FaZe look to carry a Winner's Bracket run into the Charlotte Major.
Up against the reigning HCS World Champions, a new FaZe sets a standard of the season.
— Halo Esports (@HCS) February 15, 2023
This iteration of FaZe Clan is easily one of the better teams to exist in recent years of HCS right up there with OpTiC Gaming 2022/2023. Their best trait is this Charlotte Major Qualifier was being able to pick up wins in scrappy or perilous situations. against an OpTiC team with such great synergy and near perfect gameplan execution, FaZe was still able to win the Grand Finals of the Qualifier. That's just how well this highly experienced roster still is. Maybe its the mix of old school and new school that makes this team so well rounded. Between Jonathan “Renegade” Willette and Bradley “Frosty” Bergstrom that covers their new school duo, while Mathew “Royal2” Fiorante and Paul “SnakeBite” Duarte make up the old school half of the roster, going all the way back to the legendary Status Quo roster. Its completely possible that none of these players have even hit their prime yet, as this FaZe Clan might be the next dominant force in the HCS.
Looking ahead at the first Major of the year, the stage is just about set for the tournament. The six top teams from the North American Qualifier receive automatic entry into Pool Play for the Major. Those teams are FaZe Clan, OpTiC Gaming, Gamers First (G1), Native Gaming Red, Spacestation Gaming, and BtH BtH. Joining them will be the two North American teams with the most HCS points aside from the six qualified teams. The winners of the Europe Qualifier (Navi), Mexico Qualifier, and Oceania Qualifier (Divine Mind) will join Pool Play as well, with the European team with the most HCS Points (Quadrant) also joining them.
FaZe Clan and OpTiC Gaming will be going in as the favorites for this Major, but its not as if we haven't seen upsets before. In 2022 HCS World Championship, Native Gaming Red took up a third place finish after being predicted to place far lower, and not make it nearly that high in the bracket. FaZe and OpTiC will have to play against some tough teams that they don't yet have experience against. Anything can happen at a live event, and so far the stage is set for a very competitive Kickoff Major.