Can both teams plan ahead for their upcoming events?
Team Vitality and FaZe Clan have become subject to recent roster changes which have the possibility of changing their game style for the following season. Vitality’s team captain Dan "apEX" Madesclaire has stepped down from the main roster, meaning Nabil "Nivera" Benrlitom will take his place on the team. Not to worry though, apEX hasn’t made his removal from the team permanent.
Instead, he’ll be taking some time off due to personal reasons. FaZe, on the other hand, are in the midst of a roster crisis due to Markus "Kjaerbye" Kjaerbye riding the bench while Olof "olofmeister" Kajbjer Gustafsson questions his retirement. Russel "Twistzz" Van Dulken has shown a lot of talent since joining FaZe, but he’s still in need of a consistent team to back him up during competition.
WHAT HAPPENED TO APEX?
Vitality’s head coach Remy "XTQZZZ" Quoniam made an official statement on Twitter the other day regarding the current state of apEX. XTQZZZ made it clear that Vitality hasn’t reached their full potential, which led to his decision to give apEX time away from playing.
He’ll be away during all of BLAST Premier Spring while Nivera takes a shot at picking up the team. Vitality most recently completed their run at the BLAST Premier Global Final where they finished in third place. With the help of apEX, Vitality won their first two matches but struggled against Astralis and NAVI - two teams they dominated last year and showed no remorse to. Even though most teams would take a top-three finish as a sign of skill, Vitality is simply focused on perfection. That means they expect back to back titles by winning every match with pure ease.
NIVERA TAGS IN
Now for the rookie who will take apEX’s place until he gets back on his feet. Nivera made multiple stand-in attempts for Vitality at the BLAST Global Finals. In game two against Complexity, he subbed in for Kevin “misutaaa” Rabier and showed an average performance.
The entire team was carried by Mathieu “ZywOo” Herbaut which led to the semi-finals against Team Liquid. Nivera played on map one and was able to keep up with the high demands from his dominant team. His performance was nothing but the best up until Vitality played against Astralis.
Nivera fell short on both Dust2 and Inferno, but he’s not the only member of Vitality who was outplayed by the Danish legends. That includes everyone except for ZywOo, who was the only player in game three with a positive KD.
VITALITY TAKES A HARD LOSS AT BLAST
The BLAST Premier Global Finals was definitely an unexpected tournament at best. NAVI burned bridges by dominating the losers bracket while Vitality was stuck in a losing streak. Astralis was massacred in the finals and no longer showed that high-level talent their fans expected from them.
Vitality definitely had a chance to win, but they were too busy dying in the shadow of their teammate ZywOo. Even though he’s the best player in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), XTQZZZ still expects the rest of Vitality to keep up during events. Who knows, maybe the team has become too comfortable with ZywOo’s skill level and need to now work as a team.
OLOFMEISTER SEEKS CLOSURE
As for FaZe, olofmeister has hinted at his final retirement from CS:GO and possibly esports as a whole. He recently turned twenty-nine and is shy of ten years in the Counter-Strike industry. Olofmeister is an esports veteran and has over forty different events along with two Major titles.
He’s seen it all meaning it’s time for olofmeister to find his next chapter in life away from CS:GO. Team Captain Marcelo "coldzera" David recently commented about the state of olofmeister and the future of FaZe.
THE CURRENT STATE OF FAZE
While singing Twistzz was the first step in the right direction, the next acquisition for FaZe should happen around April of this year. This gives olofmeister time to ride out his contract while his teammates practice with potential recruits.
FaZe has played a total of two events this year and are currently on track to compete at BLAST Premier Spring and the IEM World Champs. Once olofmeister steps down from the team, FaZe will move on to Season 13 and 14 of the ESL Pro League along with BLAST Premier Fall.
They most recently completed their run at the SteelSeries Invitational which was more for pleasure than earnings. FaZe lost to OG in the finals, but Twistzz showed a lot of drive during his matches.
PLANS FOR KJAERBYE
The one member of FaZe that didn’t compete at that event was their old entry fragger Kjaerbye. After being benched from the team, Kjaerbye made it clear on Twitter that he’s not backing down from competing.
Instead, he’ll be grinding FPL and taking up every possible opportunity to play in an event. Benching Kjaerbye compared to a burnt-out olofmeister was definitely a surprise to most competitive viewers.
Kjaerbye showed a lot of drive at the beginning of 2021 but didn't have a lot of time to prove himself as a player. Fans of Kjaerbye will see if FaZe made the right decision after BLAST Premier Spring.
Images via ESL | Twitter