This is a highly anticipated match in the lower bracket of the NA challengers and I thought it would be interesting to go over the statistics and likely map picks for this match up.
Faze started out 0-2 in the group stage but then bounced back by securing 3 consecutive wins to secure 2nd place in their group. It seems like they have found an optimal playstyle that works for them that centers around neon and chamber Faze are a team that abuse their hyper agressive neon playstyle to enter site and overwhelm their opponents to win. This playstyle can be seen best on fracture which is one of their best maps. Although they play hyper agressive, it is not just a mindless push into site. Their util usuage and trading capabilities are immaculate. They set up their primary duelist for optimal success on site and if he is not able to accomplish anything their secondary support is always there to secure the trade. Many people think that faze lack tactical depth however that is just not true. They have protocols and set plays set up for almost any situation and if they are struggling their staff team is able to help guide them to success. On defense, faze play more agressive than your typical team however they make sure they always use a buddy system to trade out their teammate and make sure to rarely overheat. They are also very profficient in pressuring one side of the map to force their opponents into dicey who is able to get the first blood majority of the time. Overall their biggest success on defnese is securing those first bloods and backing up to play the man advantage and on attack it is setting up babybay for success on a site and trading him out. They are an extremely strong team whos playstyle reminds me of optic during masters 1 earlier this year.
NRG seemed to almost have an identity crisis this group stage. They were an extremely hyped up team after not dropping a single map during the open quals. In their group stage they seemed to try out strange comps to throw off their opponents or just experiment in general. They started off strong in a win vs tsm and debuted a 0 duelist breeze along side a new ascent comp featuring fade and raze. After seeing that match, it seems like the hype only grew. Those comps worked extremely well, however one thing that they tried to do was change up their comps almost every week. On top of that this team was plagued with loosing their bonus rounds which did not help. After a rough group stage, NRG had to secure a win vs Guard to secure a playoff spot. It seems like after that match they seemed to step away from the weird and different comps and decided to stick with what worked. Throughout the group stage, some starts that stuck out with their util usage and pop off ability were eeiu, tex and ethan. All three of these players were major factors to NRG's success. Throughout the playoffs, NRG stocks were at an all time low as they had to face ghost who they previously got stomped by and eg who beat the previous m1 champs. Finally NRG stuck to a couple comps and protocols that worked. That is what is strong about this team, their ability to adapt and their protocols they have set in place. With veterans like hazed and ethan, this team is able to come across any hurdle and pass over it. In conclusion, NRG is a team that should stick to their strong suits and is a prep based team which has helped them in their most recent matches.
Looking just at a comparison, I think faze has an extremely overwhelming but predictable playstyle. NRG has a history of being overwhelmed by immense firepower however if they are able to study and adapt to faze, they have a solid chance to win. On the other hand, faze has one of the most fast paced and agressive playstyles out of any team, if they are able to control the pace of the game and succeed in getting first kills they have a very solid chance in taking the series.
Faze will most likely ban bind as it has been their perma ban. I expect NRG to ban fracture unless they have something cooked up for this map because it seems to be one of their most frequently banned maps. I expect faze to pick haven as haven is one of their strongest maps and it seems to be their second pick when fracture is not let through and I expect NRG to pick ascent as it seems like one of their most consistent picks and they seem very strong on the map. Secondary bans I expect faze to ban icebox as it has been their primary second ban and they have lost this map quite and bit and I expect NRG to ban breeze because Faze look extremely strong on the map. With that exact ban, split is left through as the third map.
Thank you for reading this analysis, I am open to any and all feedback to become a better writter :)