After a winless Six Invitational 2020, where Gabriel "cameram4n" Hespanhol had been the worst-performer on his team, his future at FaZe Clan had seemed in doubt.
Cameram4n himself seemed to know it too and, sure enough, the player was dropped from FaZe Clan just three weeks after the end of the event. However, MIBR was more than happy to take on the greatly experienced player to replace Vitor "hugzord" Hugo despite an impressive quarter-final finish for them at the Invitational.
In his wake, FaZe struggled more than his new team, only managing a further nine points to 12 for MIBR in the second split of the Pro League and finished one point behind them.
MIBR, also having slightly changed its roster still, would then go on to finish fourth at the August Major and then fourth again in the regular season of the BR6.
However, it would really hit its stride with cameram4n at the helm in the BR6 Finals that year, winning the entire event with an impressive 3-0 against Team Liquid in the Grand Final.
FaZe Clan, meanwhile, would better the new MIBR's result in the August Major -- finishing second in the August Major -- but would fail to even make it to the BR6 2020 Finals after a fifth place finish in the regular season, four points behind MIBR.
That was enough for FaZe Clan, however, with the organisation kickstarting an incredible roster shuffle all throughout Brazil and even in the larger LATAM region. They would drop all of their players except Leonardo "Astro'' Luis and buy out four of the title-winning MIBR players, with Lucca "MKing" Coser left out.
The roster move would have an incredible knock-on effect, with MIBR buying out the entirety of the Team oNe roster, Team oNe assembling an all-new, carefully curated squad from five others, and many other complete roster renovations.
The purchase of the four MIBR players also (somewhat amusingly) meant that cameram4n would return to the very organisation that had dropped him almost exactly a year prior and would once again call Astro a teammate.
And this squad, effectively the title-winning MIBR team but with Astro in place of MKing, would initially start off well. However, while it would top Stage 1 of the regular BR6 season this year, it would falter and finish fifth in the Copa Elite Six after an unimpressive game against Team oNe.
Now, it heads to the Six Invitational, eager to put that loss in the past and make its mark internationally. To find out more, SiegeGG spoke to cameram4n himself.
Your team, which is really the 2020 MIBR roster with Astro, was lethal this year again in Stage 1 of the regular BR6 season. That first place in 2020 was followed by first in the regular season this year, but only fifth in the Copa Elite Six. What went wrong? Was there any ‘strat-saving’ going on?
We had a bad performance in the Copa Elite Six and Team oNe played very well, they didn't waste the opportunities (we gave them) and punished our mistakes. Hopefully, that doesn't happen again.
How did it feel to return to FaZe Clan as part of a completely different roster after having been dropped from the old roster and then having gone to this different roster that was under MIBR? Was there any sense of irony, or were you simply overjoyed at rejoining forces with Astro?
No irony at all, when I got dropped from FaZe, everyone who was on the team (staff and Astro) felt bad about that decision at the time, but it was a team decision. But that was good after all; I felt the urge to change things and change my mindset to be in a better position and found a better team.
Do you anticipate such massive roster changes -- roster swaps, really -- becoming more commonplace? We saw quite a bit of shuffling in LATAM and even in NA this previous transfer window.
I personally don't like the roster change thing, because most of the time, all you need is time. There are some cases where it has to be done, but some people need more patience instead of changing rosters every season.
How nerve-wracking was it when you were informed that you (and all the other Brazilian teams) could miss out on the Invitational? How did your team react?
Actually [the fear] didn't hit us. In February, we were told two days before the public announcement that SI was delayed, but this time we had all the documents to help us make it to SI.
They said that we would play in another European country if things went wrong, though. Thankfully, things worked out the right way.
FaZe Clan’s track record with the Six Invitational has not exactly been fantastic, going from joint-third, to joint-fifth, to joint-ninth, and then joint-thirteenth over the years. The MIBR roster last year, of which two continued onto this FaZe roster, finished joint-seventh. How are you guys ensuring that this year will be better?
We are prepared this tournament. We worked really hard and we are together as a team. We have good expectations for this tournament, even though we are in the 'death group', we can finish in the Top 4 and play in the Upper Bracket.
What is your goal for the Invitational and how confident are you that you'll achieve it?
Our goal is to do our best. Don't want to put unnecessary pressure on us, all we have to do is our best and we can win this tournament if we do so.
What is your opinion on the changed format for the Invitational and how do you rate your chances in the group?
I like that, we can play more games and that's good. As I said, we can end up in the Top 4 of the group stage.
Is there anything you want to say to your fans and maybe your competitors?
I just want to thank everyone that's been supporting us. Hopefully, we can bring the hammer to you all.
Catch FaZe Clan next in action on the 11th of May at 7:30 AM BRT (UTC-3), when they take on Team Liquid live from Paris.