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"This split is the split to face our demons": Bleed's Julio talks before team's Manchester debut

Bleed Esports will play against CAG Osaka tomorrow.

Banner Image: Ubisoft / Kiril B. @ItsKirillVision

Bleed Esports had to put in blood, sweat, and tears to qualify for Manchester after BLAST’s most recent update to the Rainbow Six Siege esports circuit, which introduced a reduction of the international spots awarded to certain Asian regions – with the Asia League going from two to only one.

Although BLAST's changes were the main talking point at the beginning of the season, Bleed Esports overcame the situation and qualified for the Manchester Major. It's the first time an international top-flight competition has been celebrated in England since the Pro League Year 1 Season 2 Finals, which took place in Leicester.

While the team is based in Singapore, there are a couple of links that connect Bleed Esports' Rainbow Six Siege squad to England. First, Patrick "MentalistC" Fan competed for the British esports organization Fnatic from November 2019 to February 2022. Curiously enough, Bleed's roster has been scrimmaging from their headquarters.

Last but not least, the team's coach Julio "Julio" Giacomelli visited England during his time at MNM Gaming. Unfortunately, his European adventure didn't go as expected. Luckily for the Brazilian, the former world champion was approached by Bleed Esports just before the Six Invitational 2024.

When the former Ninjas in Pyjamas player joined the Asia League roster, Bleed Esports had just produced a memorable Cinderella run in Atlanta where the team was one map away from sneaking into the tournament's third phase. The Brazilian knew about the team's potential.

"They did really well in Atlanta, I knew some players like Reeps and Mentalist, and I checked the games, it all went well and really fast," Julio said in a pre-Manchester interview with SiegeGG.

Despite the team already performing well at international heights, bringing Julio to the team was a priceless boost of experience. Across the 20 teams that will compete in Manchester later this month, Bleed Esports average the youngest age (20.4). Therefore, bringing in Julio can make a huge difference in the team's mental game, especially if the roster is pushed between a rock and a hard place.

"There are different ways to be a coach, you can be a strategic coach, a mental coach... I try to mix these things with my experience, especially in a LAN tournament, I know better to talk to players because I was a player so there's some stuff," the Brazilian explained.

Unfortunately, Bleed Esports couldn't reach the stage at the Six Invitational 2024 as they were sent home following the team's defeat in the Lower Bracket Round 2. Nevertheless, considering Bleed's progress during the final months of Year 8, the team had reasons to face the upcoming season with plenty of optimism.

However, Bleed Esports and the Asia League were soon hit by the news regarding the international spot allocation changes as the region would lose one BLAST R6 Major spot.

Such a tweak created the first controversy of the season. The Asia League, which had two teams among the best sixteen rosters at the Six Invitational 2024, would only have one international spot to compete at this season's BLAST R6 Majors. Meanwhile, South Korea and Japan kept two of their initial three international spots despite their overall poor results in Year 8.

"For sure, there's a lot of stuff that involves the spot, viewership, partnerships, investment... I don't know the whole thing, but in terms of competition and performance, for sure, I think we deserve at least two spots, we have us, we have FURY, Dire Wolves, Elevate, they are really good teams as well," Julio said.

"We practice with other regions, we see that we are performing better than them, maybe we lose to them in this Major, I don't know, but day-by-day life we're one step above. That doesn't mean that they have to remove one of their spots for us, they didn't reallocate spots right, they just removed one from Asia, so I would say just add another again because it's a really competitive region," he added.

Additionally, Julio admitted that the competition is so tough in the Asia League that scrimmaging against their fellows is too risky. "You don't scrim with them (Elevate and FURY), you don't want to show strats to them and they don't want to show strats to us, with two spots it would still be fine, we could still scrim them, but with one spot it's too competitive."

Despite the situation in the league, Bleed Esports still managed to qualify for the first international event of the season. The Singapore-based organization clinched a spot to compete in Manchester after topping the group stage standings and winning the playoffs.

Combining this stage's results with last season's scores, Bleed Esports won 19 consecutive BO1 matches in the Asia League as they fell to Elevate in the third week of action of Year 9. 

"I think in the group stage we didn't really want to show a lot of stuff," the Brazilian said. "Props to Elevate, they played really well that match, but preparation for the group stage isn't the same as the preparation for the playoffs, I think the match we prepared the most was the last one against Daystar as we actually had to win 7-0," he added.

Following the team's flawless victory against Daystar, Elevate's 7-5 defeat against Dire Wolves saw Bleed Esports not just finishing inside the Top 2 but also obtaining the region's first seed heading to the playoffs. One week later, the red roster defeated FURY to qualify for Manchester.

With only one international spot given in the Asia League, teams face a huge amount of pressure as the lack of a Lower Bracket means that a single BO3 defeat will prevent any team from getting to the Major — which can make a huge difference between qualifying for the Six Invitational 2025 and staying at home.

Fortunately for Bleed Esports, the Asia League roster is still alive. The team's first game in Manchester will be against CAG Osaka, a match that could be followed by a game against Spacestation Gaming, who are favorites to take down Team Cruelty. Curiously enough, the astronauts sent Bleed Esports home in Atlanta and São Paulo.

"We are ready, we have practiced with them (CAG Osaka) almost every day this season so we have a lot of info on them, they have a lot of info on us, it's going to be a nice match because we kinda know how the other team plays," the Brazilian said.

Regarding the team's potential rematch against Spacestation Gaming, Julio was clear. "I think we are much better now than how we were in SI, I tell my players that this split is the split to face our demons, we beat FURY that was like, we never beat FURY, now (maybe) Spacestation" he concluded.

Bleed Esports will make their Manchester debut tomorrow aas they will play against CAG Osaka at 15:45 GMT.

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