Banner image: Ubisoft / @ericananmalay
CYCLOPS athlete gaming clinched a spot to compete in the BLAST R6 Major Atlanta after reaching the Japan League 2023 Stage 2 grand final. Despite losing to SCARZ, the Japanese roster’s second-place finish was enough to sneak into the tournament’s Phase 1.
So far, it’s been a tumultuous season for the Cyclops as they kicked off Year 8 with a fifth-place finish in the Japan League 2023 Stage 1. Following the roster’s defeat to Varrel in the LCQ, they missed out on the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen.
In a written interview for SiegeGG, the Cyclops player Takashi "Arcully" Ono admitted that the team "wasn't ready yet" after "some role changes."
In April, the blue roster decided to make a tweak to its staff team as they moved Fumiya “Fuji3” Fujisaki to the analyst role. At the same time, they signed Toya “Papilia” Miyazawa as the team’s coach.
"With the arrival of our new coach and the former coach moving to analyst, to be frankly honest, nothing has really changed from my perspective because they had the same mindset," Arcully explained.
After the Cyclops’ changes, the Japanese had a busy off-season. The team’s flawless victory against SANDBOX Gaming in the GWB Korea and Japan qualifier got them a spot in the Gamers8 2023, where they couldn’t make it through the initial group stage. Later on, the roster competed in the Japan Invitational as they played against MNM Gaming.
When asked about the five-month off-season, the Japanese said it "didn't affect" the team. "The off-season didn't really affect us because we had some events in Japan and because of Gamers8, we were pretty busy."
In Saudi Arabia, the Japanese roster finished at the bottom of the standings after losing to Oxygen Esports and the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen winners, w7m esports. However, the team focused on solving their Stage 1 problems. "We just fixed our mistakes in Stage 1 and applied that in Stage 2."
Eventually, the hard work paid off. Two 7-2 wins against Fnatic and Crest Gaming Lst were followed by a maximum overtime defeat to SCARZ, enough to send the Cyclops straight away to the Japan League Deciders’ semifinals.
On Sep. 17, after defeating Crest Gaming Lst in a BO3 match, the Japanese qualified for the BLAST R6 Major Atlanta. Only a match against SCARZ separated them from Phase 2. Unfortunately, the Japanese League 2022 champions ran over their opponents as they delivered CAG a 0-3 loss in the grand final.
"SCARZ are just better overall, no excuses from us. They knew our weak points," Arcully admitted.
In Atlanta, CYCLOPS athlete gaming have been placed in the tournament's Group B. They will share the group with LOS oNe, Bleed Esports, and Talon Esports.
Although the Brazilians are the favorites to get the first stop, the Japanese should at least secure a Group B Top 2 finish. With that result, the roster would move to Phase 2 and could qualify for the Six Invitational 2024. "We are gonna do our very best in Atlanta Major to qualify for SI 2024," the Japanese concluded.
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