Skip navigation (Press enter)

“The Brazilian teams are coming strong for this tournament”: Maia on rookie’s pressure, adaptation in Brazil’s top-flight

From Mexico, Team oNe aims at lifting its second Major within the last year.

Image via Team oNe

New names have ruled Brazil in this season’s first stage, and one of the most important names has been Team oNe.

Last year we saw the beginning of a generational change in Brazil. Rosters like FURIA Esports or Team oNe made a name for themselves with some of the youngest lineups not just in the country but also in the whole Siege scenario, becoming pioneers of giving the youth a chance. More precisely, Team oNe’s squad won an international competition, the Mexico Major. Participating in four international competitions in a year, both teams arose as the face of the new generation in the country.

However, regardless of what happens in the server, there’s a fight not even the most powerful Brazilian organization can win: the economical battle against the European and American brands, whose euros and dollars have five times more value than Brazil’s reals, is an already loss war. 

For those familiar with football terminology, that’s very similar to what happened to Ajax’s team after their incredible Champions League run in the 2018-19 season – season done, roster gone. All the big clubs went for Ajax’s players, whose release clauses were insignificant compared to what other teams could offer.

Team oNe saw how its 2021 roster was disjointed by a G2 Esports unrefusable offer for Karl “Alem4o” Zarth followed by the interest of the Norwegian organization 00 Nation to sign everyone left in the team except for Lorenzo “Lagonis” Volpi.

Nobody has a better eye for signings than Lagonis in Siege. And just like Ajax, Team oNe emerged from the ashes. Lagonis had to start a new roster from scratch, a task which might be a little easier in Brazil – an incredibly deep region full of thriving youth desperate for a top-flight call. 

“He is an incredible player and person, he knows a lot about the game. I think many people sometimes can just hate him because he doesn't have the excellent skills and mechanics, but he helped us in certain ways that no one outside the team could imagine,” Gabriel “Maia” Maia described.

While w7m esports stole the show in Brazil, Team oNe was the roster with the most players coming from Série B, making the gold squad the less experienced in the top-flight. It was not a problem for oNe as the lineup had already clinched a Copa Elite Six qualification by play day seven. “He [Lagonis] is who made us qualify for this Major, if it wasn’t for him we wouldn’t qualify.”

However, it was not all about the team’s IGL but also about how the youngsters adapted to the Brasileirão. According to Maia, Brazil’s Challenger League isn’t that different to the country’s top-flight, as Série B rosters always look forward to the big squads in the country, trying to mimic their tactics. “The only change for me are the training sessions, they are longer, but that’s it, playing is not that difficult because you prepare yourself a lot better.”

Although the team’s top-flight rookie trio of Maia, João “Dotz” Miranda, and Leonardo “Dash” Lopes might be new for the international viewership, they have all had important past experiences throughout the last two years. Additionally, Dotz and Dash already proved their quality as they became regional champions in last year’s first Copa do Brasil. It was a matter of time before someone gave them a chance.

Focusing on Maia, his adaptation to the league is as clear as crystal. He was the fourth-best rated player in the competition, had the fifth-best K/D, and the third-highest number of kills. He is doing his job perfectly.

Nevertheless, Team oNe’s final stretch to the stage tastes a bit bittersweet, with the team losing their last two BR6 matches and only winning against Pampas and Furious Gaming in the Copa Elite Six. Some people thought the team wasn’t putting that much effort with, first, the Copa Elite Six ticket secured, and secondly, the Charlotte Major qualification guaranteed. 

Maia’s reaction indicates just the opposite. “We tried to win the last two games in the Brasileirão and the Elite Six. In the BR6, [our] w7m loss is understandable, but against Black Dragons I think we played so badly, I don’t know how to explain that.”

Regarding their Copa Elite Six appearences, Maia mentioned playing against a “different FURIA Esports” if compared to their BR6 stage. “They didn’t have the pressure to qualify, they already qualify, it was very difficult for us to play against their play style.”

“New players like me and the others can feel some pressure by playing at the first international event, I think that maybe is a reason why they don’t perform so well. But I think that pressure is only on the first or two matches, after this, we start performing well,” Maia elaborated.

It is very difficult, almost impossible, to have a guess at how Team oNe is going to perform – especially considering they will be playing from Mexico. The golden squad is one of the three Brazilian teams who won’t travel to Charlotte due to problems at securing their player visas. “The Brazilian teams are coming strong for this tournament, I think Team Liquid is the most strong team in this tournament, but let’s keep our hope, we won them one time, it’s possible to do it again. We are confident.”

I prefer looking at it from another perspective – Team oNe is back to the promised land. Shall we remind you what happened the last time the team played on Aztecan ground?