Contract dispute between FaZe and Tfue — what happened and who is to blame?

Contract dispute between FaZe and Tfue — what happened and who is to blame?

On May 20, it became known that Turner “Tfue” Tenney, one of the most popular streamers on Twitch, sued his organization, FaZe Clan. He wanted to terminate the contract with unfavorable conditions. We collected the entire chronology of the conflict, looked into what happened and who is to blame.

What didn’t Tfue like?

Initially, the incident became known from third parties. The Hollywood Reporter portal published an exclusive material, which initially stated that FaZe appropriates up to 80% of Tfue’s revenues. What is important, the lawsuit does not specify the details — it is not known how often and for what activities the club appropriated a part of the money to itself.

The THR article also mentions other Tfue claims: according to him, the organization forced him to live with other streamers, and before he became an adult, to drink alcohol and participate in gambling. He also noted that the organization entered into a contract with an 11-year-old gamer and “forced” his parents to lie about their son’s age — with this Tenney also applied to the labor protection commission.

Tfue’s requirement is to terminate the contract between him and FaZe. He already tried to break the contract unilaterally in September, but he failed. Tenney wants to work with sponsors on his own.

But Tfue has long been in FaZe, how could this happen?

Tfue has long been in favor of FaZe — since April 2018. During this time, he has become one of the most popular Twitch streamers (regularly included in the top 10). He also ranks second in terms of prize winnings in Fortnite — more than $500,000 dollars to his name. All this happened during the period of his appearances for FaZe.

Tfue and the club did not advertise the situation with the contract, so for most of the audience, the conflict became completely sudden. Moreover, the representatives of FaZe Clan claimed to be surprised as well.

How did FaZe react?

The first was co-owner of the club, Richard “Banks” Bengtson, but he was quick to criticize. The fact is that in the first post on Twitter, Banks stated that the club did not take a single cent from Tfue’s prize winnings, but this money was not mentioned in the Tenney’s lawsuit — this discrepancy was noticed by the journalists.

Later, FaZe Clan made an official statement, where the organization mentioned that Tfue received 100% of his revenue from prize money, Twitch, YouTube and other media platforms. The club admitted that it “took” 20% from Tfue’s sponsorship deals (in total — $60,000 US dollars), while the American “earned millions”. By the way, the same $60 thousand club donated to the prize fund of the tournament in Fortnite, the team claims.

On May 21, Tfue’s Fortnite partner Dennis “Cloak” Lepora commented on the situation. He did not take sides, but called on Tfue’s fans not to insult the owner of the organization Banks.

Bengtson himself seems really upset about the Tfue situation and even recorded a video on this. He also joked that he feels stupid, because on his body there is a tattoo with Tfue code for Fortnite, which is used to support bloggers and streamers.

Tfue лично бил тату со своим кодом на теле Banks

And what do they say in the industry?

Representatives of the industry considered that a precedent could become very important for all esports. For example, Alan “Nahaz” Bester and Paul “Redeye” Cheloner talked about the fact that it is important for players to assert their rights and to contact lawyers in a timely manner.

Others began to criticize FaZe Clan — among these was the general manager of eUnited, who in general does not like “sniper clans” [organizations that grew on the wave of Call of Duty popularity].

The situation was commented by the CEO of 100 Thieves, Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, because of which he first quarreled with Banks, and then apologized to him.

What will happen next?

Completely incomprehensible. FaZe Clan explained their position, and Tfue continues to remain silent in social networks. Even if Tenney did not speak out on the situation, much will become clear after the authorities’ verdict.

If they recognize the contract between FaZe and Tfue as null and void, then the truth may change the standards of contracts between esports teams and players, but such conclusions are still very far away.

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PUBG Esports introduce revenue share with the teams

PUBG Esports introduce revenue share with the teams

PUBG Corp is announcing a series of initiatives to support the professional esports teams associated with PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, including profit-sharing on team and league-branded digital items, direct support of team operating costs, and event sponsorship.

This multifaceted approach will help support the growing PUBG competitive scene by lowering the barrier of entry for dedicated players looking to engage with the professional leagues and helping established teams thrive.

“We are nothing without our teams and players, so it’s critical that we develop these programs to support our competitive scene and help teams build their brands,” said Richard Kwon, CMO, PUBG Corp. “In addition to building a popular esport that caters to our PUBG fanbase for years to come, we want to create a financially viable environment for players to sustain themselves and profit from their hard work.”

To directly bolster team participation in PUBG’s North American (National PUBG League; NPL) and European (PUBG Europe League; PEL) leagues, PUBG Corp. will help offset expenditures associated with team operating costs. These expenses will include costs associated with team travel, housing subsidies and local transportation fees.

Additionally, NPL and PEL-specific in-game items will be created starting with Phase 2 of each league. Twenty-five percent of all in-game item sales will go to each of the teams in their respective leagues, further incentivizing league participation and offering fans a way to support their favorite teams and regional leagues.

Financial support will continue with world-class competitions hosted by official PUBG partners later in the year. Each of these events will host top teams from each regional league. To give greater incentives and rewards for participants, exclusive in-game items will be created for each of these global events and 25% of sales will go directly to the participating teams.

Additionally, PUBG Corp. will be matching each organizing partner’s prize pool, effectively doubling the reward opportunity for each of these events. More details for each of these international events will be shared at a later date.

PUBG’s 2019 esports activities will culminate later this year at PUBG Global Championship, bringing together the greatest players from around the world. To celebrate this, PUBG Corp. will create a PUBG Global Championship item. More details on this in-game item will be shared at a later date; however, 25% of its sales will be added to the championship prize pool, raising the stakes for the competition.

Exclusive team-branded items will also be created for each of the participating teams in the PUBG Global Championship, along with a celebratory item for the eventual champion. Once again, 25% of team-branded item sales will go to each of the teams while 25% of sales from the champion’s celebratory item will go towards the winners and all teams from the same league.

National PUBG League will start on February 1st in OGN Super Arena in California and it will feature a $200,000 prize pool. PUBG Europe League will be following closely and will lauch just two weeks later in Berlin. 

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Drainys: “It’s been two years and the game is still the same laggy mess”

Drainys: “It’s been two years and the game is still the same laggy mess”

Former Natus Vincere PUBG player Svyatoslav “Drainys” Komissarov shared his opinion on the state of the battle royale game, the professional scene, and why he left NaVi.

About the state of PUBG

“It’s hard to say, because the game doesn’t change at all. On the competitive stage, everything is also doubtful: cheaters, PEL-leagues from PUBG Corp … That is, they made a separate league for pro-players and closed all tournament operators — be it ESL, GLL and everyone else. It is not clear whether PUBG is alive anymore.

Why I think that it is more alive than dead — there is nothing else to play. There is Fortnite, and there is PUBG. There is no alternative. There is no game you enter every day, and it delivers fun. Fortnite and PUBG are two games that really bring pleasure. Therefore, despite all the problems of PUBG, including technical ones, this game is not dead — it lives. But as soon as an adequate good alternative appears, there will be tough competition. <…>

I would like PUBG to be made by some other developer, like Valve. But it is unreal. It seems to me that the Korean team and who are responsible for the development of the game they just kill the game more and more. All that is possible, they spoiled. When the game had HYPE — remember the same Gamescom — at this tournament there was a lot of crashes, a lot of lags.

All the same things that didn’t allow this game to move further as an esport. In the end, it all became so ridiculous that people simply turned away from the competitive part of PUBG and went somewhere else. The same can be said about streamers. It’s been two years and the game is still the same laggy mess.”


About salaries in PUBG

“If in Counter-Strike we have wages of about $10-20 thousand in top-shooting teams — that is, a lot of money — then in PUBG the salary of the top player in the European top-tier team can be $1,500 USD. That’s good money, but it is not big money.

One and a half thousand, that’s it. Some maybe get more. Maybe FaZe Clan , Team Liquid or Pittsburgh Knights, maybe they can receive $3,000 but I wouldn’t bet on it. I have no information here. It seems to me, either way, not much at all, compared to the likes of Counter-Strike and Dota 2.”

About Natus Vincere

“I don’t know if it was a positive experience overall. In fact, we did win in a few tournaments but there were a lot of difficulties within the team, within the organization. Therefore, I would say that this is a more or less a neutral experience. It’s great, of course, to play for a big org. Understand how this all works. But objectively it was hard. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. There were difficulties, but experience is experience.

In fact, I cannot objectively answer the question why I left NaVi, out of respect for the team members and the manager. I can say that there were difficulties both within the team and with representatives of the management team. As elsewhere there are difficulties — this is all part of the ride.”

You can watch the full interview in Russia here.

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clawz: “More content, more patches, more tournaments”

clawz: “More content, more patches, more tournaments”

Reigning Quake world champion and a member of Natus Vincere Apex Legends squad, Nikita “clawz” Marchinsky talked about his esports career, opinion on Apex Legends, his future with Quake and much more.

The Belarusian player joined Natus Vincere earlier this year together with another Quake legend, Alexey “cypher” Yanushevsky. Since then the two players had their debut at a LAN tournament for Apex Legends, albeit separately. And even more recently, they announced the newest member of the squad — Artem “pkmk” Nechaev.

At TwitchCon Europe, clawz finished 3rd at the TwitchCon Europe Showdown 2019 – Qualifier 2 behind NRG esports, but bombed out of the grand finals, finishing 15th.

Switching from an arena shooter to a battle royale game has been a big change for the 21-year-old, the player confirmed in a Natus Vincere interview.

Did the invitation to Natus Vincere surprise you? What emotions did you experience immediately after you received a formal offer to be under the yellow-black banner?

The offer really was a pleasant surprise, and the emotions were appropriate. And if before that there was a goal to get into such a large organization, now I’m going to the next difficult goal — to defend the team’s colors as long as possible and make a feasible contribution to its development.

Have you played Overwatch, PUBG, Fortnite? How’s that coming along?

I played Overwatch for about a year, immediately from the beta test. However, I decided to leave the discipline, as I received information about the new Quake. I tried PUBG and did not like it. The plans were to devote a lot of time to Fortnite, but, again, Apex Legends popped up.

If Quake championships are held this year, will you participate in them?

Yes, I will, if there is no conflict with the LANs with Apex Legends.

How did the championship in Quake disciplines affect your life? Have you become famous in your own country?

After two years it came to me, what I have achieved and how much I won — everything happened so rapidly. Life has become quieter, but the thirst to win only intensified. I’m not a celebrity, but they do sometimes recognize me on the streets.

What does Quake need to become a competitive discipline? Or, in your opinion, the game can no longer be resurrected?

Quake need some interesting and fun game mode for casuals, in my opinion. The game will just not survive if there is only one duel mode in it. If you want — have fun and play with friends in something interesting. If you want — try yourself in the competitive part of the game.

And of course, the competitive part itself should be well and interestingly done for the audience. Or maybe the game just lacked a strong advertisement. But as for me, it’s not as interesting to play a duel, as for many others.

In September 2018, you said that you were waiting for the Battle Royale in the spirit of Quake. Does Apex fall under that criteria?

In general, yes. I just wanted to see what it would look like in the Quake universe. Plus, maybe Quake would be carried away by more people. Apex Legends is very dynamic, and it is interesting to find out how dynamic Quake would turn out to be, with the mechanics of strafes and rocket jumps. And also — how the end game scenarios would look like.

Initially, you and cYpheR played along with COOLLERZ. Why did your paths diverge?

To a greater extent due to the fact that Anton [COOLLERZ] and I did not get along.

The TwitchCon tournament was the first for you under the NAVI flag. How can you rate this event?

TwitchCon is a wonderful entertainment event that took place in the equally wonderful city of Berlin. Emotions left extremely positive: everything was prepared and done at the highest level.

What kind of tournament format do you like: play public games and compare results (ESL), or face all opponents in one lobby (TwitchCon)? What are the pros and cons of each mode?

Playing in public lobbies — is a big no. The element of luck is much more difficult to neutralize at the expense of the personal and team level of play, except maybe it is better for the sake of beauty, they will let you run and shoot off the heads with a “Wingman”.

Anyway, all serious tournaments will be held with the densest set of participants — and they are much more important. However, at times there is enough entertainment too. Personally, I really enjoyed playing and watching everything in the custom lobby at TwitchCon.

One of the features of TwitchCon is that the team that killed the leader received a cash prize. Should the organizers of the competition take a better look at this format?

Again, I approve of this if the bounty goes only as a bonus. This is too random, and therefore it’s not for esports.

At Twitch Rivals there was a case when one of the teams won, being outside the zone, using first aid kits. Do game developers need to increase the zone damage?

I think you should not increase the damage from the zone, while the rule in the League prohibits healing and waiting in the zone.

Apex Legends is still a young discipline. What does it need first of all for the development of the professional scene?

More content, more patches, more tournaments. More feedback.

Do you think that the game itself is developing too slowly? Even the long-awaited “Battle Pass” turned out to be different from what was expected.

At the moment, this feeling prevails. “Battle Pass” really didn’t turn out to be the best, but, as the creators of the game said, they are already working on it. And in general, the first patch came out fairly quickly, because after all they did not expect such a hype around their game and now they are trying to make the least amount of mistakes.

What do you need as a player, primarily to maintain interest in the game? Perhaps a new map, weapons or characters?

Tournaments are most important to me. And various new content to relax and stream the public games.

Duo, solo — are you waiting for any of these modes in the game?

I’m not, given the fact that there are enough teams staffed, it would be maybe interesting to look at the solo mode. As well as, for those who have no desire to play with randoms.

What, in your understanding, should be matchmaking in a game? Would you agree to wait longer for the start of matches to play against stronger players?

I do not know, it all depends on how you look at this question. On the one hand, this is fun and some kind of entertainment for the player and the same viewers. On the other hand, of course, I would like the level as a whole to be higher, but this is probably more suitable for a solo mode.

Watching one level of play is sometimes tiring. In the end, pubs are for to quickly find and play against completely random people. Custom Lobby for those who want to work further on themselves.

What can you say about weapons? What needs to be buffed or nerfed?

Generally, at the moment, everything is more or less balanced, except that it is necessary to slightly change the chances of the drop rates and a number of certain items. So that, for example, in three neighboring houses there were four Mozambique and nothing but them.

Are you satisfied with the balance of the characters?

One way or another, there will be a meta of three or four of the most powerful characters. The same Wraith, it seems to me, for the time being, she will be for a while in a competitive meta, while the Bloodhound is unlikely to get there soon if nothing changes. Metas will just shift.

You are known as a first-class Wraith player. Why did you choose this character?

Wraith is suitable for those who love the aggressive style of the game, as it gives the right to make mistakes, and sometimes even a few mistakes, which, in turn, makes it possible to carry out more beautiful and difficult moments.

In the last patch, Wingman was nerfed, reducing the number of rounds in the clip. Nevertheless, you continue to use these weapons. Is the nerf too small, or is the weapon too powerful?

There is an additional motivation to hit even more. The weapon is still very strong, it is just sometimes preferred to use covers more often. And if you find any clip attachments, then this is still the same Wingman. Again, this is a very powerful weapon against those who aim with the help of the zoom, since their mobility is extremely reduced, so it makes it easier to hit with a Wingman.

How can you make the infamous Mozambique useful?

Mozambique in both hands. It would be a solid meme.

Share with newcomers what you need to do in order to win? Jumping down into small villages, loot, and then go into battle? Or jump immediately to the hot zone — “Skull”, “Air Base”, “Artillery”?

Play, deploy, die, deploy, kill, die. Gain as much experience as possible. Apex is a dynamic game, in it, the significance of the combat squad, in my opinion, is higher than in other games, or at least plays an important role. And this skill is not just the ability to accurately aim at the enemy.

Many hours of practice is really the most important step to success. Nevertheless, backing it up with the quality of the play is advisable. With the acquisition of the necessary qualities, it will be possible to maximize the chances of winning in most situations.

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Here’s how Apex Legends can remain relevant

Here’s how Apex Legends can remain relevant

Apex Legends quickly broke into the industry and for several weeks kept the leadership in the genre of battle royales. Now the game is gradually losing its audience — developers do not have time to fulfill the wishes of users, who find more and more reasons to return to Fortnite or PUBG.

When Apex Legends first came out two months ago we called it “possibly the best battle royale game around.” And we stand by that today — it’s polished, nicely optimized and simply well done. It fixed many of the problems that other battle royale games faced for years.

But it took less than a month for the bubble to burst and once the hype died down, the game’s faults became clear as day. It became yet another, highly repetitive game, with a painfully toxic community, constant server lag and occasional crashes. Not to mention its almost predatory monetization model.

The viewership on Twitch collapsed, the player base shrank. But unlike many will claim, the game isn’t “dead”, it’s not even “dying”. It is, however, in trouble. In trouble of becoming irrelevant.

And so we take a look at what Respawn Entertainment should do, to prevent Apex Legends from getting lost in the backyard of Twitch.

Rating system and statistics

The current system of progress in Apex Legends is tied only to the profile level, which does not give any information about the player’s skills — here the number of matches is higher than the results. Moreover, this approach is absolutely doesn’t motivate to return to the battlefield. The situation was slightly corrected with a battle pass, but there are many questions to it.

Apex Legends strongly lacks a rating system or at least full-fledged success statistics. Users want to see at what level they play and how the hours spent in battle turn into high ranks. It is especially pleasant to reach new heights if they are given cosmetic bonuses for them at least once a year, and maybe even invitations to tournaments.

The problem is that creating an adequate rating system in the genre is not an easy task. If players do not lose ranks, then this will not be much better than what already exists in Apex Legends. At the same time, it will be difficult to apply the ELO or MMR system here, thus many questions arise. Should I award points only to the winner or the top 30? Top 10? How should the number of kills affect the rating? How many points will lose the one who died first?

Respawn Entertainment has already made a battle pass as a place holder, just another line for players to look at until they get to the next rank. PUBG is still being scolded for its rating system, while Fortnite, whose developers have not thought about such things, is doing great. Now Apex Legends need any innovations, whether it’s ranks, events or modes.

New Modes

Interest in Apex Legends went into decline because gamers and streamers tried everything they could in the game. Two months after the release of the game, it did not get any new modes — there is only a squad game. Users need to be allowed to compete at least alone or in pairs, and not simply because Apex Legends has the most toxic community in all battle royale games.

In the thematic branch of reddit, complaints constantly appear on players who leave the match as soon as they are knocked out — they do not want to wait for teammates and continue the fight. Or they leave if they couldn’t get their favorite legend. Or they didn’t like the drop.

On the other hand, there are those who are desperately trying to lead the team to victory, but stumble upon the total unwillingness of their allies to work together. Situations like these, make players yearn for a solo mode.

Of course, most of this will not be enough, so Respawn Entertainment will have to do as much work as Epic Games did, if they want to catch up. In Fortnite, new modes and different events are common, but each of them turns into a real celebration for fans. Of course, one cannot expect a parade of events two months after the release, but a couple of interesting formats or at least PvE tests would have already refreshed Apex Legends. In the meantime, it’s hard not to agree with DrDisRespect, who already admitted being bored with the game.

Respawn Entertainment has not yet announced anything concrete, but data miners have already unearthed a few lines about new formats in the game’s code. For example, they found the mention of Survival Games, which can be either a PvE test or a variation of a single mode. The network also had rumors about the night version of the map and the “happy hours” with a higher drop of containers — the main thing is that all this should not be removed from the game, as it happened with information about single and double formats.

New maps, heroes and weapons

Players always ask for more content: in the genre, this primarily comes down to new maps, weapons, and in the case of Apex Legends — also heroes. As the experience of PUBG has shown, such innovations themselves might have little effect on the player base size in the long run, but without them, stagnation will begin.

In this regard, Respawn Entertainment is moving in the right direction. Two months after the release, the new hero Octane and the Havoc rifle have already appeared in the game. Havoc, for instance, while a step in the right direction came off underwhelming and it quickly was forgotten by many. The gun, after all, felt like another variation of its sister gun Devotion.

Another problem is that adding content should be accompanied by larger events, and so far nothing has been heard about that. Both new hero and a battle pass just sort of “appeared” in a new patch and unless you were following the upcoming updates on social media or reddit, you may as well have missed it altogether.

The first battle pass in Apex Legends definitely failed: the studio was unable to motivate the audience to pay and play for the sake of a set of dubious awards. It’s good that Respawn quickly realized their mistake and promised to add more interesting innovations next time. It is quite possible that with the next combat pass, not only one character will appear in Apex Legends, but also a new map or even a mode. But you have to wait until mid-June — an eternity in a fast moving world of (battle royale) games.

One can only hope that most of the rumors will be true and the developers will begin to fill the game with content in the near future. There are already hints in the Apex Legends files for the map selection function, the mention of transport and a lot of information about the characters. All this is necessary for players right now.

Gameplay quality

From the release itself, the main problem of Apex Legends was crashes, which even the developers could not explain. Apparently, it is precisely because of this that the studio did not allow itself to concentrate on the content — what’s the point of introducing more modes if no one can play them normally? For the same reason, problems with connection stability, the function of reconnection and viewing matches of friends have faded into the background. And they need no less than the new modes.

Only on March 28, Respawn reported that it was 90% better, which can already be considered a victory, given the scale of the problem. Stabilization of gameplay is now on the agenda: working with hitboxes, servers and fighting cheaters. On this front, everything is not so good.

Respawn definitely does not close its eyes on dishonest players, but in the free Apex Legends it’s not so easy to fight them. By March 21, the studio has blocked more than 500 thousand cheaters, which is not so much compared to the number of registered players, which exceeds 50 million — the creators of prohibited programs still earn good money. It is good that the developers at least decided to block not only accounts but also hardware.

Will Apex Legends fade off?

Despite all the problems and unrealized opportunities in Apex Legends, Respawn Entertainment should be given its due: the developers didn’t relax after the extremely successful release and started talking to game fans and fixing critical bugs. In just two months, the studio almost completely figured out the crashes, released a new hero and some kind of battle pass.

Now that the main problems have been left behind, Respawn will surely take care of the content that Apex Legends is so lacking. The game still has chances to win over or at least battle Fortnite in the war for the audience. And the game may have lost its audience on Twitch, but whether it will keep the trust of its players we will see in the next six months.

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Gaxy: “Na’Vi now look great on paper so they should make a big climb”

Gaxy: “Na’Vi now look great on paper so they should make a big climb”

Ninjas in Pyjamas, while one of the biggest threats in European PUBG, still struggle to perform at the international events. A week after finishing 3rd at the PUBG Europe League, NiP bombed at the FACEIT Global Summit finishing 13th. Laurynas “Gaxy” Rudys weighed in on the situation.

Rudys joined Ninjas in Pyjamas in September, after the Swedish organization picked up Welcome to South Georgo. While the team managed to accumulate enviable results under the NiP banner, they are yet to win their first event. They finished second at Global Loot League Season 3 and second at OMEN Trophy PUBG 2018, among other results.

Last week NiP competed at the Kick-off Cup, featuring 32 of Europe’s best. In the end, Ninjas stepped on their old faults and struggled to perform consistently even against much less experienced teams. To discuss this situation, team’s fragger Laurynas “Gaxy” Rudys talked with PUBG esports.

Having wrapped up the PEL Phase 1 and the group stages of the Kick-off Cup, how would you describe your debut in the league and PEL as a whole? Do you like the structure of the league, having LAN matches every week and bootcamping for three weeks?

Overall, we are happy to finish third in PEL Phase 1 as it meant that we qualified for the FACEIT Global Summit in London. And for us it was a good start with the new server settings and point system; I don’t think people realize how much it actually changed the game.

For us as a team, it’s obviously great to play so many competitive matches on a given week. Before PEL Phase 1, there was this long break so to finally go back to play — and so often at that — was awesome.

Unfortunately, we are one of the teams that don’t have a team house in Berlin set up. Because of that, we didn’t really get to play that much between the PEL matches, but it gave us more time to analyze our games instead. I hope we get the housing situation sorted out soon, however, because not practicing the game does put us in bit of a disadvantage, especially in the long run.

It seems you’ve not changed your playstyle and favorite drop spots. Was your playstyle a 100% suited for the SUPER scoring system?

Haha, as I said before, SUPER compared to how was before was a big change to the game. It might look like it suits us very well as we’ve always been an aggressive team and SUPER usually favors such a playstyle. But with how it’s set up, you don’t always have time to make the perfect execution so it’s even more about choosing the right time to make your move in the little time that you do have. But yes, SUPER is good to those who shoot people and we’ve almost always been good at that part of the game, so I guess you could say SUPER fits us well.

After Phase 1, you competed in the FACEIT event and displayed incredible results in the group stage, but then finished 13th at the Finals. What went wrong? What can you say about the level of international competition? Was it much harder than PEL?

A best-of-12 is always harder than a long-running league. There’s little to no room for errors when you’re only playing 12 games and as most know, in PUBG you’re not always in control of your fate.

That’s why we need more games when it comes to these tournaments, especially in the finals. It was also harder in the sense that the playstyle is so different in the Asian regions — you didn’t know what to expect. But we screwed up on Miramar in the finals as we decided to not take a fight for our loot spot. We didn’t think it would be worth it with just six teams on the map but we were wrong. So let’s just say we’re never going to give up on the San Martin area again.

At Kick-Off Cup you had the opportunity to play against Contenders teams. Which teams surprised you the most and which ones do you expect to make the climb to PEL in Phase 2?

No team really surprised us. We know that 3DMAX, Desperados, and AVANGAR are three of the best teams in Contenders for example, and then there’s also Besiktas, ZeN and Stellar. All of them are really good teams and I would expect them to be fighting over the top spots in Contenders this upcoming phase.

From 16 teams in the Finals, only 6 came from PEL. What was the reason for so many top-tier teams to fall against Contenders teams?

Because some teams from Contenders are really good. Also, many of the bottom 8 PEL teams went through roster changes while the Contenders teams didn’t. And like at the FACEIT Global Summit, we are only playing 12 games and getting, or not getting, the circle in a couple of games can be a big decider.

After Phase 1, a lot of teams made roster changes and now you’ve seen some of them in action. Which teams do you think got stronger and may fight for the top placements in Phase 2?

It’s hard to say. But if you consider just the pure merit of the players, Na’Vi now look great on paper so they should make a big climb compared to their result in Phase 1.

As the last question, will you take a vacation after Kick-off Cup or will you bootcamp and train for the next phase?

We always take some days off after a tournament. But there’s no time for an extended rest and we’ll get right back to it after a couple of days at home.

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