For Mexico and South America, the Copa Elite Six has a special meaning. It’s that moment of the season where the teams try to overthrow Brazil’s supremacy, so far unsuccessfully.
But in Brazil, the Copa Elite Six is just a formality. It’s just that tournament prior to a Major where Brazilian rosters compete for seeding. A loss and an eventual elimination from CES would be seen as failure and humiliation.
Looking at the history books, it’s very unlikely we see an upset. The last time a Brazilian roster lost a BO3 game was INTZ against Estral Esports back in Jan. 2021. Since then, South American and Mexican teams have been winning maps from time to time, keeping the fire alive.
So who will be taking on the challenge from the rest of LATAM?
In a stage full of upsets and emerging new talent, w7m esports stole the show last stage. The team had a near-perfect Stage 1, where they won eight games and lost just one. Sadly, the roster couldn’t travel to Charlotte in-person to attend the Major and finished in third place of its group amidst ping complications.
Stage 2 hasn’t been all too different. Despite starting with a loss against FaZe Clan, the team ended with seven wins and just two losses. W7m esports currently lead the overall BR6 standings with just three losses, 46 points, and a round difference of 59.
Diego “Kheyze” Zanello and Gabriel “volpz” Fernandes have been amongst the top three players in the competition, while Gleidson “GdNN1” Nunes had the most defuser plants and was the player with the highest KOST.
The team’s dominance in Brazil is insane and it would be a huge upset to not see w7m esports qualifying for Berlin. If the team does qualify and has no visa issues, w7m esports should be seen as North America’s main threat.
Brazil’s second stage began with the news of Julio “JULIO” Giacomelli parting ways with Ninjas in Pyjamas, with Gustavo “Wizard” Gomes replacing the iconic player.
Some weeks after Julio’s announcement, the former ninja signed as FURIA’s coach. The move seems to have worked for both parties, as both NiP and FURIA have now qualified for the Copa Elite Six, which could lead up to a great match on stage for a spot in Berlin.
FURIA have shined with their consistency in Brazil. With Team oNe missing out on this stage’s Copa Elite Six, we are now talking of the only team to have qualified for every CES played.
Diogo “Fntzy” Lima has improved his numbers from Stage 1, where he struggled to have an impact on the rounds – his KOST roster from 57 in Stage 1 to 69 oin Stage 2, despite having the third-worst survival rate in the league.
Luiz “Miracle” Abrantes has also had a huge impact on the squad this stage, rescuing some vital points against opponents such as Team Liquid and Team oNe.
FaZe Clan have struggled to finish among the top four in recent times, but a good ending to Stage 2 was enough to climb to third just in time. The team’s victory over Team Liquid not only meant that the roster would qualify for CES, but also saw Liquid finish outside the top four for the first time since the creation of CES.
FaZe Clan haven’t had a single easy game this stage. The team has played four overtimes, while three of the remaining five games have seen 12 rounds played.
Lucas “soulz1” Schinke emerged as the team’s best player while primarily bringing out Zofia and Aruni; a different role to his usual support tasks with Thermite and Smoke.
The Sweden Major champions had an IGL change, too, as Leonardo “Astro” Luis was moved to that position. Despite the change, the team qualified for Copa Elite Six, after finishing outside the top four in the first split.
NiP have gone from heroes to zeroes and heroes again. Their second stage began exactly just how the first ended; tumultuous and hopeless. By play day six, the ninjas were in ninth with just six points and a 6% chance to qualify for the Copa Elite Six.
But the Six Invitational 2021 champions got the victories they needed, finishing in fourth after the drops in form of Black Dragons and Team oNe.
Ninjas in Pyjamas have improved compared to Stage 1, but there’s ways to go before they can be Major finalists again, like in Mexico in 2021. Wizard has quickly adapted to the league and the team has also solved its entry duel issues – Gabriel “pino” Fernandes was spectacular, as he got 24 entry kills to just 13 opening deaths.
Joao “Kamikaze” Gomes was moved to IGL, a change that has also helped the squad results. Overall, Ninjas in Pyjamas look ready for any challenge, but after such an inconsistent season, it’s difficult to predict how the team will perform against the Mexican and South American rivals.
SiegeGG is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more about how readers support SiegeGG.