(Banner image: Ubisoft/Kiril Bashkirov)
It’s been a while since Feb. 12, 2020, to say the least, but an Oceanic team has finally won against international opposition again.
“It feels good to get a W,” said Raine “Dgtl” Wright in a post-match press conference, speaking of his team’s 7-2 win over a crippled Oxygen Gaming. “But they didn’t have their full roster, so it’s a half W in my mind.”
Chiefs now sit with a total of four points in their group, and have a 4 PM CET (UTC+1) repeat matchup lined up with Rogue today, on Nov. 9. In their first game, Chiefs had been up 6-4, before eventually losing 8-7.
Key to Chiefs taking the step up to get close to far more experienced teams was Ethan Picard, formerly of Wildcard Gaming. Trent “Worthy” Mitchell-Rose reiterated Ethan’s words in his pre-Major interview with SiegeGG.
“Before he joined, I felt like we were a lot more rigid,” stated Worthy, who has been a star for the Chiefs, having been the best performer in all their three games. “When we brought him on, he literally just taught us a new way to play.”
Ethan cautioned against heralding a false dawn for his team, though, despite the strides the Chiefs have taken since he has been signed. Though they are no longer a team that could only dominate domestically in Oceania, there is still a gulf in skill between being one of the best in APAC South and being able to win consistently internationally.
“We still have a lot to improve on,” said Ethan. “I think there’s times where we, like, go into a game where we talk about what we didn’t do [the last time], and we [still] don’t do it.”
Chiefs’ shortcomings were perhaps most obvious in their game against FaZe Clan on Nov. 8, which was sandwiched between their two strong performances against Rogue and Oxygen. Chiefs had been swept off the board in a 7-0 win, as FaZe had gone 14-0 on the day.
Rogue, however, fired back with a vital 7-5 win over FaZe to stop the Brazilian pain train on Nov. 9. That result means FaZe, Rogue, and Chiefs are all separated by a mere two points.
But even though FaZe’s aura of invincibility collapsed on the second day with that loss, the Chiefs disagreed that they missed a chance to take FaZe down on Kafe -- the same map Rogue beat the Brazilians on.
“We’ve just never versed a team that has played Kafe like that,” said Jake “GodLeg1on” Harris.
Ethan chimed in, stating that Rogue’s experience in Europe and at international events has given them a much better understanding on how to fight off a play style like FaZe’s. Conversely, Chiefs had been able to trouble Rogue significantly simply because the Europeans weren’t playing in a fashion foreign to them.
“A lot of things they were doing, like, we were familiar with,” shared Dgtl. “They didn’t really, like, surprise us … Compared to FaZe, it was just a lot [of new things].”
To Rogue’s credit, that choice was not born out of a lack of respect for the APAC South team -- none of the teams in Group A so far have distinctly underestimated Chiefs, they say.
“Rogue, I think they definitely prepped us,” shared Ethan.
Chiefs coach Patrick “WarTurtle” Gleeson agreed: “They’d pulled out a map they had been hiding all season … It’s not like they were underestimating us in any regard.”
Despite just a two point distance to FaZe at the top, the Chiefs aren’t getting too far ahead of themselves.
“See how it goes, really… game-by-game,” chimed in Dgtl and Ethan.
Chiefs take on Rogue in a rematch next, at 4 PM CET (UTC+1).
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