Slingshot’s Vince Nairn caught up with FaZe Clan’s Finn “Karrigan” Andersen to talk about adjusting to his new team, what went wrong with Astralis and being away from home for a month.
Vince Nairn: What’re your overall thoughts on making it to the semifinals?
Finn “karrigan” Andersen: I think I’m quite surprised from the veto that the last two maps will be Overpass and Cache, so after playing Nuke I felt pretty confident that the next two maps that we will be able to win the whole series. All in all, it was exhausting game. First of all, we lost 16-3 the first map or something like that, 16-4. Got completely outplayed, I would say. And then we came into Overpass and Cache, so it was a pretty good match for us. All in all, an exhausting match.
VN: Even though you said that you were feeling confident about the last two maps, was it tough to put the first one away and forget about it, given how one sided it was?
FA: I feel it’s quite hard even though we won the pistol and following two rounds on Overpass, but we came in at 6-3, 7-3, I think. Managed to come back, and that’s why I start believing again the whole team we can feel the communication was going up again. It was quite a tough start on Overpass, so after a few rounds I was more comfortable playing that map and Cache as well.
VN: When the bracket came out for the playoffs, I think a lot of people looked at it and saw SK, Dignitas, Astralis one one side and you on the other side, and I think a lot of people automatically penciled in Virtus Pro to the final. If you heard any of that did you take that personally? Likewise does it feel accomplished to get that first step on the way to the title?
FA: I think VP is — might be — the best team in the world. (VP) has shown in the last four tournaments, top four placings and won even two, I think. So all in all, they should win the tournament. They should have made the finals if you look on the bracket. But on the other side I always know that my team is always comfortable playing VP from back in the day, even though it’s only (Håvard “rain” Nygaard) who played that old Kinguin team that won 16-0 on Cache. So I think VP is a good matchup for us, play wise, team wise, map pool wise, which also showed today I think. So coming into a match where you’re actually underdogs and you feel comfortable, that’s always a dangerous criteria for the other team, if you ask me.
VN: What has it been like for you, just getting to this FaZe team and trying to piece it all together?
FA: I think it’s refreshing for that I can find myself (here). In Astralis there was always a second force. Everything I called, everything I said, the belief in me wasn’t there anymore, even though we had good players and we had the potential to be the best team in the world. But right now, I come into a team who gives everything to me, believe everything I say, everything I do. Maybe comes down to just making the veto, just deciding. So all in all I think this is the way I want to handle things, veto wise, tactic wise, team wise. I just have it all for myself now, compared to having second thoughts.
VN: It’s interesting because the result of that swap, you coming here and (Lukas “gla1ve” Rossander) coming into Astralis. It seemed to ignite both teams. Is it weird just kinda how that works out sometimes where one roster swap can really help both teams?
FA: I don’t think so because the way Astralis wants to play as a team was not the way I wanted to play as a team. I want to play more explosive, more mid-round calling, more thinking outside the box sometimes, do crazy stuff. Like, gla1ve is more doing some standard, having some set goals, and that’s how Astralis wants to play, so it makes more sense to not whole team believe in gla1ve, and whole team in Faze believe in me. As long as the belief is there, until it fades away, then it’s hard to get to get good teams to trust you again.
VN: How long did it take when you first got to Faze, and I know there was another swap after you got here, but how long did it take to kind of start leaving your imprint on the way you wanted to play, and wanted to do things?
FA: Actually from Day 1. We only had one practice day before the ELEAGUE tournament, where we beat Cloud9 in a best of three. That’s the first time they actually made a playoff in the whole FaZe Clan history, and beating Cloud9 at that point in a best of three was like top five team if you ask me. So come into that, I think my fingerprint was set from Day 1, just taking over everything, calling a lot of stuff. Now I have to focus more on my own game because it’s very exhausting to play six maps and you don’t have too many time for tactics because we’re on 20 days away now from home, not that we’ve been having practice, only sometimes here at ELEAGUE. In the end we just have to play good as a team.
VN: What’s this month been like? You guys have not been alone in doing three, four tournaments all away from home. At least when Cloud9’s there, they’re based out of North America so it’s all kinda home. What’s this month of travel been like for you and just trying to not get too tired or drained or anything?
FA: It’s quite hard because I think last year there wasn’t so many tournaments in the US, and being abroad, and not being home (is tough). For us, it doesn’t make sense for us to go home for three days, because it takes one day to travel home, and one day to travel back. So if we had tournaments in Europe, we’d probably go home Monday and then we’d go to next tournament on Wednesday or Thursday. But we have to stay here 20 days until Dec. 20 because we have the ECS Finals and the Major qualifier, which is all in the US. So it’s quite hard to stay so long time completely abroad from everything you know.
VN: Is there anything that you try to do during this down time? Because obviously you guys are trying to practice a lot and you’re still putting in some new tactics. Is there anything you try to do to just give your mind the break sometimes?
FA: I think doing stuff, we have two days off, we don’t want to practice I think Tuesday to Wednesday. Maybe going to Anaheim, so I think we’re gonna do some stuff there, going to Six Flags, or do some other stuff than sitting in the hotel room because it’s gonna be a long 20 days so it can be some guys want to watch hockey, stuff like that. So we’ll see what we do.