The FaZe Clan Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS: GO) team made history in St Julian’s, Malta this month, by winning the ESL Pro League Season 17, completing the Intel Grand Slam. The team gained a place in esports history by walking away with US $1million in gold ingots.
SiGMa News shares the first part of an ‘Insight‘ on the winning team of ESL Pro League Season 17.
Longest running professional league
The ESL Pro League is the world’s longest-running professional CS: GO league, and teams from Europe, North America, South America and the Asia-Pacific region compete for prize money and bonuses. ESL Season 17 had a peak viewership of more than 517,000 viewers. To secure the Intel Grand Slam, a team was required to win four out of ten consecutive competitions.
The multi-national FaZe Clan CS: GO team is managed by Robert ‘RobbaN’ Dahlström. His teammates in Malta were Andersen, Håvard “FaZe Rain” Nygaard, Helvijs “FaZe Broky” Saukants, Robin “FaZe Ropz” Kool and Russel “FaZe Twistzz” Van Dulken. Captain of the team was Shotcaller Finn “FaZe Karrigan”.
Swedish born, 37 year-old ‘RobbaN’ is retired from the game as a professional Counter-Strike player and his role is to manage and coach the team. He moved to a full managerial role in 2019. Previously he was well known for his time with Swedish teams such as Begrip Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas and SK Gaming, where he played with teammates such as Christopher ‘GeT_RiGhT’ Alesund, Patrik ‘f0rest’ Lindberg, Marcus “Delpan” Larsson and Johan “face” Klasson, among others. In September 2020, RobbaN received a five-month ban from all ESIC member events.
Joining the team in 2021, the 23-year-old Canadian Counter Strike: Global Offensive professional Russel David ‘Twistzz’ Van Dulken is the first player to complete an Intel Grand Slam twice. Previously he played for top teams such as Team SoloMid, Misfits and Team Liquid. His interest in esports began when he started to play games with his father for long periods at a very young age. He eventually joined the first professional team Tectonic in 2015 and was spotted by the industry as an up-and-coming professional with a bright future ahead of him in esports.
I had no doubt about winning and kept mentally strong. My motivation was grand slam II” Twistzz Van Dulken
He attributed his success to a payoff for all the hard work and time spent away from his family.
A news website and forum that covers professional Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and esports tournaments, HLTV named Twistzz as the 12th best professional esports player in 2019. In 2022 he joined FaZe Clan to replace ‘Kjaerbye‘. FaZe’s first place at the ESL Pro League Season 17 in Malta winning the INtel Grand Slam Season 4 makes Twistzz the first player to win two Grand Slams.
FaZe’s captain is 32-year-old Danish professional Shotcaller Finn ‘FaZe Karrigan’. Karrigan has attracted his share of criticism after the team had a nine-month losing streak. After bouncing back and winning again, Karrigan thanked his supporters and fans for supporting him throughout his time with FaZe Clan and expressed his delight to see the team bouncing back again.
I know it has been a tough last four years for FaZe Clan, and there haven’t been many trophies, so I am happy to bring big trophies this year. I want to say thanks to all the doubters and haters who just fuel me every day. I am going to do my best to improve every day, and like always, FaZe Up.” FaZe “Karrigan”
Estonian professional CS: GO player for FaZe Clan, Robin Kool, better known as ‘Ropz’, at only 23, has played in six Majors and won the PGL Major Antwerp 2022.
It has been a tough road with tough moments. I kept believing in my team and I am proud of everyone on the team’s return,” Robin ‘Ropz’ Kool
Discussing the grand slam, he admitted that it was the first time he had broken down after a win as he was overwhelmed when the team overcame the tough challenges of the tournament.
22-year-old Helvijs ‘Broky’ Saukants, has spent most of his professional career playing for FaZe Clan. He won the PGL Antwerp 2022 Major with the roster. Broky declined to be drawn on his views with regards to the win in post-match interviews. He simply added that he was ‘’happy about the win’’ and thanking everyone for their support.
Håvard Nygaard, better known as ‘Rain’ has been on the team since 2016. The 28-year-old Norwegian, is the longest lasting member of the line-up and has played with more than 15 teammates. He has never been off the active roster. Before the grand slam win in Malta, Rain was on the team that made history for being part of the first line-up to win the golden trio in a single calendar year – IEM Katowice, IEM Cologne, and CS: GO, Major. Regarding his loyalty to FaZe Clan, Rain said ” I’m in FaZe, and I love it here.”
Next is Regional Major Rankings (RMR) events
FaZe Clan is one of the world’s most influential gaming organizations, with a combined global fanbase of over 510 million across a number of social platforms. In addition to CS: GO, FaZe Clan’s esports division includes teams competing in Fortnite, FIFA, PUBG, PUBG Mobile, Rainbow Six, Call of Duty League (Atlanta FaZe), Rocket League and VALORANT. FaZe Clan’s fashion and apparel line produces an extensive range in collaboration with Champion, NFL, Manchester City FC, Lyrical Lemonade, Kappa, CLOT, and LA Kings.
The team is incredibly proud to finally close out the Intel Grand Slam, especially in Malta at EPL Season 17. They worked extremely hard to prepare for this game because they knew how important it was. We want to thank all the fans and the organization for supporting us. The next event will be the RMR, and we hope to continue this streak at the Major.” Edward Han, FaZe Clan Director of Esports Operations
The next events for FaZe Clain are ESL Pro Tour for CS: GO with ESL Challenger League Season 45, taking place online between 4 April to 4 May and IEM Rio 2023 taking place in Rio de Janeiro between 17 – 23 April.
Pro League will return to Malta in the second half of August.
Shaun Clark, Senior Director of Game Ecosystems, said of the FaZe Clan victory that winning four out of ten prestigious ESL Pro Tour tournaments is an extremely remarkable achievement. He added that Intel plays an unparalleled role in supporting efforts “to underline and foster greatness within the EPT ecosystem”.
The Commissioner of the ESL Pro League, Alex Inglot pointed out that the season was a rollercoaster for fans that followed the championships in Malta.
Not only did Valve drop Counter-Strike 2 and unleash havoc during our playoff week, but we also saw our Partner Team FaZe Clan complete the Intel Grand Slam – a tremendous achievement. Furthermore, the whole team crafted and delivered a new proposition in the ecosystem, creating relentless drama and new content, bringing the players and their personalities to the fore, and, most importantly, giving Counter-Strike fans an upgraded ESL Pro League to enjoy twice a year.” Alex Inglot, ESL Commissioner