As the most consistent team in Rainbow Six enters its eleventh straight Pro League or Major event, FaZe Clan will be aiming to finally secure some silverware in Montreal to finish off a middling Year 4 for the roster.
After winning the Brazilian national titles of 2017 and 2018 as well as finishing Season 8 as the Pro League runners-up, 2019 saw the team fail to get out of the group stages at the last Invitational, be knocked out by the eventual winners during the Raleigh Major’s quarter-finals, finish Season 9 in the semi-finals and, most recently, fall in the quarter-finals of the Season 10 Finals while playing with a substitute.
While these are still impressive results, they fail to live up to the successes seen by teams such as Team Liquid -- the team who FaZe failed to defend their 2019 BR6 title against -- meaning FaZe will have to really impress here if they wish to regain the title as the Brazillian team to watch going forward.
With group stage opponents of the reigning Major champion of Team Empire, last season’s top seeded North American team of DarkZero Esports and Asia-Pacific's most successful roster of Fnatic -- all of whom they faced at the Raleigh Major -- to top in order to make it to the double-elimination playoffs, we spoke to FaZe’s coach of Marlon "Twister" Mello to ask how they are preparing for the event:
In Tokoname, your team was unable to get a fair shot at the title due to visa issues. How do you fancy your chances this time?
I think that we never have an easy shot at the international events, but this is good, because in every event we learn something different that make us stronger and better to try our best at the next one.
Your team has been dominant in Latin America since the 2017 Six Invitational, but unable to capitalise internationally, save for Season 8. What would you say is the reason why?
As I said, FaZe has been unable to have an easy shot at every international event. It is a lot of pressure for a team with most LANs played and one that has many Brazillian star players, but the level of play is always growing. However, I believe that we are growing as well.
Except for Team Liquid in some events, after I joined the team, FaZe was able to be the Brazillian team to go further in every event compared to other Brazilian teams! But, there's still a lot to be worked on for us, and we are focused on it!
Much has been said about the seeding process for the groups. Does your team have any gripes with it?
In my opinion it was a fair seeding, not comparing the recent Pro League results, except for Group C. A big tournament like this should not be able to put three teams representing the same region in the same group, same as putting the invite team in another group that's not the group with the tournament’s Seed 1 (Team Empire in this case) if you consider that the invite team is the lower seed.
How do you think that the double-elimination playoffs will change the dynamic of the event, and what is your opinion of the one-map advantage in the grand final?
Since it’s double-elimination in the playoffs, it makes the tournament more competitive, because every event in Siege is about being the best team there but you are limited to playing teams that the schedule can fit in. In Siege, every team plays a different play style that could or could not be effective against your team, and at the biggest tournament of the year it would not be fair to just have a single chance to advance to the semis or the final.
Furthermore, I agree with the map advantage in the final since you have to give the better team some advantage for not losing a game in the playoffs -- that's not easy!
We finally get the DarkZero-FaZe rematch that the fans have been looking forward to, with both teams finally at full strength after a misfire at the Season 10 Finals. What can we expect from the game?
All I can say is that we will try our best to start this tournament the right way. Beating DarkZero is a big step but we also need to beat all the other teams after them. Expect a great match!
With the rise of NiP, Liquid, and MIBR once more, can FaZe maintain its domestic dominance?
Just like is happening globally, the level of LATAM is growing a lot and all the teams had difficulties last season, and it is not just Liquid, MIBR, or NiP, who are great teams, but INTZ, Elevate, BD and Team oNe as well. They all have a lot of potential to make LATAM more competitive from now on, but I still believe that all the experience, preparation, and play style of FaZe can make us top again!
Do you believe that Latin America is equal in strength to the EU and NA regions?
EU cannot be compared to other regions since they have all the championship-winning teams, and even highly-skilled Tier 2 and 3 teams. I believe that NA and LATAM don't have this kind of support in our regions and that puts us one step backwards. That’s why MIBR and Liquid showed up so strong when they bootcamped for the OGA PIT Minor, or NiP when they bootcamped for the Paris major, or even Fnatic bootcamping in Europe just shows how teams can get better by practicing with better teams!
Do you have anything else to say to your fans?
I would like to thank all FaZe fans and supporters and say that we are giving our best for the Pro League and the Invitational. We didn't get an easy group, but we will use it to give us strength to go further in the event! Keep cheering and supporting cause we are always trying our best to make great games! Thank you.
FaZe Clan plays DarkZero Esports in Group A first, with matches against either Fnatic or Team Empire scheduled afterwards. Check back here at SiegeGG for more Invitational Insights and full coverage of the event as it comes.