Sprout beat FaZe 2-1 in the Flashpoint 3 lower bracket after losing in the opening round to Heroic, and have now survived the first round of elimination matches. Josef “faveN” Baumann and company fell behind after the initial map in the series, Mirage (10-16), but were able to win their own pick of Dust2 in-extremis (16-14) before closing the series out on Train (16-10).
FaZe’s ills continue with this loss as they are eliminated from the first Regional Major Ranking (RMR) tournament of the year in last place. The international squad have been struggling to perform since bringing on in-game leader Finn “karrigan” Andersen and star player Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken to revamp the roster and have since gone out in 9-12th place at IEM Katowice, 17-20th at ESL Pro League Season 13 and 13-16th at DreamHack Masters Spring.
FaZe got off to a good start in the series taking a 3-0 lead on the attacking side of Mirage, but Sprout were quick to retaliate and claimed the lead early on after putting up several strong defenses. karrigan and company made inroads to try and regain the lead, making it 7-7, but the Germans were able to win the final round of the half to remain ahead. Despite winning the pistol round, Sprout struggled with the task of attacking, and finally faltered as FaZe took their map pick 16-10.
Sprout took the lead on the offense in Dust2, but weren’t able to dominate early on as FaZe won a couple of close rounds to start to gain momentum and build an economy on the CT side. Helvijs “broky” Saukants and Marcelo “coldzera” David did much of the heavy lifting with dual AWPs on the way to a 10-5 lead. The German squad put forth a strong start on the defense and made a strong push to take the map. faveN made two big plays in crucial rounds which tipped the balance in Sprout’s favor as they managed to take it in the last round, 16-14.
FaZe won the first pistol round on the attacking side of Train, but three Desert Eagle kills on the forcebuy by Denis “denis” Howell gave his team the second round, after which faveN and company went on to dominate on the defense, giving up just four rounds to set up a possible upset. FaZe started to scale the comeback mountain on the CT side, but were cut short as Sprout cruised to a 16-10 victory to eliminate the international squad and stay alive in the Flashpoint 3 lower bracket.
Up next for the German squad will be the second round of lower bracket play, where they will play the loser of BIG vs. mousesports in another all-or-nothing match for survival in the tournament. “I don’t care who we play, but I think we’d have better chances against BIG,” faveN said in the post-match interview, “because it’s a domestic match-up and it’ll be about mental games, so I think BIG would be better for us.”