Having been considered the European (EU) juggernaut throughout 2020 and in the run-in to the Six Invitational 2021, BDS Esport has fallen short of expectations this year.
“I think that the Six Invitational was a bit disappointing for us,” said BDS captain Bryan “Elemzje” Tebessi. “After the tournament we had a long talk together to figure out what went wrong and we found some ways (that) we can’t wait to show to you in Mexico.”
After having stunned everyone at the Six Invitational 2020 with a fourth-placed finish, BDS had seemingly upgraded itself into an unstoppable machine throughout 2020. Through the year, it won the August EU Major, finished top of the EUL, and placed second at the November EU Major and EUL Finals.
Its new signing, Loïc “BriD” Chongthep, was proving to be worth his weight in gold and shot straight to the top of the ratings chart despite his support role. Not only that, he has continued to appear in the Top 5 of up to an incredible four categories for every single league split and tournament since.
Coming into the Six Invitational 2021 off the back of another second-placed finish in the EUL stage, BDS -- a title favourite -- fell early on home ground. Ninjas in Pyjamas had won the upper bracket duel by just one round, with TSM finishing the Frenchmen off in the third round of the Lower Bracket.
“If we had won that round, the event for us would have been completely different… I’m pretty sure we would have reached the final,” lamented Elemzje. “It was quite heartbreaking, last year (at the Invitational) too, we had lost to them by just one round.”
The time for regrets is over for Elemzje and his team. He revealed that motivation had been the issue for the team and that his goal had been to bring that fire back inside his teammates in Stage 2. Now that he has, his team is ready to win the Major.
The rough patch that BDS had gone through had hit many teams across the “Rainbow Six” esports landscape, with Elemzje’s recollection of the tough period echoing the reasons why multiple pros, including legendary rivals Niclas “Pengu” Mouritzen and Troy “Canadian” Jaroslawski had retired.
The French squad had hit a rough patch both in and out of the game and it had shown when the hometown heroes had been bounced out of the one and only Six Invitational held outside of Canada. Like Pengu and Canadian, BDS Esport had burned out pushing for glory.
“When you play the game every day to perform (at a high level), you can reach a point where you kind of need to pause,” said Elemzje. “I think if the Invitational had been in February. In May, we started dropping off a bit because people were tired of playing the game every day. It’s totally normal, because we’re human, after all.”
Now, though Elemzje once again does not feel that his team is the favourite, he is confident of its own game. The goal now, he says, is to reproduce the form from Stage 2 and in practice matches at the Mexico Major. And having “no pressure” is just an added bonus -- favourite or not.
But can the Brazilians be toppled, having locked out the podium positions at the Six Invitational 2021?
“We have five players that can excel at everything,” is Elemzje’s rejoinder. “Shaiiko and Renshiro focus on kills, but they can also make strategic calls to redirect our attacks and defences. RaFaLe and BriD are very vocal with our (utility and manpower) placements, while I just come in midway between those styles.”
As a result, he says that his team is ready to counter every region’s play style, LATAM included. Whether a team is passive, extremely aggressive, or balanced will not matter much to Elemzje and the rest of BDS.
He conceded that the current meta “is better for Brazilian teams”, owing to an incredible amount of gun-skill that players such as Nesk, Paluh, and pino consistently show off. “But the meta has been here for months now, we have had a ton of practice with it, so we will be ready for it,” finished Elemzje with confidence.
Catch BDS Esport in the Six Mexico Major opening game against CYCLOPS athlete gaming, set to be played on the Rainbow6 Twitch channel on the 16th of August at 10 AM CDT (UTC-5).
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