Banner image: Ubisoft / Joao F. @itsmeERROR
Note: This interview was done before G2 Esports' game against Wolves Esports.
G2 Esports victory at the Six Invitational 2023 brought the team back to the top of Rainbow Six Siege's esports scene. After four years of memes and mockery of the samurai organization, the team was finally able to win an international trophy.
It was not an easy process. Since G2 Esports' Six Invitational 2019 win, the team went through multiple roster and coaching changes, including the arrival of two imports from Australia and Brazil, Jake "Virtue" Grannan and Karl "Alem4o" Zarth. However, it was the return of Fabian "Fabian" Hällsten that transformed the roster. Eventually, the Swed gave the European powerhouse a second hammer — his first as a coach and his third in total.
Unexpectedly, after G2 Esports' performance at the Gamers8 2023, Fabian decided to step away from the squad. The shocking decision came at the same time G2 Esports was dealing with the struggle of looking for a replacement for Luigi "Gemini" Ferrigno, who signed for the team in June 2023.
Fabian's replacement was unveiled one month later, as G2 Esports announced the arrival of Matheus "Ramalho" Ramalho to the team. The former FaZe Clan coach became the third Brazilian to join a European staff team, as he followed the footsteps of Marlon "Twister" Mello and Julio "JULIO" Giacomelli, who currently coach Team Secret and MNM Gaming, respectively.
As revealed by his fellows, the possibility of working from his home city made the transfer ideal. "I was already thinking about a change to a European team or a North American team, I live in Sao Paulo and I want to be close to my family, so coaching a team that plays online I can stay in my city," he explained.
Ramalho also revealed that he intended to coach abroad soon, but he didn't expect to move this summer. "I was expecting my move to be after the Six Invitational 2024, but they contacted me right now and I just took the opportunity."
Although the Brazilian has faced this opportunity with a lot of hype, Ramalho can feel the pressure. "There's a pressure, because not just Fabian, but also Shas, both previous coaches of G2, they are truly legends, so yeah, there is a pressure and a legacy I need to keep, but I am confident," he admitted.
As a coach, Ramalho's profile may be ideal for G2 Esports, the best they could have gotten. The Brazilian coach has proven his value in FaZe Clan multiple times, as he was crucial in the team's most recent successes. To his name, there's a Six Invitational Top 3 finish and two Six Major grand finals — the Six Sweden Major (3-1 vs. Ninjas in Pyjamas) and the Six Berlin Major (2-3 vs. Rogue).
With this move, Ramalho joined Alem4o as the second Brazilian in the team. Despite facing off multiple times, they had never worked together. According to G2's new coach in an interview with SiegeGG, there had been some words between him and the former Team oNe player before the move happened.
"I had already talked to Karl (Alem4o), we were always saying that we would be in a team together, I also tried to bring Karl to FaZe, but I never could bring him. We always told each other that we would be in a team together."
While Ramalho's qualities and experience are undeniable, it's difficult to say how the coach will fit in Europe's playstyle. He's not bringing a new concept to G2 Esports, but going from one region to another is always difficult.
"The Brazilian playstyle is adapted to every playstyle possible, that's the advantage we have in Rainbow Six Siege, we can adapt to the playstyle of the opposition," he explained.
"Karl brought that to them, they already had the base, I am working on that base now, I am doing all things new for them but I also try to keep their base, I keep their personalities in the game," he said.
When explaining himself, the Brazilian brought Jack "Doki" Robertson's place in the team to the discussion. According to the Brazilian coach, Doki "is too aggressive", but Ramalho is against changing it. "I don't want to change that, I work around his personality and keep the playstyle."
Moreover, Ramalho explained that "helping them have a great relationship together" is another one of his goals in the team. Eventually, the combination of experience, coaching knowledge, and the team's in-game abilities could make G2 Esports one of the favorites in the BLAST R6 Major Atlanta.
G2 Esports' start to the Europe League 2023 Stage 2 was promising as the roster defeated Team BDS on Oregon, one of the French's best maps. "I already knew that map was going to be played because they don't ban that map, and we already knew also that we would start on defense, so I prepared mini-plays to counter them."
According to the Brazilian, one example is Alem4o's Valkyrie plays during the first half of the match, especially round one, where a hidden camera on the meeting's ceiling got him three kills and the defuser. "It was a mini-play that we talked about during the pre-game."
The coach also mentioned the appearance of Mira, an operator he thinks it made a difference between both teams. "I am not sure if they expected us to play Mira."
Later on, G2 Esports confirmed its good start to the second split with a maximum overtime victory against Heroic. However, the team's defeat against Wolves Esports in Week 2 put G2 Esports between a rock and a hard place.
Today, G2 Esports will play against MNM Gaming at 7 PM CEST for a spot in the Europe League Deciders, the second and final phase to qualify for the BLAST R6 Major Atlanta.
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