FaZe Clan have found their last-minute replacement for Havard “rain” Nygaard, with Patrick “es3tag” Hansen to stand in for FaZe at the 2023 BLAST Premier Spring Groups.
The news comes after BLAST didn’t allow the CS:GO organisation to use Kristian “k0nfig” Wienecke, due to his being an active player on Heroic’s roster.
That left FaZe with very little time to find a new substitute, and they were lucky that es3tag — currently benched by Ninjas in Pyjamas — lives in Denmark and was able to travel to Copenhagen in time.
Es3tag has played several roles for throughout his Counter-Strike career, including support and primary sniper and rifler, which makes him one of the best candidates to stand-in for FaZe.
The stand-in buff is back 😈
— FaZe Clan (@FaZeClan) January 19, 2023
However, es3tag is still under contract with Ninjas in Pyjamas, which could still cause headaches for the world number four, with FaZe and NiP having come to an agreement that will see es3tag sit out if the two teams happen to face each other at any stage in the tournament.
With FaZe and NiP drawn in different groups, it is unlikely for the two teams to meet early, but there is a possibility that they could clash in the final stages of the playoffs.
Although FaZe have found their stand-in, there have been some rumbling on social media — especially from one FaZe member, Russel “Twistzz” Van Dulken — questioning the legitimacy of the decision made by BLAST to not allow k0nfig to feature for the Danish outfit.
According to Twistzz, the change has been allowed by BLAST “for some time” before “suddenly overnight everything changed”.
Informed for some time now by blast that we could use him, suddenly over night everything changed
— Russel van Dulken (@Twistzz) January 19, 2023
With all of the drama now behind them, FaZe Clan will be very short favourites (-588.24 with BetOnline) when they begin their BLAST Premier Spring Groups campaign against Complexity on Friday at 12pm CET.