Just before the start of INTZ’s game on Saturday, the team had revealed that Diego “Zaak” Balejo’s could not play due to “health reasons”. In his place, the INTZ Academy player Rafaela “Miranda” Miranda would make her third appearance for the male INTZ team after stepping in for two games during Stage 1.
That alone is not a very significant story. However, it definitely gets more interesting when realizing that their opponent's roster, Black Dragons, featured Miranda’s boyfriend Vitor “peres” Peres.
This is only the second time a couple has faced off in a top-flight match, with Jake “Virtue” Grannan and Kaya “Loona” Omori having been a couple during their 2020 games in the ANZ Pro League.
“Of course,” Peres proudly said when reflecting upon his personal win against Miranda.
“We were very excited because it was a last-minute call, I found out one hour before the match,” said Miranda.
None of them had expected something like this to happen. Even the Brazilian R6 Twitter account kept track of their individual battles, as Peres won 2-1 in the individual battle between the pair.
“It was super fun, I tried to laugh at him when I killed him! But the competition stayed the same”, Miranda said.
After Black Dragons’ victory over INTZ, the game moved on to Twitter. In a Tweet, Miranda joked about Peres sleeping on the sofa that night. When asked about that, the couple laughed and Peres quickly explained that “I actually did not sleep on the sofa”.
Although this weekend they were enemies, the truth is that ‘Siege’ united them. The eventual couple met for the first time while playing ranked, and Peres moving to São Paulo -- Mirandas’ city -- to live in BD’s gaming house has helped a lot.
However, everything has its downsides. Playing ‘Siege’ is surely a very stressful job, as players must have a very tight schedule full of scrims, VOD reviews, and other activities. Combining those with a relationship usually takes a lot of effort from both parties.
The situation gets even more difficult when not only one but both play the game at a competitive level.
“It’s really difficult. I wake up at 11 am, I do some workouts, I practice my aim. Then I scrim with my team from 1 pm to 8:30 pm. So, when we finish, I just want to sleep,” said Peres.
Meanwhile, Miranda, who has played the last four Womens’ Circuit stages for INTZ Academy, also had plenty of scrims until recently. She also streams every day, but they still manage to “stay together, have a call or watch a movie,” Peres said.
To maintain the relationship, there is no time to be a sofa spud.
Furthermore, this is not the first time Miranda has made an appearance in ‘Siege’ top-flight competition: this was her third match in the competition. For her, it is a dream come true and she hopes to inspire other women to follow her example.