Banner image: Ubisoft / Kiril B.
Ninjas in Pyjamas' Year 7 in Rainbow Six Siege went down in the history of books as one of the most underwhelming seasons by a giant in the scene. Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong.
Starting with a single victory in Stage 1, the shinobis finished in tenth place in the Brasileirão. One month later, 962 days after the team's last roster move, Ninjas in Pyjamas parted ways with Julio "JULIO" Giacomelli and Dyjair "Mity" Soares to make space for Gustavo "Wizard" Gomes and Marcus "Sneepy" Matos.
Although the changes initially improved the squad's results, their Six Berlin Major appearance was followed by a second-tenth-place finish, this time in Stage 3. It was then that Ninjas in Pyjamas replaced João "Kamikaze" Gomes with Raul "Kondz" Romão and added Arthur "TchubZ" Fernandes to the team.
Unfortunately, the roster missed out on the Six Invitational 2023 after losing against LOS in the LATAM Closed Qualifier.
For the Swed organization, the result was far behind their expectations. It was the first time the ninjas missed out on a Six Invitational since picking up Black Dragons' roster, which had competed in 2018's edition. Considering that the shinobis are one of the four teams still active in the scene to have won the Six Invitational, the Brazilians' absence was a huge blow to the competition.
One season later, Ninjas in Pyjamas are back. After competing at the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen and the Gamers8 2023, the ninjas have also qualified for the BLAST R6 Major Atlanta. To top it off, they have already secured a spot to play on home soil at the Six Invitational 2024.
"It will be the Six Invitational of our lives, for sure," TchubZ admitted in a team interview with SiegeGG. "It was our initial goal since we brought this roster up."
At the same time, the Brazilian coach believes a tweak should be made to the Global Standings. "I honestly think that it should be more balanced between the difficulty imposed by the regions," he shared.
However, before competing in front of their fans, the ninjas must first focus on Atlanta. Without a doubt, their past experiences throughout 2023 will help the team in the United States, with their 3-2 victory against Team Liquid being the clearest example. Despite being 0-2 behind, Ninjas in Pyjamas defeated the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen grand finalists to qualify for the Gamers8.
"Our mental game was on point. That was something that we worked a lot in the past months and paid off," Murilo "Muzi" Moscatelli admitted.
Following the conclusion of the off-season, the Brazilians were back on home soil as they eventually qualified for the second Six Major of the year. After victories against FaZe Clan, LOS, Black Dragons, and Netshoes Miners, the shinobis went unbeaten and topped the Group A standings.
"It was expected to perform way better in Stage 2 so we were already confident that we would manage and handle the expectations," explained Gustavo "Psycho" Rigal.
However, FaZe Clan redeemed themselves with a 2-0 win in the Brazil League Deciders, including an 8-7 victory against Ninjas in Pyjamas on Kafe. Before that loss, the shinobis had won their last nine performances on the Russian map.
"It was a good hit that FaZe landed on us but isn't something that affected our confidence for the rest of the series," Psycho added.
Despite the shocking defeat in the first map of the series, the Brazilian admitted that the initial loss didn't "affect our confidence for the rest of the series." "If there's a game to play, there's hope," he said.
Eventually, Ninjas in Pyjamas played against Keyd Stars for the third Brazilian spot in Atlanta. The purple organization had previously upset MIBR and pushed Team Liquid to overtime, so they couldn't be underrated.
According to Gustavo "Wizard" Gomes, the level in Brazil is the best in the world as "you don't have a single bad roster competing in Brazil."
"Every single team has their specialty and something that they are really good at. So isn't a big surprise to see new teams closing the gap between the 'historic rosters'," the Brazilian added.
Ninjas in Pyjamas' first match in Atlanta will be against Geekay Esports, who will make their international debut against the Brazilians. Precisely, Gabriel "Pino" Fernandes believes that the Saudi Arabian roster are "the one to heavily look to."
If the Brazilians defeat Geekay Esports, the team will play against the winner of the series between SANDBOX Gaming and Crest Gaming Lst to qualify for Atlanta's Phase 2.
According to Raul "Kondz" Romão, the team is glad to play at least two extra maps before Phase 1. "It is good in the way that you'll be more in shape for Phase 2. You will be already in sync with the new time zone, no more jet lag, and will have more practice time."
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