It is now time to have a look at South America, starting with Team Liquid. Previously known as Black Dragons e-Sports and BRK e-Sports, they were quick to show they could compete at the international level. However, their results gradually deteriorated as the year went by, which lead them to miss out on a spot in the year 3 Pro League finals.
In order to correct that, the players decided to try their luck by recruiting xS3xyCake shortly before the Six Invitational qualifiers began. That strategy payed off as they got picked up just a few weeks later by a reputable organization, namely Team Liquid, and were granted a wildcard spot for the Six Invitational.
Your roster, that was formed over a year ago under the name Black Dragons, was quick to make a name for itself at the top of the Brazilian hierarchy. You won a LATAM Pro League and made it to the World Grand Finals during your first season. When you created the team, did you think such results would come that quickly?
ziG: Yes, we formed the team out of a group of friends that used to play a lot of ranked matches together, even though we were from different teams. We saw that we had great potential to overcome top tier teams at that time.
After having switched to BRK e-Sports you have had to face teams that, step by step, became more and more threatening, namely Team Fontt and the new Black Dragons. While season 2 went relatively well, season 3 was more difficult. You came up against these two teams but lost on both occasions, which kept you from attending the Pro League World Finals for the third time. Even worse, during the second season of the Brasileirão, you got caught off guard by Merciless and thus did not make it past the group stage. Did these results push you to take a new start, away from BRK and oNe?
Sensi: Yes. We needed to take actions after the results we had. We analyzed very closely what could be changed in order to fix our results. If you check each of our player stats at that time, you could understand what was the reason for the change. Although oNe is still a great player, we felt that his playstyle wasn't enough to give the team what we needed.
You then had to find a new player to participate in the Six Invitational qualifiers. Why did you choose xS3xyCake?
Sensi: We choose xS3xyCake because, besides his playstyle, we felt he could fit perfectly into the team. He can give more support while being deadly as well. Like oNe, he is willing to die in order to give what the team needs to succeed.
Qualifiers then went quite smoothly, and you made it to the semi-finals, coming up against BRK and your ex-teammate oNe. In the meanwhile, he had surrounded himself with the ex-Merciless players that had caused you trouble at the Brasileirão. Once again, they got the better of you. Was it a simple coincidence or do you face particular difficulties when playing against them?
yuuk: We did have difficulties when we played against them. They played better. However, we didn't prepare the way we used to because we already knew that we would get invited to Six Invitational, and that may have been the main reason why our performance wasn't as great as expected. After a full year in a gaming house and months away from the family, we saw the opportunity of getting ourselves a vacation, and use the Qualify Ladder and Playoffs as practice. But that doesn't mean we were yolo'ing the game. We were playing with focusing to win.
Your next step was to join team Liquid, an organization that has high-level teams on many games. How was the contact established between you and them?
ziG: This step was huge for us and for LATAM Rainbow Six. We didn't see that coming, to be honest. The contact established between us and them went very smoothly, and after receiving many proposals from others huge organizations, we saw that Liquid was the org to go. The way they approached us, the way how everything was dealt, was the main reason why we chose Team Liquid.
At the Six Invitational, you will start off by facing the russians from ROOM FACTORY, a challenger league team. On paper, you have way more experience and seem to be strong favourites of this matchup . Are you not afraid of being surprised by this team who has all to win and nothing to lose?
nesk: Besides Room Factory being from Challenger, they are still a great team that has a lot to show, and we are studying them like a Pro League team the same way. We can't underestimate anyone.
After that, Rogue and/or Mindfreak will stand in your way. What do you think of these two teams?
Sensi: Both teams are great. I believe Rogue will do all of they can do to beat us after we did this to them at Gamescom. They are a team that we need to pay attention to every single action and prevent any surprises during the match. About Mindfreak, we haven't played against each other yet, but looking forward to it. Like Room Factory, we study them like every other team.
What is your objective at the Six Invitational?
Bullet1: Be champions.
Finally, is there a team we should look out for at the tournament?
xS3xyCake: Yes, brazilian teams ;D
As a reminder, Team Liquid is composed of:
André "nesk" Oliveira
Lucas "yuuk" Rodrigues
Leo "ziG" Duarte
José "Bullet1" Victor
Thiago "xS3xyCake" Reis
André "Sensi" Kaneyasu (Coach)
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