After the conclusion of the first edition of the Copa Elite Six, the future looked dark for the South American teams. The Argentinian rosters of 9z Team and Malvinas Gaming had only won 13 rounds out of 69 possible throughout the whole event.
But, after all, it was their first international appearance. The teams had to learn from it, and so they did.
Although 9z Team could not win any of its matches, they possibly were the SA roster that looked the better of the two, as not only pushing Mexico Major champions Team oNe to overtime, but also losing by fine margins to Black Dragons (5-7) and FaZe Clan (4-7).
“The first Elite Six was our first international tournament together. We thought we were ready but we hit a big wall,” said Federico “Pechito” Miller in an interview with SiegeGG.
The Argentinian player joined 9z Team at the beginning of the stage, alongside the Uruguayan player of Diego “PePe” Villalba. Pechito was pivotal in 9z’s first stage, as the Argentinian squad went flawless after seven games.
However, the Elite Six was more demanding. Pechito admitted that the team had to “accept” the facts and focus on “fixing mistakes, improving the way they moved and how they communicated”.
One of the reasons behind the team’s improvement at the Elite Six Stage 2 was the signing of Cesar “Dark” Adriano. The current FaZe Clan analyst was key to improving the technical aspects of the team, which showed in 9z’s results at the Elite Six Stage 2 were evenly-matched.
“Dark and our current coach RICK have helped me at becoming a better IGL, and Hemwer is doing a very good job too,” said Pechito about the importance of the staff in his team’s performance.
“Now we are even more ready, as we have experience, we will be more confident at taking gunfights,” said Pechito. The Argentinian rosters have been harshly criticised for their ping conditions, as both teams had to play the Copa Elite Six editions from home. However, the player said that it is still “unknown” if they will be allowed to fly to Brazil.
If we look at the evolution of the team since Stage 1, there is a clear adaptation to the meta by Pechito. The Argentinian started as an Ace main in Stage 1, as he finished as the second highest rated player in the league (1.30). But as the attacker suffered a nerf, Pechito moved on to Hibana.
Following the recent changes in the meta, Pechito feels like the Japanese operator fits him perfectly as “the flashes are strong and she is also the perfect counter to Aruni, as you can use the pellets to activate the (defender’s) gadget”.
Meanwhile, the previously mentioned PePe has finally found his best self after two very questionable stages. The Uruguayan finished as the highest rated player in the league after a change in his role from a “focus on cleaning utility” to a focus on his fragging power.
Overall, it seems like 9z Team could upset a fair few Brazilian and the Mexican sides in the tournament. Luckily for the team, after scrimming against BR6 and Série B teams, and with all the experience gained at the previous editions of the CES, the 9z players might just be able to make their dreams come true.
The Copa Elite Six Stage 3 group stage draw will be held after the conclusion of the last BR6 match on the 10th of October between Team Liquid and Santos e-Sports, which will start at 5 PM BRT (+7 UTC).