FaZe’s incredible CS2 finals streak comes to a brutal end in Malta

FaZe Clan’s early Counter-Strike 2 era of dominance has been quelled somewhat following the team’s quarterfinal exit to French squad Team Vitality at ESL Pro League Season 19 in Malta yesterday. The loss puts an end to FaZe’s epic seven LAN finals streak dating back to CS2‘s launch last September.

FaZe fell short against Vitality on May 10 in what proved to be a rather one-sided affair thanks to star Frenchman ZywOo who continues to dominate ESL Pro League this week. ZywOo recorded an incredible 2.21 HLTV rating and 54 kills over 39 rounds, and while FaZe kept it close thanks to an eight-round T side on Vertigo, Vitality was far too good in the end taking out the map 13-10. Before Vertigo, Vitality cooked FaZe with a 10-2 Nuke CT half where ZywOo and Spinx each outfragged the FaZe lineup.

ZywOo, a CS2 player for Vitality, cheers after winning a round at ESL Pro League Season 19.
ZywOo has been unstoppable in Malta this week. Photo by Igor Bezborodov via ESL

FaZe coach Filip “NEO” Kubski seemed unfazed following the match despite the team’s exit from ESL Pro League. “It would have happened sooner or later I guess,” he said, adding that the squad was “stumped” on Nuke but fought back hard despite dropping both pistol rounds on Vertigo. “It doesn’t feel good to lose but they played better CS today.”

All eyes were on the FaZe after they claimed CS2‘s first official tournament IEM Sydney last October—but no one envisioned the squad would go on to dominate the next seven months with a consistency not seen since the Astralis era of old. While we can’t say FaZe hit the highs of the Danish squad and its era, it’ll be tough to follow the international squad’s eight-straight LAN or online finals appearances.

From the impressive win in Australia through to victories over MOUZ at the CS Asia Championships and IEM Chengdu, FaZe remains the team to beat and has held the number one HLTV ranking since November 2023. However, this is their third playoff loss to Vitality who took out both the BLAST Premier Fall and World Finals in that period. Combined with defeats to Team Spirit at IEM Katowice and NAVI at the PGL Copenhagen Major, the squad has been so close to greatness.

Up next for FaZe is IEM Dallas on May 27, but NEO says the team needs a reset first. “We’ll take a small break, the guys deserve that,” he said. Given the team has been non-stop competing apart from the mandatory player break, a refreshed and reloaded FaZe Clan should scare the rest of the CS2 scene eager for their shot at a trophy this year.

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