Following their first loss in the VCT NA Challengers 2 Group Stage, FaZe Clan have decided to bench Jake “POACH” Brumleve and reactivate Xavier “flyuh” Carlson. POACH joined the team less than a month ago and was with the team during all the crucial qualifier matches, which makes this move by FaZe all the more baffling.
Flyuh will assume the in-game leader role and compete with the team in the remaining matches of the Valorant Champions Tour.
Classic NA Strategy
Time and time again we’ve seen various North American Valorant esports organisations mishandle their rosters. Instead of forming a long-lasting lineup that would stand the test of time, most organisations relied on seemingly random player transfers that rarely worked longer than a single tournament.
We’ve recently seen Cloud9 swap two of their key players in the middle of an ongoing tournament without any logical explanation. 100 Thieves also did something similar after the first VCT Challengers 2022, after going 1 – 4 in the group stage. FaZe, much like these teams, seems to be employing a similar strategy of simply making random changes and hoping something sticks.
It’s only a matter of time before the North American organisations recycle all the players on the market, and then what?
Poach is a Free Agent
Now that POACH has been benched, he’ll be dipping his toes in the free agent market once again and looking for a new team. Given his qualifications as an IGL and the fact he’s a controller/initiator player, he should find a new home pretty soon as there’s always a high demand for players like him.
On Twitter, he released the following message:
I’ve been benched from FaZe and am now a restricted F/A. I’d like to represent another team as an IGL. I’m comfortable playing any initiator or controller.
Time will tell whether the move to bench their IGL will hurt or benefit FaZe, but it will certainly leave a mark on POACH. Hopefully he’ll join a new team where his skills will be better appreciated.
What Will Happen With FaZe?
FaZe still have four weeks left to go in the VCT Challengers 2 Group Stage, and they’re already off to a bad start with 0 – 1 in group B. Their first loss was to OpTiC, who are probably the strongest team in the tournament right now, so a loss to them was almost expected. They can still recover and power through the group stage, but this recent change might just end up costing them.
By making this change and replacing POACH with Flyuh, they’ve pretty much placed all the weight on Flyuh’s shoulders. If he can successfully lead his team to victory, he’ll be a hero. If not, then he’ll most likely suffer the same fate of POACH and end up as free agent as well.
FaZe will face Luminosity Gaming next, which will be a hard test for the team. Luminosity beat Sentinels and they’re in a solid shape this season. FaZe should certainly not underestimate them. At the same time, FaZe really needs the win here to position themselves for the follow-up match with Cloud9, and then Sentinels after. These next few weeks will certainly be challenging for FaZe.