Our very own Max Melit caught up with FaZe Xizt post IEM Sydney.
Touching on your own individual form, you had some big maps throughout the IEM Sydney run. How do you evaluate your own individual play?
I think I did ok. I tried to play a bit of a defensive role. I tried to clutch and stuff like this. Just communicate well. Use my experience. That’s what I tried to focus on. If I had a bad game it wasn’t going to affect me for the next map I don’t think. But I think I played, I did what I had to. There were some rounds where I could’ve played better individually actually, but overall I’m happy with the performance of the team.
How do you quantify your experience in-game? What does FaZe get from Xizt’s long-running experience in CS:GO?
We had some problem with being a bit too stressed early on in the tournament and it happened in the final to. So I just tried to keep the other guys calm. I tried to, like, slow down our own game and just put the pressure on Astralis and remind them that we are the underdogs coming into the finals.
I think everyone played great for us. Everyone had their own moments, own rounds. And I think rain stepped up really huge on the last map.
Did you except Astralis to ban Mirage, especially given that they beat you on it in the Marseille Ro8?
I was really surprised, that they’d even try to Cache. Karrigan told me that always when they played before they always insta-ban Cache. I think with me it’s been our strongest map. Personally I really like to play Cache so I was really happy when I found out we were going to start on the map.
'I think the key thing was that we kept our composure' - FaZe Xitz
Playing against Astralis in recent tournaments, their strengths always seem to be emphasised through teamplay and preparation. Having come into the team recently with maybe a fresher outlook, how do you see Astralis’s style? Is it something, also as an IGL, you’d ever want to imitate?
I think it always comes down to communication and not being afraid to do stuff and being active on the map. Obviously they’ve been really good on that lately. But, in a grand final anything can happen. If you start losing you’re going to feel the pressure, you’re going to get nerves. And I think we evolved really great with our team play and communication throughout the tournament. We did some great teamwork plays that worked out really well - baiting for each other and stuff like this. I think it’s really important you gel as a team, you can’t always rely on individual skill.
Is that one of the big strengths you bring to FaZe in-place of olofmeister? The heavy emphasis on teamplay, communication and defensive play?
I mean, I haven’t played that much with Olofmeister, but I think we are kind of similar in terms of communicating well and putting the team first. And we are both Swedes so we kind of call similar. But yeah, you’re right, that is my main focus. I think that’s also how Olof also plays. He also has huge individual plays but I focus more on the teamplay.
Against Astralis on Overpass, did any of their nade stacks completely catch you off-guard or where you aware of them prior?
I mean, to be honest we were prepared for their nades. When they threw their four nades on B right? One round I got caught off by it because it was my bad, I wasn’t ready. But when it comes to these rounds in overtime you forget this stuff. That was a very important round as well, and they entried me.
But we stepped up and we closed it out anyways.
Astralis have been so dominant in Marseille and looked strong throughout Sydney. What was the key factor you think that put you over the top in the finals?
I think the key thing was that we kept our composure. We were down like 10-0 on Train and then we won four rounds in a row or something. And we just believed in our play-style and how we prepared. And then going into the CT half we just felt comfortable, especially after winning the pistol. We showed it against Renegades and we showed it in practice as well. So yeah, we were just really comfortable. We kept reminding each other, the pressure is on Astralis, it’s not on us. I think that helped a lot.
Was there anything from your time on NiP that has directly prepared you for playing on FaZe at such a high level?
Yeah, I mean if you look at NiP in the early days like 2014, 2015 even, f0rest, Get_Right, two of the best players to ever play the game. And when they were on their peak early, it was pretty similar to how FaZe plays with Niko and Guardian and also Rain. it’s pretty sick how much skill this guys have. It’s really easy to play with these high skilled guys. They create so much space and I just try to help out. It’s so much fun actually.
Now being able to look from the outside in at the NiP lineup how do you evaluate their play? Do you think the looser approach they might start pushing hard with Dennis will be strong in the current climate?
I mean, I think it’s not the right way to play, loose. I think you need a leader. You need to play a little bit of both. Kind of like Astralis is doing with gla1ve, a great leader, or Karrigan in FaZe, also a good leader. If you’re looking for consistency then I don’t think playing loose is playing the right way. Obviously bringing in dennis, he is super good individually. I like him as a person, as a player. They have been improving as well, making playoffs. So I think the future is looking good for NiP if they can find more consistency with tactics and stuff like this.
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