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"It’s gonna be crazy": w7m's JULIO ready for incredible fight in bid to win second Six Invitational title

How will JULIO do in this third Invitational grand-final?

Not every team has lived up to pre-event expectations here at the Six Invitational 2023. 

Soniqs, who arguably upgraded with the signing of Ben "CTZN" McMillan from G2 Esports, were eliminated early in the playoffs. Team BDS and KOI were both also knocked out by Astralis, Elevate failed to even make it past the group stage, and Team Liquid were a shadow of their Jönköping Major selves.

But w7m esports have not only met expectations, but they have also arguably exceeded them at this Invitational and now await the winner between Oxygen Esports and G2 Esports in the grand-final.

They were not perfect in the group stage, losing a map to lower bracket finalists G2 Esports and losing 0-2 entirely to lower bracket quarter-finalists KOI. But, in the playoffs, they beat Team BDS and M80 2-1, before destroying KOI 7-3 and 7-0 in their upper bracket semi-final rematch.

That momentum has continued, with Oxygen Esports felled 2-1 in the upper bracket final yesterday.

While w7m eventually won, the series played out in a fairly bizarre manner.

“We didn’t expect Theme Park that much, but our Theme Park is good,” said w7m captain Julio "JULIO" Giacomelli in a post-match interview with SiegeGG. The map had been picked by Oxygen, who proceeded to fold in spectacular fashion. The North Americans won the first round -- but nothing else -- and crashed to a 1-7 defeat.

“We never pick (the map), but teams pick against us and play good,” continued JULIO, theorising the reason why Oxygen also opted to play Theme Park against them.

But the script was about to flip. While w7m were cruising after that 7-1 win, Oxygen hit back one better on the Brazilians’ map pick of Border. 7-0 read the scoreline after a mere 30 minutes, with the decider map set to be played after the same number of rounds it took for Astralis to send KOI home on just their third map.

“They play like that, like, slow,” explained JULIO. “We know that, but it’s hard to play on the server and we couldn’t do anything (against them on Border).”

Vitally, this did not cause shockwaves within the w7m team despite their youth. JULIO, who has played in two Six Invitational grand-finals already, has been evidently sharing his wisdom with his young teammates, who have also felt pride -- rather than pressure -- as the final representatives of Brazil at the Invitational.

“We knew, like, we had a third map -- Clubhouse -- and we need to reset our mindset,” recalled JULIO. “So we just [said], ‘let’s talk, like, later about this map to fix [it].”

Things finally fell into a predictable rhythm on the third and final map of Clubhouse, with neither team able to break away from the other.

“It was basically a best-of-one on Clubhouse,” laughed JULIO, acknowledging the rapid nature of the first two maps. He also waved away concerns for either team being weak at Theme Park or Border, stating that the snowball effect when a team goes down “0-3, 0-4” is hard to recover from.

This echoed Wolves Esports player Valentin "risze" Liradelfo’s sentiments, whose team faced an insurmountable 0-6 deficit on Oregon yesterday against G2 Esports.

While it was difficult, w7m held on against Oxygen, taking a vital two attacking rounds on Clubhouse to take the win 7-5 and got JULIO to his third Six Invitational grand-final.

“I think (either G2 or Oxygen) would be two great matches,” said JULIO of his potential grand-final opponents. “We played G2 on group stage. It was like 8-7 last map, I think, the match. So, it’s gonna be crazy if they pass (the lower bracket final).”

Tune in tomorrow, Feb. 19 for the conclusion of the Six Invitational 2023 and to see w7m esports vie for their first-ever silverware in Rainbow Six Siege.

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