Banner image: Ubisoft/Joao Ferreira
Week 2 of Stage 3 took place last week, as all four regions continued their Stage 3 games.
Following most of these games were interviews with the victorious teams, so for those that missed them, we've summarised the best quotes and responses from the players below.
- EU League -- "Cowana found an extra gear when we were 6-4"
- NA League -- "I think he’s a better IGL than I was"
- Brasileirão -- "NiP just got very bad... so this match was a little bit easy”
- APAC Leagues -- "Both teams played trash, but the difference was that we played even more trash"
Day three of the European League saw two very close games, with G2 and BDS beating Cowana and Heroic 8-7. Starting with the French derby, BDS’ analyst Mees "eaglemees" Arend said this about Heroic’s surprise performance:
There were different factors of course. Heroic had some outliers like THUUNDER and Chaoxys playing really well and with what you could consider a “completely” new roster compared to Stage 2, ‘cause they switched out Dirza and played with both THUUNDER and Shoukri, which meant our previous analysis isn’t up to date any more.
Also, we needed to warm up. In round two, RaFaLe had the black screen issue so there were some issues on our end, but also Heroic were just playing very well... but fortunately we could get [the win] at the end.
After the G2 win, we then heard from Jordan "Kayak" Morley, who kept his undefeated record against his old teammates:
I think Cowana found an extra gear when we were 6-4 up and were looking like they were adapting around us; they played those rounds really well, which is fair play to them. I think that’s pretty much why they had a good game... they’ve been giving all the top teams a good game, so far as we saw from their two wins (8-7 against Empire and NAVI), so we knew it was not going to be over till it’s over.
Over in the North American League, last week saw two play days of games, with Tuesday having been Troy "Canadian" Jaroslawski’s debut for DarkZero. Following the team’s 7-4 win over Mirage, Canadian said this about his return to competitive play and his time so far on DZ:
I did a bit of aim training and stuff like that a little bit before the Mexico Major, but between when I got back after SI21 and up until two weeks before the Mexico Major, I literally didn’t get on a PC the whole time. I just watched games, read, took care of myself, did my own thing and then I started to get back with the aim training and get my mechanics back.
There’s a lot of different things that are special about [DZ]. Mint and BC are excellent pieces to have in the coaching staff; they both have great minds for the game and both of them are dedicated to studying teams, creating new ideas, and sharpening our play style is obviously great to have.
As far as everyone on the team, every single player is incredibly talented, all four of them. Ecl9pse and Hyper both have a lot of experience, which also lines up well with some of the less experienced guys in njr and Panba, but we have the overall wealth of experience to bring out the best in those guys and I just think, most importantly, everyone’s here to learn, everyone has a really good attitude. Obviously, everyone wants to win, but we’re not in a rush, we know it’s a long journey. [...]
The following day, DarkZero followed up this result with an 8-6 win against TSM, while Mirage got on the board with a 7-5 win over XSET. Following the game, Mirage’s newest player, former XSET man Tomas "Tomas" Kaka had this to say about the result:
[...] this does fire me up. Obviously I’m on a new role rather than just flex. A couple of games ago I was on flex/support, and now I’m on entry on maps like this. So, like I said, it fires me up to be even better than I am [...] Nyx is a tremendous IG --, I think he’s a better IGL than I was on XSET [...] with his direction, Dream’s executional calls, Benji’s fragging capabilities and NotLoading’s flank-watch -- it’s actually amazing to have a flank-watch that doesn’t die nowadays -- the team is amazing.
Saturday’s BR6 games, which can be read about in full in our BR6 week two recap article, saw a remarkable 7-0 win by the Major champion Team oNe over the world champion Ninjas in Pyjamas. Karl "Alem4o" Zarth explained the win as follows:
This was the first time we beat them, I don’t think we’ve ever beat them in the past. We just took one map in the Elite Six on Oregon, but this is the first full match.
They didn’t lose Villa for a whole year, I think, so we copied them on this map, but they just got very bad. I don’t know what happened to them, so this match was a little bit easy I think.
We were hoping this match would be a great one… it was, but not an even one. I don’t know what is happening with NiP right now. I think a lot of teams are countering them after they won SI and learning how they play, but I don’t understand how they’re playing Siege right now.
The next day, NiP finally got on the board with a win over FURIA, 8-7, which led Julio Giacomelli to state this about their losses over the last two weeks:
I think we’re always trying to change when we lose, change our play style, play faster, and change the pace of the game and we’re trying everything to get back on point.
After a win against CYCLOPS in week one, the ex-Cloud9 roster, mantisFPS, followed up with a dominating 7-1 win over DWG KIA.
Their next biggest challenge will be Fnatic next week, said Chanyong “Static” Han:
Fnatic is always getting new members, and they’re fresh, so we’re scared. But we consider Fnatic as our final boss now and we wanna research and study new ways and focus on trying to beat Fnatic first.
On the other side of their results, CYCLOPS coach Riccardo "Hybrid" Massimino Font had this to say about their loss to mantis:
Well, I think it was just a bad day from us. We made a lot of mistakes. Mantis is looking stronger but I don’t think it was them winning the match. I mean, we both… both teams played, I think, trash, but the difference was that we played even more trash. So, I don’t know, it was just a bad day from us and today showed that still, we need to fix our mistakes that we made, still fix our problems that we have, but we’re trying to do so.
This came after a 7-4 victory over T1 which, considering its 7-0 loss the week prior, was still a surprising showing from the Korean side.
Additionally, Fnatic was taken to 12 rounds in its win over FAV, as it just about secured all three points. Alphama had this to say about the Clash ban on Chalet:
So, yeah, I guess we know how to play really annoying operators to some of these APAC teams. You see a lot of Mira bans, you see a lot of Clash [...] play sometimes, you know? It seems to be a good thing against APAC teams and not a lot of Clash bans. Yet you see a lot of Mira bans too. So, what if you play both and then (they) have to choose and whether they ban one, you play the other and it’s still really annoying for them.
Over in APAC South, Invictus got a big 7-4 win over last Stage’s victors, Knights, which was followed by iG’s Ellis "GiG" Hindle saying:
I don’t know if I think mentality… the thing is, with getting Jo in the team… he didn’t have a lot of experience before. So every game we play helps him and helps the team in general. And it really started to come together in the playoffs last [stage], as you mentioned, that’s where we started to get convincing wins, which we didn’t have any of really in Stage 2.
And yeah, we’ve kinda been on the back foot a bit this [stage], being at the Major, not having much time to prep. We’re still figuring a lot of stuff out this [stage], making mistakes but we’re learning from it.
Like, we didn’t expect Oregon to be played today, to be honest, so we kinda went into it a bit blind, and not having much prep on it. And expecting (that) we were gonna get countered and that's what happened. So, yeah, still a long way to go, but we’re definitely improving anyway.
SiegeGG will be covering all these tournaments as usual so check back for stats, news, and highlights for your favorite teams!