This weekend, the first of the four Six Invitational 2023 Closed Qualifiers around the world will kick off in Brazil. From Friday to Sunday, eight teams will be playing in the Max Arena, located in Sao Paulo, for the last LATAM spot.
With three teams from Brazil, three from Mexico, and two from South America, only one will join the already-qualified Six Invitational 2023 Team Liquid, FaZe Clan, and w7m esports.
The LATAM SI 2023 Closed Qualifier will follow a single-elimination bracket format. Teams will face off in BO3 games, including the grand-final.
With FURIA Esports and LOS oNe on different sides of the bracket, most fans and analysts will expect them to meet in the grand-final.
FURIA Esports’ debut will come against Team Cruelty, a duel that took place in Stage 2 of the Copa Elite Six and ended with the black panthers losing Chalet in maximum overtime.
Meanwhile, LOS oNe will play against the debutante Maycam Evolve. Before that, ESTORM will play against Furious Gaming, while Six Karma will face Magic Squad.
These are the teams that will be playing in LATAM’s Six Invitational 2023 Closed Qualifier.
FURIA Esports are arguably the favorites to win the qualifier, as the Brazilians qualified for the first of the two Six Majors of the 2022 season.
Regionally, the black panthers finished in fourth place of the Brasileirão after overtaking FaZe Clan on the final game day of the season.
Diogo “Fnzty” Lima, who was last season’s rookie of the year, is the most distinguished player in the squad. However, Thiago “Handy” Ferreira has impressed everyone in his rookie season, peaking throughout Stage 3 with seven clutches and a SiegeGG Rating of 1.21 — the second-best in Brazil’s third split only behind Luccas “Paluh” Molina.
Due to their experience and quality, and having played at the last two Six Invitationals, FURIA are the favorites to qualify for February’s competition.
Coming right from the Brazil Open Qualifier, the BR6’s Los oNe (formerly Team oNe) team defeated MIBR once and Ninjas in Pyjamas twice to make it to the closed qualifier stage.
Assembled by Lorenzo “Lagonis” Volpi at the start of the year, the Team oNe squad immediately qualified for the Six Charlotte Major with a bunch of top-flight debutants.
Despite the great start to the year, the team missed out on the Six Berlin Major by just one point, which ended up with Lagonis accepting Liquid’s approach to join them instead. In Stage 3, Team oNe then missed out on the Six Jönköping Major in a far more painful fashion, as they had the worst round difference in a quadruple-tie for second.
Their consistency throughout the season was stark, though, and culminated in a top three finish in the Brasileirão overall standings, but was not enough to beat Team Liquid in the BR6 Finals.
Brazil’s final representatives are Magic Squad, the country’s Challenger League winners. The team is owned by the former FC Barcelona and AC Milan player Ronaldinho Gaúcho.
Magic Squad were invited to the Closed Qualifier after winning Brazil’s Série B. After finishing in second place in the regular standings, the team won the final phase of the competition following victories against Dromedalho and Electrify Steel Gaming.
Most of Magic Squad members were part of Escolinha do bubu, an “org-less” team that cleaned up in the tier-two scene in Brazil last year. This was in large part thanks to Victor “Hornetao” Lopes, who has top-flight experience with Black Dragons and INTZ.
However, Victor “VITAKING” Augusto left Magic Squad earlier this week, with a report indicating he will join FaZe Clan as Gabriel “cameram4n” Hespanhol’s replacement.
Despite finishing in last place in the first Copa Elite Six of 2022, the Mexican team’s consistency in the Campeonato Mexicano and their performances against the South American teams throughout the year secured them an invite to the closed qualifier.
Six Karma dominated the Campeonato Mexicano, finishing in first place of the regular standings -- 12 points above second-placed ALPHA Team. However, they fell against the very same opposition in the Mexicano Finals in 2-3 fashion.
Regardless of the final result, Six Karma are without a doubt the strongest team in Mexico. Just one day after their loss against ALPHA Team, they made two changes as Edwin “Akibeel” Vázquez and “Jack” came in.
Alongside Six Karma and ALPHA Team, Team Cruelty are one of the three teams that got to represent Mexico in the Copa Elite Six this season. The purple squad finished in fifth place of the second stage of the Copa Elite Six after losing to w7m esports and FURIA Esports, though they won a map against the latter.
Team Cruelty finished in third place of the Campeonato Mexicano overall standings and now have made it to the closed qualifier after defeating OverKnight thrice and Reven Esports once.
Oscar “Toski” Sepúlveda and Rodrigo “Rovi” Quiroz, highly-experienced players from ALPHA Team and Six Karma respectively, joined Team Cruelty in November after the conclusion of the Campeonato Mexicano and will be vital to their efforts.
Magic Squad are not the only Série B team in the competition, as ESTORM played in Mexico’s equivalent to the Challenger League.
For the past three months, ESTORM have taken over the Mexican scene in surprising fashion. After defeating multiple Campeonato Mexicano sides, including a 3-0 victory against Team Cruelty, the roster won the third stage of the Supercopa LATAM Norte.
Exactly one month later, they also won México’s Série B with an 8-0 record. And two weeks after that, the team defeated OverKnight, who had finished in fifth place in the Campeonato Mexicano.
Furious Gaming’s season began with a bang as Furious Gaming put together the former Malvinas Gaming entry fragger Richard “blk” Rodríguez and the Argentinian support Federico “Pechito” Miller. Individually, the two are some of the most skilled players in South America.
Despite the roster’s strength on paper, Furious Gaming’s season has been tumultuous. Six months into their campaign, the team decided to make two changes as Tomás “TomHagen” Otañi and Geremias “Geree” Irisarri joined the squad from Pampas and Leviatán, respectively.
After missing out on the third Copa Elite Six of the year, Furious Gaming will now travel to Brazil following victories against multiple Sudamericano sides, including Maycam Evolve, Pampas, and Leviatán.
Last but not least are the Cinderella team of the competition, Maycam Evolve. In the initial phase of the open qualifier, Maycam Evolve were pushed down to the losers bracket after a loss to Furious Esports. After three consecutive wins, the team finally lost to Leviatán 1-7.
Despite the defeat, the roster advanced to the second and final phase. There, they redeemed themselves after an unexpected 2-0 victory against Leviatán, which was followed by another victory -- this time against South American Série B winners OXEN.
Nobody in Maycam Evolve has experience at the Copa Elite Six level or Six Invitational closed qualifiers, so the jury is out about their performance in Brazil this month.
Catch all the action from Jan. 13, at 10 AM BRT (UTC-3).
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