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At the end of 2021, Brazil is back to the start, as the region’s top-flight season will end with the match that outset the country’s international dominance. It'll be a repeat of this year’s SI Grand Final, Team Liquid against Ninjas in Pyjamas.
Both teams had a joint-third finish in Mexico, two international second-places — Liquid at the SI 2021, NiP at the Sweden Major — though NiP had more success when they took their first international title with their SI win.
To put it plainly, two of the best sides in the world will face-off on Saturday in a BO5 match to become champions of what’s probably the current best top-flight region in the Siege scene.
To fully understand the importance of this duel, we have to go back to 2018. It was then that high-caliber organizations in the world began to see Siege as a great investment, and Brazil saw how esports brands such as FaZe Clan, Team Liquid, and Ninjas in Pyjamas joined the scene.
Since then, those teams have tried to impose themselves, not just in Brazil but also across the globe. Saturday’s final will be a clash of history, with two of the oldest and strongest organizations in the region facing off to lift the Brasileirão.
It is not only about winning but also about redemption. Both sides have their own reasons, with Liquid’s burden still being a recent one — the team not only fell to the Ninjas in the SI 2021 Grand Final, but also lost to them in their most-recent Copa Elite Six clash, which meant that Liquid would miss out on the Sweden Major.
If NiP have played the role of gatekeepers to Liquid’s international success in 2021, Liquid have been NiP’s gatekeepers in Brazil. Last year’s Finals saw both sides facing each other in the semi-finals, with Liquid winning 2-1.
Not only that, but NiP’s three-man core, built by Julio “JULIO” Giacomelli, João “Kamikaze” Gomes, and Gustavo “Psycho” Rigal has never won a Brasileirão. They lost 2018’s Grand Final back when they represented Black Dragons, while 2019’s edition saw the team falling in the semi-finals.
Looking at both teams head-to-head, Ninjas in Pyjamas and Team Liquid have faced off on 12 occasions, with five of them coming this year. The Ninjas have won six, while Liquid have won five. Curiously, the very first match between both sides ended in a draw back in July 2018.
This match is also a clash between five of the best-rated teams of the past few years. Throughout this time, at least one player from Liquid or NiP finished in the top five of highest-rated players in the Brazilian top-flight.
- Pro League Season 6 LATAM: Kamikaze (1.33), NESKWGA (1.31), Psycho (1.28), JULIO (1.22)
- Pro League Season 7 LATAM: Kamikaze (1.31)
- Pro League Season 8 LATAM: NESKWGA (1.29)
- Pro League Season 9 LATAM: Psycho (1.29), NESKWGA (1.28)
- Pro League Season 10 LATAM: Muzi (1.29)
- Pro League Season 11 LATAM: NESKWGA (1.20), Paluh (1.15), Muzi (1.13)
- Brasileirão 2020 Stage 1: Paluh (1.28), NESKWGA (1.26), Muzi (1.21), pino (1.20)
- Brasileirão 2020 Stage 2: Paluh (1.21), pino (1.19), Muzi (1.19)
- Brasileirão 2020 Finals: NESKWGA (1.15)
- Brasileirão 2021 Stage 1: NESKWGA (1.28), Paluh (1.25), Muzi (1.14)
- Brasileirão 2021 Stage 2: pino (1.26), NESKWGA (1.26), Psycho (1.21), Paluh (1.20)
- Brasileirão 2021 Stage 3: Paluh (1.30)
Finally, this clash will also be the biggest test to date for Liquid’s most recent signings, Gabriel “AsK” Santos and Pablo “resetz” Oliveira. Youth and experience clash in what could be Brazil’s most promising roster heading to Y7. In front of them, the Ninjas await, as their last line-up change dates back to October 2019.
Brazil’s best year in Siege will end with Team Liquid, the country’s pioneers that awarded the region with its first two pieces of international silverware, facing off what possibly was the best side this year, Ninjas in Pyjamas.
Find out who comes out as the winner on Saturday, Dec. 4, at 7pm CET.