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Jönköping Major champions Team BDS ready for second title charge at Invitational after drama-marred 2022 edition

Team BDS are one of the favourites to win the Six Invitational after their recent title win.

In 2022, after a drama-marred Six Invitational, quarter-final exit at the Charlotte Major and a complete miss of the Berlin Major, Team BDS decided to finally roll the dice. Europe’s tier-two scene was the target and Théo “LikEfac” Mariano signed for the Frenchmen in what was the powerhouse’s first signing since the addition of Loïc “BriD” Chongtep back in Jun. 2020.

In his professional debut, the 19-year-old got a 1.63 SiegeGG Rating against Team Secret to announce his arrival. Eventually, he would finish the EUL stage with an overall SiegeGG Rating of 1.21, the second-highest in the league. LikEfac’s form has been so good that he became the first BDS player to get a better SiegeGG Rating than Stéphane “Shaiiko” Lebleu since the first stage of the EUL in 2020.

The French duo’s form transformed the BDS play style at the Jönköping Major. After surviving a group led by BO1 kings w7m esports, the Frenchmen couldn’t be stopped in the playoffs. Victories against Wolves Esports, Soniqs, and Team Liquid crowned Team BDS as Six Major champions and got Shaiiko his first-ever event MVP nod.

Team BDS is a unique case in Rainbow Six Siege’s esports scene. While countless professional players have been hit by burnout, BDS have been on top of their game since Aug. 2022, despite a fierce schedule while also traveling to three different countries for three different events. 

While missing out on the Six Berlin Major was a massive blow, BDS kept their heads up and flew to Saudi Arabia to compete at Gamers8, where they won $400,000. In Stage 3, a resurgent second-place finish in the EUL was followed by a trip to Japan to play in the Japan Invitational 2022. Two weeks later, the squad was already in Sweden, where they won the Six Major.

Team BDS’s consistency at international competitions is thus arguably one of the best alongside Team Liquid’s. Since their first Six Invitational appearance in 2020, which ended in a fourth-place finish, they have continued to secure strong international results while only making a handful of roster changes since having joined the scene. It has always been a project that has never lacked stability and the team’s work ethic seems to be able to balance the demands of professional and personal life.

The team have also been decisive whenever they have experienced competitive dips -- first Morgan “rxwd” Pacy in May 2020 and then Adrien “RaFaLe” Rutik in Sep. 2022. But those are the only times that they have made player changes since their tier-one international debut at the Six Invitational 2020.

Behind the scenes, the help granted by BDS analyst Mess “eaglemess” van der Arend and coach Samy “Stooflex” Smail has also made a difference. Stooflex only joined the team in Sep. 2022 after Arnaud “BiOs” Billaduel departure and had an immediate impact in Stage 3 with the Major win.

Now, heading into the Six Invitational 2023, Team BDS are one of the favorites to lift the hammer. Led by Shaiiko and LikEfac, with BriD in some of the best form of his career, BDS’s weapons look sharp and are ready to fight.

Team BDS will thus be the favourites in their group, which is formed by CYCLOPS athlete gaming, Oxygen Esports, Astralis, and LOS oNe.

The last time BDS were eliminated at an international Siege event was at the Charlotte Major in May 2020, a 0-2 loss at the hands of Oxygen Esports in the quarter-finals. At that same event, BDS also faced Astralis in the group stage, winning the first game and losing the second -- both by 7-2 scorelines.

Against CAG, the Frenchmen have faced the Japanese players on three occasions, with two games ending in overtime. Last time the teams met was at the Six Mexico Major, which saw CAG at their height force eventual champions Team oNe to play in a historic tiebreaker match.

And, of course, it was in Mexico where BDS faced oNe the last time. However, the Brazilians now have a completely different roster after a massive 2022 rebuild, and also have a new look after oNe and Los Grandes’ partnership.

Can BDS carry on the momentum from their Nov. Major title at the Six Invitational 2023 and wash out the bitter taste of a group stage exit from last year? Only time will tell when their campaign begins next week, from Feb. 7.

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