Banner Image: Ubisoft / Kiril B. @ItsKirillVision
Despite technically being a Tier 2 roster, SCARZ stole the show in the Asian country after being crowned champions of the Japan League 2022. One year later, in the team’s first season as a top-flight squad, the Japanese brought the organization to three international Siege competitions – the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen, the BLAST R6 Major Atlanta, and the Six Invitational 2024.
“Many Japanese fans said that they wanted a team to compete at international tournaments, saying that they had found a team that could surpass CAG,” said Yusuke “Pyon” Sashiyama in an unreleased written interview for SiegeGG before the start of the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen.
From an international point of view, seeing another Japanese roster succeeding feels right. While every player says facing CYCLOPS athlete gaming is a pain, the blue and red roster could never make it past the initial group stage. Meanwhile, SCARZ reached the Top 8 of an international competition in their first attempt to become the first Japanese roster to do so since NORA-Rengo’s quarter-final finish at the PL Season 9 Finals.
“Since we were the only APAC team (on the stage), there was pressure to represent not only Japan but also Asia,” Pyon admitted.
SCARZ’s domination in Japan and the team’s results at international competitions saw the organization finishing in fifth place on the Global Standings with 515 SI Points. According to Pyon, the key is that they play “in a tactical style just like overseas.”
“All the teams that are active in the world have tactical thinking, so if you want to win in the world, you can't win if you are inferior in terms of tactics. However, I think we are the only Asian team that can compete well in the world because we have both a tactical and aggressive side.”
Unfortunately, despite the team’s great display in Copenhagen, the Japanese were sent home from Atlanta after losing their three Phase 2 matches. In a SiegeGG written interview in February, Pyon revealed the players had felt “a lot of pressure to make it to the Top 8.”
“I thought we were mentally strong, but in the United States I realized that was not the case, and since we were able to play without thinking about the pressure against Spacestation, I think we will be fine in Brazil,” Pyon admitted.
More precisely, the Japanese mostly struggled when they had to play against Brazilian rosters. In Denmark, the team lost to w7m esports (1-7), Ninjas in Pyjamas (2-7), and FaZe Clan (1-2). Meanwhile, in Atlanta, the team lost to LOS (5-7).
When asked about the squad’s results against Brazilian teams, Pyon could only praise their opponents’ work.
“I felt that the Brazilian team was not only physical, but also had a variety of tactics and had great momentum in their game. I thought that their quickness in resolving certain key points was better than in other regions, and that they communicated well with each other.”
Although the Japanese roster struggled in Atlanta, the team never thought about making a change before heading to the most important tournament of the season. “We have had many problems, but the thought of changing members never occurred to us.”
“One of the reasons is that it is easier to solve difficult problems such as common understanding and organizational movement if we keep the same members for a long time. I believe that for Japan to win in the world, we need to be strong as an organization, not in a shooting war.”
Now, the Japan League 2022 and 2023 champions are headed to Brazil as they will compete at their first Six Invitational ever. If SCARZ survives to the initial group stage, they will become the first Japanese roster to do so since NORA-Rengo’s run at the Six Invitational 2019.
“I feel that Japanese teams prefer their own style and strategy, and their organizational skills are unstable,” Pyon admitted.
“We at SCARZ are proud to say that as an organization we are stronger than other Japanese teams because we watch and study games from other regions and play 9 maps a day in addition to practicing communication and metacognition,” Pyon concluded.
The Japanese roster will make its Six Invitational debut on Feb. 13 as they will play against one of their group opponents, as they share a group with Soniqs, LOS, Team Falcons, and FURY.
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.