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“I don’t think the skill difference between regions right now is that high”: Bleed Esports international debut to come in Atlanta after Asia LCQ dilemma

Bleed Esports made it to Atlanta after a controversial qualifier.

Bleed Esports put in blood, sweat, and tears to qualify for its first international Rainbow Six Siege event. After going flawless in South East Asia, the roster made it to Atlanta following their victory against Elevate in a surreal qualifier.

Bleed Esports’ Rainbow Six Siege roster was announced in March 2023, shortly after the conclusion of the Six Invitational. The project, led by Patrick “MentalistC” Fan and the team’s general esports manager and former player Jeremy “HysteRiX” Mao, had all the ingredients to disrupt the South Asian scene.

Although the community got quickly excited by the roster, the addition of the 18-year-old rookies' Jay “Asphy” Wan and Taylor “Terdsta” Ching made it difficult to know what to expect from such a young squad. 

After his 18th birthday on Nov. 1, 2022, Terdsta’s main goal was to become a professional player. Unfortunately, the former Wildcard Gaming roster was the only team to offer the New Zealander a professional trial.  “It didn’t go so well, they went for another player,” Terdsta explained in an interview with SiegeGG. “After that, I had nothing.”

It was then that Bleed Esports knocked on his door. According to the Kiwi, his name was considered by the players for one main reason: Ranked.

“I’ve been playing Ranked with Reeps, Asphy, and Hovenherst for coming up on three years now. Basically playing Ranked together every single day for nearly three years straight on the Singapore server.”

He was the perfect man to complete the roster. His future teammates perfectly knew what he was capable of, and most importantly, they already had a playing synergy that could make a difference in Bleed Esports. 

“After playing together for two years, we are really good friends with each other, they saw the potential I have, which is funny because nobody else in Australia saw that,” he explained.

On March 6, Bleed Esports announced its Rainbow Six Siege roster, an explosive combination of experience and talent. While the mechanical skills couldn’t be put in doubt, the lack of experience and the mentality of the players could be questioned.

Bleed Esports’ start to the season was phenomenal, as they went flawless in the South East Asia League including victories against Dire Wolves, FURY, and Elevate. With seven regulation victories and a round difference of +35, the organization from the Red Dot was the main favorite to qualify for Copenhagen.

However, an upset was around the corner. After the team’s first BO3 victory against Won’t Stop Peeking, Bleed Esports’ reign of terror was interrupted by FURY. The Thai squad, who had previously lost to the red roster in the South East Asia League, redeemed themselves with a 2-0 victory.

“I think it’s mostly the emotional maturity, especially from me and Asphy, in our first stage we went seven zero, we went to the LCQ to qualify for the Major, and we eventually lost to ourselves. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves,” Terdsta explained.

Bleed Esports’ defeat against FURY and the inexistence of a lower bracket prevented the roster from qualifying for Copenhagen, as they finished in third place and walked back home with 115 SI Points next to their name. “It was only one chance, no double elimination, that was it for five months,” he said.

After the conclusion of the off-season, Bleed Esports returned to action with another flawless stint in the South East Asia League. The Asian-majority roster ran over their opponents and finished with seven regulation wins and a round difference of +37.

“In the second stage, we worked on our emotional management and keeping a good mental, especially when the important games come in the LCQ,” Terdsta explained.

Unfortunately, Bleed Esports’ circle repeated in Stage 2 as the team’s momentum was stopped by FURY. The Thai roster defeated the red players and pushed them to the lower bracket. 

“Despite defeating them both times in the league stage, I think FURY is better than us… I don’t think it’s a BO3 weakness but a FURY weakness,” Terdsta revealed.

Bleed Esports’ defeat to FURY meant that the organization from the Red Dot would have to win the lower bracket grand final to qualify for the BLAST R6 Major Atlanta. Although that seemed very likely, the abnormal circumstances in the qualifier spoiled the moment.

First, it’s important to understand how the South Asia League’s Last Chance Qualifiers worked. For Stage 2, a lower bracket was introduced to give teams a second chance in the hypothetical case of an upset.

Overall, the qualifier was three days long as it went from Sep. 29 to Oct. 1. However, while Day 1 and Day 2 had three matches each, Day 3 had seven. Eventually, the teams had to stay awake for a long time, creating an absence of a stable competitive environment.

Elevate was the most affected team by the situation, as the roster stayed awake for almost 20 hours after playing four BO3 series in a single day. 

“We started at 1 PM and finished at around 3:30, after day from 3:30 to 7 we waited for our second BO3 against FURY, which finished around 10 and we lost obviously. Our last BO3 game started at 2:30 AM, Singapore time,” Tersta admitted.

During those twelve hours, Bleed Esports’ players had no other option other than to focus on their final goal. “We weren’t on the PCs playing the whole time but we had to be awake and playing Terrorist Hunt to stay sharp,” the Kiwi explained.

Finally, the roster qualified for the BLAST R6 Major Atlanta after defeating Elevate by 2-1 following an incredible performance by Wu “Reeps96” Weichen on Skyscraper. 

“The team that played the most games I think was Elevate, they played the first BO3 against us, two BO3s in the lower bracket, and the lower bracket finals… so they played four BO3 that went all the way on every series, so they probably played 12 hours of Siege with no break or nothing.”

According to reports made by different players on X, the lack of communication between the tournament’s organizers (MESA) and the competitors was evident. At some point in the final day, when the final Major spot was at stake, the production staff went to sleep.

Patrick "MentalistC" Fan's last international appearance was for Fnatic at the Six Invitational 2020.

When asked about how he thinks the Asian rosters will do in Atlanta, Terdsta believes there’s a clear confidence issue. “I don’t think the skill difference between regions right now is that high,” he mentioned. “I think it’s just the confidence of some APAC teams, they don’t go with the same confidence to international events, they don’t play the same way they do in scrims,” Terdsta elaborated.

Regarding a potential Six Invitational 2024 qualification, Terdsta sounded ambitious. “That’s definitely the main goal and we are hopeful but we don’t expect it. We don’t expect to get to Phase 3 and get the exact amount of points we need… we are taking it one game at a time, if we get there we get there.”

Bleed Esports will make its international Rainbow Six Siege debut in the BLAST R6 Major Atlanta later this month, when the tournament kicks off on Oct. 31.

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