Banner image: Ubisoft/Kirill B.
Before the Six Invitational 2021, Team oNe head coach Arthur "TchubZ" Martins had stated that he and Lorenzo "Lagonis" Volpi had studied every player they had added so that the team would be "perfect".
Now, after taking a 3-2 win over a far more experienced Team Empire, that statement has been backed up well with title success.
"I think I cried already like... six times. I think I lost count," TchubZ began in the Ubisoft-organised press conference with a laugh. "I remember, I told you before SI that I built this perfect team. Yes, and now it's (been) proven, five months later."
Team oNe's team was assembled very uniquely in "Rainbow Six Siege", with the organisation having sold its former roster to MIBR. This new team had almost been put together in what may be the closest equivalent to the esport's version of "Moneyball".
"We built a team by profiles," said TchubZ. "No one on this roster was a very huge star on (his) previous team and five months later, we are Major champions."
While the players had not been stars prior to Team oNe, they certainly have become now. Karl "Alem4o" Zarth shot to stardom after SI 2021, while Juliano "Levy" Andrade dos Santos Benos was crowned MVP for the entire event. Alongside him, both Alem4o and Caio "Neskin" Szazi also earned EVP awards.
Team oNe's victory has been steadily building, alluded TchubZ, revealing that the players and staff only had about "six days" off from practicing and playing since this roster had been formed. But that hard work has paid off well.
The Brazilians had very nearly failed to even reach the playoffs of the event, much less the grand final, after needing to restrict CYCLOPS athlete gaming to two rounds at most on the final day of the group stage. But they pulled the feat off, forcing a "Siege"-first with a tiebreaker repeat match, and also won that.
Alem4o had later said that the wins against CAG had been the toughest. And sure enough, once in the playoffs, Team oNe was unstoppable. DarkZero Esports fell 2-0 and Team Liquid was dispatched in a 2-1 that featured an explosive 7-0 on the final map -- the only whitewash of the entire event.
Coming into the grand final, Team oNe had to contend with Six Major defending champions Team Empire. The Brazilians got off to a horror start with a 2-7 loss on Clubhouse and it seemed that the fairytale could come to an end.
"I think that we already knew that we could beat Empire after the (map) bans," said Alem4o about the flow of the game. "We had a plan [on] Clubhouse, but we didn't play Clubhouse (before), so it was kind of difficult to win against them."
But Team oNe responded with a 7-2 in kind on Chalet, with Alem4o implying that Empire's lack of games on the map -- similar to his team's lack of games on Clubhouse -- worked well for oNe. The Brazilians then won Coastline in a tense 8-6 and it seemed that Consulate, where they had trounced Liquid 7-0 in the semifinals, was where the victory would be wrapped up.
"The surprise was the Consulate," revealed Alem4o. "They played very different [from] what we are dealing (with) normally, like they played different from Liquid, from CYCLOPS, from Soniqs... was very hard to play against [Empire] on Consulate."
But the confidence never faded for Team oNe, with Alem4o stating that his team "knew" it would win Villa as Empire rarely played it in official matches and hadnot played it at all this event.
The only round Team oNe would lose on Villa would be thanks to a 1v3 clutch from Danil "JoyStiCK" Gabov. The final scoreline on that map would read 7-1 and Team oNe would take home a historic win.
With this victory, each Team oNe player's performances, and Levy's MVP plaudit, it is clearer than ever that this team is not just 'Alem4o and friends'.