The mountain is steep but the summit is just within reach.
While many thought the European mix began its climb months ago with the addition of Finn "karrigan" Andersen to fill the in-game leader role, those were but foothills compared to the ascension it intends to make now.
karrigan was given a team of adequate climbers, but a team that lacked the strategy to surpass the ledge that strength alone would not allow them to climb. He took the aggressive style of play from the likes of Håvard "rain" Nygaard and gave it purpose, gave it design. The result was a strong hold on a spot in the top 10 of the WWG CSGO Team Rankings.
Although the team consistently made its way to the playoffs, the mountains known as Virtus.pro, Astralis, and SK Gaming were still too arduous a battle. The team still lacked that last bit of strength to break into the summit.
The team had placed 5th-6th at the ECS Season 2 finals, 5th-8th at the ELEAGUE Major 2017, and 9th-12th at DreamHack Masters Las Vegas, the latter with a stand-in.
In comes Nikola "NiKo" Kovac, the veteran cragsman. NiKo had been the lifeline of mousesports during his tenure with the German organization, being depended on for most of the squad's success. Climbing a mountain, no matter how skilled or strong one may be, is much harder with a full backpack. After the negotiations concluded, NiKo was let loose on greener pastures. In his debut with his new team, NiKo was on the winning side against Ninjas in Pyjamas, OpTic Gaming, Fnatic, and Immortals.
Did NiKo immediately send FaZe over the mountain that is Astralis? No, FaZe still fell in its debut against the No. 1 team in the world 3-1 in a best-of-five, however, this is just the beginning. A second place finish in a completely stacked tournament bodes well for the future of FaZe.
The real climb begins now.