FoxA: “We knew in our hearts that we could definitely beat Evil Geniuses”

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We caught up with Davide "FoxA" Bucci at the Six Invitational to ask about his team’s performance at the event and his thoughts on the upcoming changes to R6.

FoxA has quite a personal record, having competed in four Pro League Seasons including a LAN appearance during Season 5 while on eXcellence Gaming as well as being a two-times Canadian National champion, winning the only international tournament by a North American team in two years at DreamHack Montreal and, most recently, finishing joint third in the World at the Six Invitational 2019.

The Team Reciprocity roster via @TeamReciprocity

At the Invitational, Reciprocity came out of the group stage in second place only to defeat the home favourites of Evil Geniuses to qualify for the semi-finals with the best performance of any North American team in attendance. Along with this REC currently sits in third place in the NA region of the Pro League just two points off of Evil Geniuses in first. We spoke to FoxA about their exceptional performance at this event and their future going forward into the remainder of Season 9 of the Pro League:

With the new changes to your lineup, how would you say this season has gone for you so far?

Personally, we knew when we made the change in picking up Skys that it was a change in the right direction. Of course, a lot of people were sceptical about our choice of picking up an entry fragger and getting rid of the only support we had last Season. Of course, we are a very flexible team and we like the fact we can be very flexible and I think this half of the season showed it.

Unfortunately, we’re sitting in third because we have one tie to SSG and one loss to DarkZero (DZ). DZ is a very good best-of-one team, they always come with new stuff and they’re really coordinated but I mean we’ve beat EG online and we’ve beat EG at LAN and if everyone’s saying they’re the best team then I think we have the roster that can rival that. So I’m looking forward to the next half of the season so that we’ll be able to get those games going and then hopefully make it more obvious in the pack and diversify the points.

The North American standings prior to play day #8 of Season 9

How do you think you performed at this event after you beat the North American favourites, Evil Geniuses?

Yeah, of course, the fanbase is majority EG -- they’ve been a team that’s been around for a long time and have consistently been one of the top North American teams. And they’ve always been a team that’s not been quite there in beating G2 but has always been in G2’s shadow, top two in the World is still a great accomplishment. I think that while we knew in our hearts that we could definitely beat them -- and we did -- of course a lot of people are going to assume that EG is going to win because they’re the fan favourites. I’m glad we definitely upset them and showed our full capability against EG and just gotta keep the consistency throughout the season and the next tournaments.

The full statistics of the Evil Geniuses vs Team Reciprocity matchup during the Six Invitational 2019

How was it coming into your G2 matchup against such a strong team?

So, yeah, three of us on the team has played against G2 previously but as a complete team this was our full event as a complete team with Skys in the roster but we aren't a team that’s driven by the crowd, we don’t get nervous, we don’t get anxiety which G2 beats a lot of teams based off of that feeling, you know? “Oh, my god It’s G2”. We weren’t even thinking about that, in the first game on Clubhouse we were on defence first and I think like the first five or six rounds we got the opening pick and then we still managed to lose the round so I think Clubhouse was more or less our misplay as a team.

Coastline we knew what we were gonna do so if there was anything that would be able to beat them It would be our unpredictability and our aim power which didn’t see us fit especially as we were down a bit that we lost Clubhouse, how good our start was and how we always would get the first pick.

Which other teams stood out to you as competitors at this event?

Yeah, of course, the APAC teams that were here, even mantis; mantis had a good showing against G2, better than us. Nora-Rengo I think was one of the favourites of this event. Fnatic picking up Virtue was actually a really good pickup. Then Team Empire, I think just because G2 has probably been the only team that everyone's always said that they are probably the best team in the world and there’s nobody that can beat them and I think Empire with their coordination and how they play, I think they’re a good team to rival that.

Kaid and Nomad; what are your thoughts on them?

I think Kaid and Nomad are going to rock the meta quite a lot just because Nomad is just so powerful with her Airjabs. She’s able to cut off rotations and she’s able to make post-plant situations a lot harder just by putting Airjabs on the diffuser or doors, rotate holes or anything. She’s going to be really strong I believe, especially with teams like G2 and Empire, once they get set It’s almost impossible to beat them especially with Nomad.

Then I think Kaid -- I don’t know, I see a lot of people maybe banning Thatcher and just running the Kaid with Thatcher coming up as a more popular ban in the Pro League meta. His electro-claws are just so - you can just pick them up throw them anywhere, get hatches, get walls, get barbed wires so it’s very strong and all their guns are pretty solid so I think it’s gonna be a fresh taste to the Pro League meta.

What are your thoughts on the recent balancing changes such as Ash losing her ACOG and the Capitao rework?

So Ash losing her ACOG will probably be a very good step just ‘cause she’s very strong just how she is. Her utility is not useless but It’s nowhere near the amount of pick rate and win rate she has so people are clearly picking her for her gun which in a game like this there should be operators who are stronger than others with their firearms but I don’t think Ash should be way above the pack.

Capitao I think is gonna be used more as an AOE (Area of Effect) denial and to push people out of corners rather than killing someone in a position so that’s gonna be something that will change up the playstyle based on how you’re gonna gauge a Capitao Arrow. Some of the other changes like QE changes so you can’t spam it is gonna be good, It’s gonna eliminate some of the abuse of the ability. I didn’t see like the Glaz reworks, I didn’t see what those were. Then Dokkebi turning off after 18 seconds which means she’s still gonna be super strong and a big pick but it’s a good thing that the phone eventually turns off so that you can just keep running away and you don’t have to spend that five seconds on the phone. I think it’s a good way to go about the next season.

Is there anything you’d like to say to fans?

Honestly, we were very surprised with how recently we were picked up by Reciprocity about how many supporters we had inside the stadium. You know there are already people with like Reciprocity flags and jerseys and I think that was kinda mindblowing to us. We know we have a lot of supporters at home that watches us and believes in us coming from Cloud9, making the roster change and being on Reciprocity so for everybody who stuck with us we really appreciate it and again I think we just keep on getting more and more fans with the number of events and games that we keep proving people wrong, that we aren’t just some no-name team that’s just getting through it. I think the big next step for the team, for now, is keeping that momentum going and the consistency for the rest of the season and throughout the next events and keep on proving people wrong. We’re slowly and slowly getting the recognition that we deserve.

Team Reciprocity’s next game will be against Vicious Gaming when CCS kicks off with their next Pro League game a week late against DarkZero Esports. Keep an eye out for more coverage of Team Reciprocity and player interviews on the SiegeGG Twitter and YouTube accounts.