Banner: Kirill B. / Ubisoft
The Grand Final of the Brasileirão was an anticpated match for many reasons. First, this was a replay of the SI 2021 Grand Final, which was won by Ninjas in Pyjamas. Secondly, but no less important, the venue opened its doors to the fans. This means that a crowd would support the players on the stage. Fans are (slowly) coming back.
Following a 2-3 loss against FaZe Clan at the Sweden Major Grand Final, Ninjas in Pyjamas’ intention was to end up the year with a regional title. The only Brazilian roster to win a Six Invitational were the favorites, especially after having defeated Team Liquid five times out of a possible seven throughout 2021.
Meanwhile, Team Liquid was anxious for redemption. The team had lost to NiP at the SI 2021 Grand Finals. More recently, Liquid also fell to NiP by 2-0 at the Copa Elite Six Stage 3, which meant that Liquid would miss out on the Sweden Major. Now it was their turn to ruin the ninjas’ day.
On map one, Ninjas on Pyjamas was the better side as the Sweden Major finalists kicked things off with four successful attacking rounds. Such a slow start put Team Liquid back to the wall, as they were able to win just one of their six defenses.
The SI 2021 champions felt so confident in the game that even decided to play Bar/Stock Room in round eight, which was one of the best rounds in the series. A Team Liquid plant in a 4v5 situation shortened the distance between both teams to just two rounds.
However, NiP nipped Liquid in the bud as the ninjas were successful in their next two defenses, which gave them an initial 1-0 lead in the series.
Luckily for Team Liquid, map two was Oregon. The blue-clad roster’s last loss there dated back to SI 2021 when they lost to BDS Esport. Since then, Liquid had won 11 matches there, ten of them being regulation victories -- with their only overtime win coming against Ninjas in Pyjamas.
Well, the twelfth would eventually come today. Liquid was off to a great start as they won three successful attacks, which put them 3-0 up on the scoreboard. Although NiP would react just in time to make it 2-4 just before swapping sides, the damage was too much.
Liquid quickly put themselves at match point (6-2) and saw NiP denying their opponents from closing the map on two occasions. But third time’s the charm, and Liquid finally won its seventh round following a successful defense in the basement.
The third map of the day would be Bank, a map far from being a good omen for the ninjas: every time they lost on Bank during a grand final, they lost the series.
- OGA PIT Season 2: 1-3 vs FaZe Clan (4-6)
- SI 2020: 2-3 vs Spacestation Gaming (3-7)
- Sweden Major: 2-3 vs FaZe Clan (3-7)
A win on Bank was crucial for NiP. However, Liquid had some other plans in mind. The team attacks were on point, a factor that's pivotal in Bank. With the job done on the first half, it was their turn to defend. Soon the team imposed themselves, led by the veteran Luccas “Paluh” Molina and the unexpected hero of the day, the rookie Gabriel “AsK” Santos.
It was now the ninjas' turn to overcome the difficulties, but they couldn't pull through. The duo of Paluh and Paulo “psk1” Augusto were key in Villa’s second round as they won an attack coming from a two-vs-four situation. Following four successful rounds in attack, Liquid looked quite comfortable against the SI 2021 champions.
NiP could not replicate Liquid’s efforts on the attack in Villa, which saw Liquid winning the following three rounds. Team Liquid lifted the Brasileirão trophy for the second time in their history after falling in last year’s Grand Final.
This was Liquid's third BR6 grand final appearance in the last three years, having won two -- against FaZe Clan and NiP -- and lost one, against MiBR. This makes Liquid the first and only team so far to have won the BR6 more than one time.