After a December full of Six Invitational Qualifiers, the last one will be held in Brazil. The best two teams from Mexico and South America will try to surprise the two Brazilian sides of INTZ and FURIA.
Although the two Brazilian rosters are the favorites to take the last spot at the Invitational, after the results seen in the European and North American qualifiers, it is more than clear that anything can happen here.
Despite no rigid restrictions, this qualifier will be the first time that Mexican, Brazilian, and South American teams face each other without ping issues. Both Estral and Timbers -- the Mexican representatives -- have traveled to Brazil, with the favorites of Estral staying at the Team Isurus game house.
This is a huge step forward that would have been taken earlier had COVID-19 not been a reality. Despite the MX and SA regions still small in stature compared to Brazil, there has always been a rivalry between the three regions that could only be seen in smaller, online tournaments such as the Challenger League or the Six Invitational qualifiers.
There is also another factor that makes this tournament one to follow closely. After the Six Invitational participation increased from 16 to 20 teams -- and also thanks to the results from other regions -- Brazil will send at least five rosters to the biggest stage of the scene.
Team oNe, Team Liquid, Ninjas in Pyjamas, MIBR, and FaZe Clan are already confirmed to be attending the event, which will be held in Europe for the very first time. This means that FURIA and INTZ could increase this number to six -- which would make it six out of 10 Brasileirão teams at the Invitational in what will be the widest Brazilian representation in a tournament.
With that, let’s have a look at the six teams competing for that sixth Latin American ticket.
After a very disappointing season in the Brasileirão, despite having a promising roster that counted the help of the ex-FaZe member of Marlon “Twister” Mello, the Brazilian team ended at the bottom of the table behind Santos. The team then faced Falkol in the relegation match, which they won by 3-0. By then, FURIA had already taken the decision of giving substitute Luiz “Miracle” Abrantes the core roster spot of Renan “fredQx” Lucas.
With their new roster, FURIA surprised everyone in the Six Invitational Online Qualifiers, as they won against the Brasileirão sides of Santos, W7M Gaming, and INTZ -- twice. All their results were 2-0 wins, which was impressive as in a single week they had won against more professional teams than in a full Brasileirão campaign (two wins).
After a very good display in the second half of the Brasileirão which helped them to finish in sixth place, just behind the five representatives of the region at the next Six Invitational, INTZ headed to the qualifier as the main favorites. However, one of their two only losses during this stage of the season were against FURIA.
Despite being the favorites to be the sixth Brazilian team at the next SI, a second -- and a third -- loss to FURIA makes it harder to predict who is going to take the very last ticket. This, especially when the SA and the MX teams have been showing great improvement at their national tournaments.
The main candidate to surprise the Brazilian sides, Estral won both Mexican Majors and ended just outside the Six Invitational Top 16. Since the creation of the roster, this team has won each of the tournaments it has played in. Not only that, Estral has only lost one match since August, to Infinity Academy in the last game of the regular season while playing with their coach and their analyst after two of their players had personal problems and could not make it to the match.
As we mentioned before, this team won both Mexican Majors against Timbers Esports, 3-1 and 3-2. They also won the Campeonato Mexicano Grand Final against Timbers, a 3-2, in what was a very special match as they had to play with their coach Goku instead of their support Fungi. Despite this, Estral was crowned as the best team in Mexico.
These results make Estral the biggest favorites to take down the Brazilians, in what would be a massive upset as it would be the first time we see a Mexican side in a Major tournament.
Timbers are undoubtedly the second-best team in Mexico. Despite the difference with Estral seemingly pretty clear, their results have been improving little by little. It is not that clear if they can cause problems to their Brazilian opponents, but they deserve to be here and they can not be ignored. Although all the Mexican hopes have been put on Estral, Timbers could also upset everyone.
Coscu Army and Malvinas Gaming
To finish with the article, we have Coscu Army and Malvinas Gaming. Coscu Army were invited to the event after becoming the regular season champions, seven points ahead of Malvinas Gaming and 9z Team. However, after a very strong first half of the season where they ended with six wins and one draw, the players have been underperforming. After two losses and two draws in the second half of the season, the opponents saw that Coscu Army could be beaten.
And that is what Malvinas Gaming did at the Sudamericano Finals, as they won the grand final against Coscu by 3-2. This really makes it a very close contest between these two, as they will be trying to play for their region, as qualifying to the SI would be the best that has happened to Argentina and Chile.
These two teams count with the best players of their sub-region, especially the Coscu Army support of Pechito and the Malvina’s entry of Soco. Malvinas have shown great improvement especially at the Sudamericano Finals, where Ragn4r and Patan led the team with ratings of 1.22.
The format is very easy to understand. The six teams will face off in the same group, which follows a round-robin format. All the games will follow a Best-of-One (Bo1) system. The best four of the group will advance to the final bracket, which will be made up of Best-of-Three (Bo3) matches. The winner of the bracket will take the last spot at the SI, which will be celebrated in Europe in February.
The games can be watched in Spanish, Portuguese, and English, on the Rainbow6LATAM, R6EsportsBR, and Rainbow6 Twitch channels.
Make sure to tune in for the games as they come and to check back here at SiegeGG for continued coverage of the event.