Very soon we will have to turn the calendar and go to the year 2023. The big tournaments will return to the screens towards the end of January, while many teams will gradually return to training in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the players are spending a well-deserved vacation, we decided to take stock of the past season and highlight the main points on the calendar.
Failed era or half a year of FaZe Clan dominance
At the beginning of 2022, FaZe Clan made a high-profile transfer by signing ropz out of MOUZ. Even then, many analysts saw this transition as a key one that could significantly strengthen the team. However, while NAVI and Gambit Esports dominated the scene, few could imagine that it was FaZe Clan that would be able to subdue the entire competitive scene.
Nevertheless, already in February, the team became the winner of Intel Extreme Masters XVI – Katowice, and a month later they raised the ESL Pro League Season 15 trophy over their heads. Well, the peak for FaZe Clan was the victory at PGL Major Antwerp 2022, after which absolutely everyone started talking about the beginning of the era of one team.
But it was not possible to maintain a high pace throughout the entire six months, since FaZe Clan had two failures in June – Intel Extreme Masters XVII – Dallas and BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2022. There was not enough stability for Roobet Cup 2022, where karrigan and the company lost in BIG final. Nevertheless, Galactikos managed to go on vacation on a positive note, taking Intel Extreme Masters XVII – Cologne with them.
After the break, many expected to see FaZe Clan win IGS 4, but the team thought differently. The first championships after the holidays did not become failures, but they cannot be called successful either. Many believed that the team would be able to win the second major of the season, but the Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022 was overshadowed by a complete collapse and relegation after three defeats in the “legends”.
And only at the very end of the season the team managed to return to the first roles again, even though there were no victories at BLAST. So why did FaZe Clan fail to create their own era? Firstly, the team was very tired in the first six months. Secondly, the competitors approached noticeably and the gap turned out to be small enough to revive the intrigue on the stage. Thirdly, FaZe Clan never managed to rebuild during the season, simply not introducing new tactical ideas into their game.
All this prevented the team from having an even season, which obviously affected the aftertaste. Nevertheless, FaZe Clan is still in the auspices of the favorites, with which the next season will start.
After the breakthrough year of 2021, many saw NAVI as the main favorite of the new season. However, already in January, “Born to Win” showed a far from “champion” game at BLAST, having only miraculously made it to the spring finals. Then the war began, which hit hard on the conditions of NAVI. Nevertheless, the team was still among the leaders, and even reached the finals of PGL Major Antwerp 2022.
At the same time, there were significant changes in the composition, which, as many believe, only exacerbated the problems of the team. Nevertheless, the team managed to close the first half of the season on a positive note, winning BLAST Premier: Spring Finals 2022 and making it to the Intel Extreme Masters XVII – Cologne final.
However, NAVI’s main setbacks came in the fall, when the team played poorly at ESL Pro League Season 16, and then limited itself to the quarterfinals of Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022. The problems of the “Born to Win” continued at the final tournaments from BLAST, where they failed to join the fight for prizes.
The reasons why NAVI had an ambiguous season should be put together. The difficult situation and the war in Ukraine, line-up changes, a general decline in leaders, experiments with roles and a sixth player – all this affected the results. However, now, when there is a chance to see the next reshuffles, it becomes scary for NAVI.
Breakthrough Outsiders and Heroic
Where without the main discoveries of the second half of 2022. No wonder these two teams go on New Year’s holidays as world ranking leaders.
In the case of Outsiders, we take the ESL Challenger at DreamHack Rotterdam 2022 championship as a starting point, which the team won despite significant competition from MOUZ and ENCE. However, then the team surprised absolutely everyone by becoming the champion of Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022. But if the final championship turned out to be a failure, Outsiders left its mark on history and absolutely deservedly received a mention.
As for Heroic, the Danish team took off at BLAST Premier: Fall European Showdown 2022, and three weeks later they took the silver of Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022. But the team decided not to stop there, taking BLAST Premier: Fall into their hands Finals 2022. However, Heroic also failed at the last championship, although it still made a huge contribution to the balance of power on the stage.
Thus, Outsiders and Heroic proved that besides FaZe Clan and NAVI, there are other teams that can fight for trophies and win. In other words, id managed to demonstrate that the scene is developing rapidly and the difference between the leaders is shrinking, adding intrigue before the start of the next season.
Season opening teams
Let’s go over the teams that managed to surprise last season:
- Team Spirit. Having met in February, the Dragons made the playoffs of both majors, and also looked stable throughout the season.
- MOUZ. The best academy showed results at the adult level as well. Experience and youth were multiplied by the result, from which the “mice” learned successful performances at Intel Extreme Masters XVII – Cologne and Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022.
- IHC Esports. The Mongols appeared literally out of nowhere to open up at two majors of the season and get some important victories on them.
- Bad News Eagles. It seems that the Kosovar team needs no introduction. The main achievements of the team were performances at PGL Major Antwerp 2022 and Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022.
- Gamer Legion. The organization assembled a completely new roster in the summer, unexpectedly getting into the RMR tournament. However, GamerLegion went even further by visiting Brazil to participate in the Intel Extreme Masters Rio Major 2022.
- Team Liquid. If in the first half of the season, the North Americans did not particularly stand out even among their colleagues in the region, then in the second half of 2022, the “liquid” managed to exceed all expectations. As a result, the team reached the finals at ESL Pro League Season 16 and BLAST Premier: World Final 2022, and also fought on equal terms with the best of the best, making us remember the year 2019.
- Copenhagen Flames. Looking back at the past season in its entirety, one cannot fail to note the achievements of the Copenhagen Flames. The Danes sensationally reached the playoffs of the major in Belgium, but then fell apart into separate components. However, given the combination of success and further transfers, this team proved to be the best side.
Sprout, ENCE, Movistar Riders, paiN Gaming and 9z also deserve special mention.
Summing up, it is impossible not to note the teams that failed to live up to expectations and left behind a lot of questions.
- Astralis. The Danish team never managed to return, having skated a frankly disastrous season. From the obvious, we can single out defeats at the RMR tournament, constant reshuffles in the roster and skipping the second major. In addition, the team missed the final championships from BLAST, and at the end did not even get an invite to the championship in Katowice.
- G2 Esports. The whole season the team looked just ridiculous. And even the victory at BLAST Premier: World Final 2022 did not save the “samurai” from an obvious failure.
- Imperial Esports. The Brazilian team did not live up to expectations, which rose sharply after the Major in Belgium. Throughout the second half of the season, the team suffered setbacks, the quintessence of which was a complete failure at the home major.
- 00NATION. Two iterations of the line-up failed without showing any results. Obviously, the idea with coldzera did not justify itself.
- complexity. The North American team improved in terms of composition, but showed nothing in terms of results. But if the season could have been saved by performances at the majors, then the team never made it to Brazil, losing at the RMR tournament.
- Evil Geniuses. Another disastrous season for an organization that has rebuilt its roster twice. But things are still there – “Evil Geniuses” seemed to be outsiders, and continued to hang out at the very tail.
It is also worth remembering MIBR, TYLOO, Vitality, Eternal Fire and Renegades (Grayhound Gaming) here.
It’s been a busy season, during which we’ve seen half a year of FaZe Clan dominance, unexpected victories for Outsiders and Heroic, another setback from Astralis, and saw the rise of several interesting teams with excellent prospects for the next season. It remains to wait for the beginning of the new season, which should become another decoration for the entire scene.