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“I just step back and think that was the best decision”: cameram4n reflects on FaZe making Astro IGL

After missing out on Charlotte, the Sweden Major champions are back at the Berlin Major.

Banner Image: Ubisoft / @itsmeERROR

FaZe Clan headed into the 2022 season in hot form after winning the Sweden Major and finishing in third place at the Six Invitational 2022

But despite a solid end to the last season, their new campaign started off with two left feet. A sixth-place finish in the Brasileirao meant that the most recent Major winners couldn’t defend their crown in Charlotte.

“We felt really bad,” admitted Gabriel “cameram4n” Hespanhol in an interview with SiegeGG. But he admitted that even had his team qualified, it might not have been a full title defense due to the visa issues three of four Brazilian teams were hit with. “We would play online and the odds are really bad.”

Instead, the 28-year-old sees the glass half full, that their story is repeating itself. Back in Aug. 2021, FaZe Clan missed out on the Mexico Major, but three months later won their first international piece of silverware in Sweden. Now, after not qualifying for the Charlotte Major, FaZe have won the Copa Elite Six and are one of the favorites to win in Berlin.

Although Gabriel “cameram4n” Hespanhol and company also ended up as one of the best two sides in the Copa Elite Six, it’s fair to say the team struggled throughout the BR6 stage. After just one win in the first four games, the chances of FaZe Clan missing out on the season’s second international competition started to get real.

People tried to figure out what was happening in the team, with some pointing at César “Dark” Adriano’s departure as a possible reason to explain the roster’s falling momentum. 

However, cameram4n played down the former analyst’s departure. “When he left, he wasn’t that important to the team, Ramalho is doing a great job analyzing and coaching as well,” he revealed.

In fact, cameram4n looked back to the GWB Closed Qualifier, where Dark’s current team MIBR defeated FaZe Clan 3-2. 

“We didn’t qualify to the Gamers8 probably because of that, because we faced them in the Grand Finals,” he explained. “We used to have the same game at that time, it was a bit struggle to beat them.”

After returning to Brazil, FaZe started off superbly with a 7-4 win against w7m esports, but could not build any momentum, only getting two points from the next four games. Desperate to find a working solution, FaZe opted to make Leonardo “Astro” Buzzachera the team’s IGL.

Cameram4n, who had been the IGL up until that point, revealed that he “wasn’t feeling good at all” in the role at that point and felt like he “needed to pay attention to my game.”

“The teammates, they were not trusting blindly in my calls, they kind of frustrated me a little bit. I just step back and think that was the best decision,” he elaborated. 

That decision proved to be vital. Two regulation victories over INTZ and FURIA Esports and a maximum overtime defeat against MIBR, mixed with Ninjas in Pyjamas’ rampage against top four contendors Black Dragons and Team oNe, handed FaZe a chance to qualify for the Berlin Major. 

All they had to do was beat Team Liquid.

“They attacked really slow so we just needed to miss a little bit with their attacks and wait for the time to end,” he explained.

Despite having the game under control especially throughout the team’s defensive half, they had to rely on Lucas “soulz1” Schinke’s clutching abilities. Cameram4n praised his teammate’s skills, explaining he is a player that “opens windows for us to make mistakes, he just erases them”. 

The Sweden Major champions will be facing SANDBOX Gaming, Soniqs, and G2 Esports in the group stage. While cameram4n isn’t worried by Soniqs and the Koreans, he thinks that G2 Esports are the team to beat. 

“G2, in my opinion, is the hardest one because it’s an European team, they have a really good play style, they have Alem4o in their team,” he said.

Catch FaZe Clan on the international stage again at the Berlin Major, which will run from Aug. 15 to 21, and read up on everything you need to know about the event.