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The clash between 100 Thieves and FaZe Clan in the upper bracket of the North American Last Chance Qualifier delivered in spades. FaZe, led by Andrej “babybay” Francisty, posted a monstrous comeback to win and advance to the LCQ upper bracket final.
After trading the first two maps in mostly uneventful fashion, the duel between the two teams came down to Ascent. 100T looked dominant on their Defense side, earning themselves a 9-3 half. The momentum flipped when babybay posted a four monstrous kills to start the second half. From there on out, it was all FaZe Clan.
“Getting that 4K on pistol round? You never want to do that with me,” babybay said in an interview after the match. “Cause when I get going early like that? I’m gonna take the game and run away with it.”
Babybay was a problem for 100T throughout the series but especially on Map 3. According to 100T’s Derrek “Derrek” Ha, FaZe’s star was getting away with too much.
“We definitely under-[utilized] Op positions that we know they like to play, which screwed us over a lot,” Derrek said. “And poor spacing, allowing babybay mainly to get multi-frags, just really really shut us down.”
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) August 7, 2022
Babybay agreed; he said he felt the same way and that he was consistently finding the perfect positions throughout the second half — “You can’t teach that,” he said. He relayed his supreme confidence to his team whenever things looked grim during the best of three.
“I knew today I was gonna be on a heater,” baybay said. “I don’t know what it was, but I just woke up feeling nice. Even when we lost Breeze, I was like ‘Don’t worry, I know we’re gonna win this series.'”
So far, LCQ has been a game of what team can keep their composure best. As the 9-3 lead slipped away, it became clear that 100T were failing in that regard. It’s a mistake that they won’t repeat, if Derrek has his way.
“This loss obviously stings right now, but it will definitely be another lesson,” Derrek said. “Cause that’s the only way we can look at it now. We will definitely be setting up for the future to not allow these things to happen again.”
100T will be facing Sentinels in the lower bracket. As the two most popular VALORANT organizations, there will be plenty of eyes on the do-or-die brawl. Sentinels’ Michael “shroud” Grzesiek — a Counter-Strike legend turned streamer turned VALORANT pro — also has something to do with the inflated viewership. Even Derrek, who comes from Overwatch, is well-acquainted with shroud.
“He’s actually my sub sound because he spectated me once in VCT,” Derrek said. “I have a lot of respect for him. Unfortunately, I’m gonna have to beat him in the next few days.”
Babybay and FaZe positioned well to win LCQ
With 100T out of the way, FaZe are set to face The Guard at 4 p.m. ET on Aug. 11. While FaZe are a strong contender for tournament favorite, few expected The Guard to be up there with them. Ever since their misstep at Masters Reykjavík, the team seemed to have lost their confidence.
Babybay, for one, wasn’t surprised to see The Guard in the winners final.
“This isn’t LAN,” babybay said. “They’re not gonna play like noobs — no offense to how they played. They didn’t have a lot of LAN experience.”
Even still, babybay has no doubts about the outcome of the upcoming match.
“Of course we’re gonna win,” he said. “I think we’re gonna be in the finals. I think this is our year.”
It has undoubtedly been a good year for FaZe; coming off a massive rebuild, the team has managed to grow into a consistent top five team in North America throughout 2022. At LCQ, babybay and FaZe have looked like the team to beat. That’s in large part thanks to outstanding performances from Phat “supamen” Le.
As soon as supamen was available, babybay was quick to advocate for him in FaZe’s rebuild. The two played together during their days competing in the tactical first-person shooter, CrossFire.
“I played against him and he sh*t on me,” babybay said. “I literally thought he was cheating.”
Even scarier for FaZe’s competition, babybay thinks that supamen hasn’t yet shown the world everything that he can do.
“If you guys think he’s good now, you don’t even understand,” babybay said. “He is so cold on LAN. He has ice in his veins bro.”
According to babybay, supamen isn’t the only LAN player on FaZe. For two years, babybay has been trying to qualify for a VALORANT LAN. Champions 2022 may just be his opportunity to display what he’s capable of in an arena.
“I’m not an online player,” babybay said. “I know it seems like I am. I’m more of a LAN player than anything … I feed off the energy of the crowd and I lock in better — I know a lot of other players get nervous; I don’t get that nervous on LAN.”
Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.