The Fenix Esports story became the Cinderella story of the Copa Elite Six in Stage 2, after the Mexicans defeated both FaZe Clan and Black Dragons. Now, the team wants to take a step forward and qualify for the November Major.
“We are focusing more on how to play against Brazil and our map pool,” said Fenix Esports’ in-game leader Pedro “BOPE” Monge. That could easily be the reason behind Fenix's success against its Brazilian neighbours just two months ago.
The Mexican squad was FaZe Clan’s first bump in the road, as the Brazilians eventually did not make it to the playoffs. A 7-5 win in Chalet saw how the Mexicans tripped up a Brazilian giant for the first time, a result that “helped to lower the pressure” and build self-belief for Fenix.
Later on, an overtime loss against Team oNe and an overtime win against Black Dragons meant that the Mexicans had beaten two out of their three Brazilian opponents. The list would not get larger though, as Team Liquid woke the Fenix players up from the dream of a Major participation in their home country.
“Our best chance to make it to the Major is winning our group, because it gets more difficult in a BO3 series,” said BOPE. He added that their loss to Liquid was “deceiving”, not because they lost, but because the map results (7-3, 7-3) were “similar” to their Stage 1 performances, giving some the impression that Fenix hadn’t truly improved.
Looking back at the results between Mexican and Brazilian sides, BOPE has a point. There have been four best-of-three series between both countries, with Estral Esports being the only Aztecan side able to win, as it had defeated INTZ (2-1) in the SI 2021 LATAM Closed Qualifiers.
Nevertheless, BOPE says that his team’s recent preparation has helped it feel “ready” in case the team has to play another best-of-three series against a Brazilian roster.
And that preparation has been going on for a long time now. As the Mexican championship uses a combined score system, like in Brazil and South America, both Fenix Esports and Atheris Esports have been able to focus on their neighbours’ play style after having qualified early for the Copa Elite Six.
“The system helps us as we can prepare for the Elite Six, that is positive, but sometimes domestic teams surprise us,” said BOPE. Sure enough, Fenix Esports was the top-two team that suffered the most, as the squad finished seven points behind Atheris.
Despite Atheris being the region’s main attraction, it is Fenix that is the closest Mexican team to a SI 2022 qualification with 340 SI Points compared to Atheris’ 180.
Regarding his team’s current place in the SI Points standings, BOPE thinks that “the SI is something possible”, especially if Fenix can qualify for the November Major. Despite this being a difficult task, the team is “optimistic”, especially after its performance at the CES Stage 2.
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).