season for both Twistzz and FaZe. They lost a handful of events and dipped off in the world rankings. Hoping to change their performances in 2021, the two combined to create a legendary roster. This led to players getting benched while veteran players made their way back to the main roster.
BACK TO BASICS
FaZe is currently missing a coach in their lineup which can create an unorganised team. They are in desperate need of one considering Twistzz is new to the roster. He needs help getting comfortable with his teammates and finding the right amount of chemistry to win. Team captain Marcelo "coldzera" David will have to take on more responsibility without the help of a head coach.
Another issue with FaZe is their current stand-in who’s been playing with the roster for a while now. Even though Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer Gustafsson is a legend, he’s slowed down over the past couple of years.
Olofmeister was a beast back in the day when he played for Fnatic. He earned two Majors and a ton of cash over the years. After joining FaZe he continued to dominate but it was clear that his performance began to fluctuate. These past competitions led to olofmeister taking five months off but was later forced back as a substitute.
Since then, FaZe has been on the bottom when it comes to both earnings and championships. They lacked a lot of points in 2020 and only played in a total of eight events. Olofmeister was put in a tough situation but FaZe was desperate for someone to help keep the team active for competitions.
WHO'S ON THE BENCH?
Finally, there’s Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjaerbye, the entry rifler who was cut from the team to make room for Twistzz. Even though he’s still under the org, Kjaerbye is still riding the bench for 2021. He made it clear on Twitter that it was a surprise but he respects the decision made from FaZe.
Kjaerbye wanted to have his breakout year with FaZe but fell short in recent competitions. With the right coach and hopefully another stand-in, FaZe might have a real chance at becoming champs this year. Now they just need to strap in and work with Twistzz for a dominant season.
Images via ESL | FaZe Clan