Ironically, when we think of Mexico in ‘Siege’ nowadays, the first team that probably comes to mind is the Brazilian-majority roster of Atheris.
Atheris’ current ‘Siege’ core originated in March 2021. Back then, the Mexican organization surprised the viewership with an ambitious project which included the SI 2019 and SI 2020 participants Daniel “Novys” Novy and Lucca “MKing” Cosser.
After an almost flawless first split where the team’s only loss was against Fenix Esports, Atheris’ performance in the Copa Elite Six Stage 1 was one to remember: a victory against FURIA Esports meant that the team would be playing MIBR for a Top 4 finish. Although the roster began with a convincing win on Villa (7-4), the Brazilians did not give any quarter to Atheris and hit back with two rock-solid victories (7-5 Clubhouse, 7-1 Oregon).
The team looked even better throughout the second split, as Atheris’ climbed up to first place after defeating its archenemy, Fenix Esports. However, the Copa Elite Six Stage 2 marked a turning point, as Atheris hit a roadblock and failed to win a single game.
In order to change its luck, Atheris dropped its lowest performer at the CES Stage 2, Luís “Navy” Eduardo, to make room for the ex-FURIA Esports player of Victor “Bersa” Hugo.
“It is not easy to leave your country, you have to get used to many factors,” said Bersa in an interview with SiegeGG.
The player was welcomed by the majority of the region’s fans, but he and the organization was hit by backlash that the signing of Brazilian players was taking away spots from Mexicans. In response to that, Bersa simply stated: “We are just doing our jobs… we are chosen, being Brazilian does not make [us] better”.
When comparing Brazil with Mexico, Bersa stated that there ist a big difference in terms of meta, as the Mexican “teams are not that aggressive” and “they communicate less”.
But it’s the language barrier that is the biggest game changer. After three stages, one could say that Atheris has created a new language for ‘Siege’, something that Bersa calls a “mix of Spanish, Portuguese and other callouts”.
Bersa is the team’s in-game leader and a support, so providing information and calls to his teammates is his daily bread and butter. But according to the Brazilian player, it would be much easier if everyone “spoke the same language” and that “the team has been improving in that area”.
The Brazilian-majority roster finished at the top of the standings after the ending of Stage 3, four points above Fenix Esports. But in the grand scheme of things, ending first or second does not make a difference.
“We have been preparing for the Copa Elite Six since the beginning,” said Bersa, echoing the comments of Fenix. Both Atheris and Fenix started Stage 3 at a point where they were able to immediately focus on their Brazilian rivals, as the LATAM system sums each stage’s points together. As a result, both teams had little to do in Stage 3 to confirm their berths at the Copa Elite Six.
But to fulfill their international dream, Atheris’ will have to pass a battery of tests in eight days in direct competition to its Brazilian and Argentinian neighbours. A top four finish there would materialize the Mexican dream of seeing a team at an international competition for the first time ever, even if that did not happen at the Mexico Major.
Although the team could cause an upset in Brazil, Atheris’ dream of clinching a SI 2022 spot through the Global Standings is now almost out of reach, as the team currently sits in 30th place with 180 SI Points.
“We are looking forward to it (the SI LATAM Open Qualifier), as both Novys and I won the last edition, so if we cannot qualify through the Global Standings, we could achieve our goal there,” concluded Bersa.
All that means is that Atheris keeps dreaming big. The Mexican organization will try to make a statement in Brazil this month, and show the world what its real potential is.
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 5pm BRT (+7 UTC).