Retalha: "This is the best Invitational we’ve ever had"

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We caught up with the Brazilian caster Otávio "Retalha" Ceschi at the Six Invitational to ask about LATAM’s performance at the event and what we should expect going into the second half of Season 9.

Retalha has been half of the top Portuguese language casting duo since the game first came out, and has since attended every BR6 and Major LAN, as well as the Season 6 and 8 Pro League Finals in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro respectively.

Due to this, he quickly became one of the biggest names in the Latin American region. Most recently, Retalha attended the Six Invitational 2019 as the regional talent for LATAM region, a region which saw only one team make it to the playoffs a second major in a row. We caught up with him to ask what went wrong for the LATAM teams and how the upcoming changes will affect the region’s Pro League going forward:

So I wanted to start off by asking you about your thoughts about the Latin American teams that came to the Invitational, and where things might have not worked out so well for them?

I think they had potential, they had skill. I was thinking NiP was gonna be a good team at the Invitational because they were in a better position than at the Paris Major when things were going bad in the Pro League and they were in the last position, but here they didn’t appear. They didn’t put their strats to use in game -- I think they didn’t really prepare and the one thing that I think is the most important for NiP is that they didn’t have a coach so all the prep phase of the game and the studying of the enemy was done by the players and only the players, so maybe they are unprepared.

FaZe is a good team with a high level of skill -- they were in second place in Rio de Janeiro -- but they are really in a bad shape in the Pro League at this moment, and this happens because of problems outside of the game, not in-game, and so of course this gave them a little trouble in the Pro League... but they’re a good team.

Here, they lost because of themselves, all the matches were so close -- they almost recovered against Fnatic -- they started losing the maps against Fnatic three or four to nothing and they recovered. It’s awesome, but mav posted on Twitter, “Oh my god, I didn't hear a call from a team member and I lost the match”. So I think they lost because of themselves, not choked, but lost due to themselves, maybe a psychological thing.

The Tweet from Mav referenced above

Immortals, I don’t know, they’re a “mad dog”, a “crazy dog”. You never can predict what they’re going to do -- whether they’re gonna play good or bad at the game, if they don’t have the strats or the adaptation in the middle of the match -- so I was thinking they would stay in the groups, but they surprised me because Immortals almost won the game against Empire... it was two overtimes. So I think even if they didn’t pass the group stage, they are in good shape and they could be better at the next Major.

And Liquid lost because of themselves; it’s the same as FaZe. I think they didn't follow some callouts, maybe they stressed out in the middle of the match. I think it was a mistake that they left Border as the decider (against Empire) -- I was talking to the players and they let Border pass against Empire as the third map, but Liquid played Border against Mock-it two times and the first time they lost 7-2, and the second time they lost, but it was close, and they let it go against Empire.

Of course, Empire had all the VODs and all the strats so I think that was a mistake, but it was really close. They had the potential to end the game at 2-0; their Coastline was really great and they could’ve finished the map on Consulate. Unfortunately, they lost Consulate and so the third map (was played).

The statistics during the Six Invitational 2019 quarter-finals between Team Liquid and Team Empire.

Other than the Latin American teams were there any standout teams at this Invitational for you?

First of all, I think this Invitational was amazing -- we had the best tournament compared to (prior) Pro Leagues, Majors, and Invitationals ever because at the group stage we had some streams going on for 11 hours. We had four games, eleven hours of streamed games; that’s a big number as a lot of the games were 2-1. We had a lot of 2-1 wins with teams losing the first map and then winning the second and the third map. We got a lot of overtime.

NORA-Rengo... I was cheering for them at the semi-finals and while they didn’t reach the finals, they showed to us a really big evolution, because at the beginning everyone was saying “oh, APAC doesn’t know how to play”. Then came Fnatic (Mindfreak at the Six Invitational 2018) and people were saying “they’re starting to understand what is the game”.

Last Pro League Finals we had NR and Fnatic in the semi-finals, and here we got NR versus Fnatic in the quarter-finals. Unfortunately, they matched up together, but if they were on the other side of the bracket it would’ve been good. So NORA-Rengo didn’t surprise me, because I was thinking they would have evolved and who surprised me a lot was SSG.

The statistics between G2 and SSG during the Six Invitational quarter-finals.

They’re a team that I saw at the DreamHack Winter event and I was thinking “oh, they are really good” but at the same time they are really “mad dogs” so you can’t predict a game from them and for sure, this is the best Invitational we’ve ever had.

How do you think the addition of Kaid and Nomad will affect things. Do you have any predictions about which one’s gonna be played more, or which ones gonna be useful?

Note: This was asked and answered before either operator entered the competitive build.

If they balance them before they enter the Pro League, they will change a little bit the way that the teams play. The first thing that will change is gonna be the Bandit -- Bandit and Mute are not gonna be primarily on the defensive lineup. You can have Kaid with the shotgun, or the sub-machine gun, and he can work as well. The best thing is that you can throw the Kaid gadget so you don’t need to be near the reinforcement, so you can be far away and still work with the Kaid.

Nomad is going to be a situational operator, I think you’re going to see more Kaid than Nomad.

Going into the next half of Season 9 which teams should we look out for? I’d love to hear your thoughts on ReD DevilS, they’ve really surprised me.

ReD DevilS are really interesting because in Season 7 they secured a spot for Season 8 of the Pro League, but they lost the lineup to Black Dragons. Now, in Season 9, we’ve got ReD DevilS with another lineup again in the Pro League after winning the Challenger League, so it’s the second time the organisation got the spot, but this time they lineup stayed.

I think they have a play style like Immortals, they play like “mad dogs” and you can underestimate them. They only need to have more knowledge of the game, because they are former Challenger League players and the game plays differently between Challenger League and the Pro League and this Invitational. Teams work different, so they only need to learn how it’s gonna be and how teams manage during a match. They need to calm down during a match because sometimes in the final moments of a round they sometimes throw. They only need to calm down, I think, but It’s a team that can surprise us.

The Latin American Pro League standings after ten play days

Anything you’d like to say to fans or anything we should look out for?

First of all, thank you to the community, because the community made the game for sure. Thank you to SiegeGG, because without them we’ll not have the stats, our jobs as casters only works because of these stats and we have a main place to find this info. It’s great stuff for the community too; if you are an interested player or a competitive player and you need to find some info about any team you’re playing in a match, you can go to SiegeGG, so a big thank you to you guys!

Retalha during the Six Invitational 2019 group stages



Retalha will be back in action on Wednesday when the Pro League resumes. You can check out more coverage and interviews of the Six Invitational right here at SiegeGG and check out our interview with Team Liquid's coach, André "Sensi" Kaneyasu for more insights on the Latin American region: