Perhaps an unexpected name to play the grand final of IEM Katowice, FaZe Clan has proven throughout the tournament that they can overcome any challenge.
From the play-ins to the playoffs, and perhaps lifting a trophy later today: This is FaZe Clan's IEM Katowice record.
FaZe Clan's COVID curse
Image: ESL / Adela Sznajder
Before the event kicked off, FaZe had to scramble to field a lineup. Recent signee and star lurker Robin "ropz" Kool tested positive for Corona on his way to Katowice and was forced to quarantine for 10 days.
By bringing in Justin "jks" Savage, they found a stand-in with a similar profile, and if the team managed to survive long enough ropz could take his spot back.
With the patched-up roster, FaZe got off to a solid start in the play-ins, as they took down Sprout in the opening round.
After falling behind in their second series against MOUZ, the team showed resilience by winning the last two maps, securing themselves a spot in the main event in the process.
While they started the group stage with a victory against Team Liquid, FaZe was once again hit by Corona.
Ahead of their match against Fnatic, Havard "Rain" Nygaard tested positive for the virus and had to continue playing from his hotel room. AWPer Helvijs "Broky" Saukants was isolated as well, as he waited for further testing to clear him.
But there was also good news: ropz was able to present a negative test, meaning he could finally travel to Katowice and join the team.
They beat Fnatic, securing themselves a spot in the playoffs, and while Natus Vincere send them down to the quarter-finals, FaZe had defied expectations by going this far.
As Rain wasn't able to play on stage, FaZe once again called on jks to fill the gap. This time, the Australian had to do so in a far more aggressive role. But he adapted and proved his versatility.
FaZe took down Gambit and Heroic in the Spodek Arena, as the Polish fans fell in love with the ragtag team.
Facing G2 in the grand final, FaZe Clan has an appointment with history to erase the crushing defeat they faced on the same stage against Fnatic in 2018.
Will Karrigan finally lift the trophy in Poland? Tune in here at 17.00h CET to find out.
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