FoxA: "Group D is one of the easier brackets in comparison"

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In our tenth article in the Invitational Insights series, we talk to Team Reciprocity player FoxA about his team’s preparation for the Six Invitational 2020.

Having one of three Canadians attending the Six Invitational 2020, Team Reciprocity and player Davide “FoxA” Bucci are likely set to enjoy strong support from the locals at the event. However, to make good on the hopes placed upon them, Team Reciprocity still needs work. Most recently, the team went to the Season 10 Finals, having squeaked in over Evil Geniuses by virtue of a better head-to-head record, but could not carry North America’s hopes all the way and get to the grand final like DarkZero Esports did, losing 1-2 to Natus Vincere in the semi-finals.

Critics of the team were harsh on the players, arguing that North America’s strength was not accurately represented by Reciprocity, and the fact that the team made it into the semi-finals at Tokoname was only because it played against a neutered Ninjas in Pyjamas. What’s more, after the Season 10 Finals, the dream duo of Gabriel “LaXInG” Mirelez and Alexander “Skys” Magor was broken up when Skys left for DarkZero, and Zachary “Nyx” Thomas came the other way.

The former Team Reciprocity roster at the Season 10 Finals. From left: LaXInG, FoxA, Skys, MarktheShark, Retro.

Despite the loss, though, the team did manage to secure the services of Franklyn “VertcL” Cordero in place of Mark “MarktheShark” Arismendez as well and has been settling in with the two new signings. However, the going has not been easy in the Pro League as Reciprocity finds itself in fourth -- six points adrift of second placed DarkZero. Issues are yet to be ironed out for the team, having lost to Team SoloMid 2-7, Spacestation Gaming 3-7, and eUnited 4-7.

Nevertheless, the team has historically been strong at LAN, and showcased that exactly at the US Nationals 2019 Finals. Despite only having about three weeks to work with the new roster, Reciprocity beat Luminosity Gaming in the quarter-finals. What’s more, the team beat Team SoloMid -- albeit one that was playing with Timothy “Timzy” Perez in place of the Canadian of Owen “Pojoman” Mitura. However, Spacestation Gaming was a fish too big to fry, and the closest Reciprocity got to a map win was overtime on the third map. Even at the Season 10 Finals, the team did manage to get within two rounds of the win on the third map against eventual champions Natus Vincere.

The new Team Reciprocity roster at the US Nationals 2019 Finals. From left: Retro, Nyx, VertcL, FoxA, LaXInG.

Now, Reciprocity is eager to repeat its fourth-placed finish from the Six Invitational last year, and to know more about the team’s preparation, SiegeGG spoke to FoxA:

How have Nyx and VertcL been settling into the team? Losing Skys, especially, must not have been easy.

Getting Nyx and VertcL established with us was a difficult experience, but we think we’ve got it down -- we switched our approach from trying to be the team we were before to just becoming the team we are now with these new players’ strengths and weaknesses.

How would you compare the strengths of each region against each other?

I think the top of EU is in a strong point right now, but the top of NA and LATAM are close behind. Depending on the day and performances, I think EU is very beatable. As for the lower regions, the bottom four in EU are behind the bottom four in NA.

Despite your strong run at the Season 10 Finals, many still do not believe your team is a strong competitor on the international stage. Why do you feel this is the case?

Even at the Finals in Japan, nobody thought we were a contender -- I think we are just the underdogs because of our organisation. When we were Cloud9, everybody loved us even though we weren’t that great. We became Reciprocity and went top-four at Invite and top-two in NA and nobody cared.

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?

The lower bracket is good and needed, the teams that succeed with only hard-scripted strategies and lack adaptation will crumble and the real best coordinated teams will come out on top. As for the map advantage in the final, how else are you going to give an advantage? It’s not ideal, of course, but what are you gonna do?

Do you believe that Group D is one of the easier groups, what with BDS being relatively inexperienced alongside Wildcard, Wildcard having its struggles domestically, and G2 also fading from strength?

Group D is one of the easier brackets in comparison to groups A and B. I believe for our group, it is easy to figure out who the top two will be, compared to the others.

What is the goal for your team at this event?

Our goal with this roster is winning, of course, but making it to the main stage is a good first goal, and getting back to our top-four spot as well.

Do you have anything else to say to your fans?

Thank you to everyone supporting, we are doing the most to make sure we have a solid performance at the Six Invitational 2020!

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Team Reciprocity plays G2 Esports as the opening match, with matches against either Wildcard Gaming or BDS Esport scheduled afterwards. Check back here at SiegeGG for more Invitational Insights and full coverage of the event as it comes.