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“We felt very well treated, just like if we were at home”: HerdsZ about why they chose FURIA Esports, looks back at treble season

FURIA Esports have acquired the former w7m esports roster.

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Nunca desistir (in English, never give up) are two words that will go down in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege history books. Back when w7m esports were only known by Brazil’s fanbase and international enthusiasts, hope drove the Bulls’ hearts to two crucial victories as the team avoided relegation in extremis.

Following the team’s ninth-place finish in the Brasileirão 2021, the organization made two roster changes as they signed Gabriel “volpz” Fernandes and João “Jv92” Vitor. Furthermore, Igor “Igoorctg” Santos joined the squad as the team’s head coach, with the former coach Felipe “Abreu” da Silva being moved to the analyst position.

Back then, it was impossible to predict the outcome of those changes. From one season to another, w7m esports went from narrowly avoiding relegation to winning an international triplet two years later, earning around 11M reais (slightly over USD$2M) in prize pool money since the team’s successful relegation battle.

Following the team’s 2023 campaign, the squad decided to part ways with w7m esports as they listened to other offers. Eventually, the players reached an agreement with FURIA Esports, as the organization is making a return to Rainbow Six Siege’s esports scene.

The Bulls’ transformation

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Gustavo “HerdsZ” Herdina is still processing the dimensions of what his team achieved. “We made history,” he admitted proudly in an exclusive interview with SiegeGG two days before FURIA Esports’ official announcement.

“I can’t deny that we expected a good year, but not that good,” the player said. The Brazilians’ record-breaking season came after the team qualified for three Six Majors and reached the Six Invitational 2023 grand final. The potential was there. But, what was the difference between both seasons?

According to HerdsZ, the team’s mental game was weak throughout 2022. Looking at the roster’s results throughout the season, it makes sense. Despite the squad’s consistency in Brazil and in the early stages of international competitions, the team would shatter in the decisive moments.

“We didn’t have a good mental in the late stages of the international competitions and now it’s stronger, armored, and that makes the difference between a good team and a middle-table team,” HerdsZ explained.

Probably, that was the reason behind the addition of Julio “Julio” Giacomelli to the roster. The Brazilian, who was signed after a brief coaching experience in FURIA Esports, improved the young squad with his experience in Black Dragons, Ninjas in Pyjamas, and others.

With the Six Invitational 2021 champion in the team, the Bulls’ performances outside their home region improved as they reached the Six Jönköping Major semifinals and the Six Invitational 2023 grand final. “Julio was a teammate that taught me a lot about the competitive world, to deal with stuff more calmly in games,” HerdsZ said about his former teammate.

Despite the synergy built in the team, w7m esports parted ways with Julio and volpz before the start of Year 8. “We had a good story with Volpz and Julio, it was an absurd lineup, it was the second-best lineup I ever played Siege with,” HerdsZ admitted.

“Everyone that has been in the team has taught us something, something good or something that we don’t have to do, we learn with everyone,” the Brazilian added.

To replace the Brazilian duo, the Bulls signed Felipe “FelipoX” De Lucia and Felipe “nade” Ferreira. The rest is history. “The arrivals of FelipoX and nade were love at first sight,” he admitted.

Why FURIA Esports?

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FURIA Esports wasn’t the only interested organization in picking up the now-former w7m esports squad. According to HerdsZ, the team “received a lot of offers.”

“Organizations from Europe, United States, Arabia, APAC, Brazil… there was a big battle,” the Six Invitational 2024 champion admitted. “When FURIA Esports showed interest it was a no-brainer, it’s an honor to wear this shirt,” he explained.

The black panthers spent three years in Rainbow Six Siege’s competitive scene after joining in Feb. 2020 and departing in Mar. 2023. After one year of absence, the Brazilian organization is back.

“Since the beginning, FURIA Esports showed us that they wanted us to be a family, they were the only team that was completely professional, and at the same time they offered us exactly what we needed, they weren’t a team that just dropped the offer on the table,” HerdsZ admitted.

“In our team, we have a working atmosphere where people trust in everyone, we have a good relationship that helps at making it as lighter as possible, which helps daily when you are training, and FURIA Esports showed to pay attention to every small detail we mentioned or asked and that’s what won us.”

“We felt very well treated, just like if we were at home, that’s something everyone looks for,” HerdsZ explained.

The best team in the game’s history?

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Following w7m esports’ successful Year 8, a debate arose on social media: is w7m esports the best team in Rainbow Six Siege’s history?

When we think about a team in Rainbow Six Siege, both players and fans think of the old PENTA and G2 Esports days. From Feb. 2018 to Aug. 2019, the team won two Six Invitationals, one Six Major, one Pro League Finals, and one DreamHack Winter. Additionally, the team reached the Six Raleigh Major grand finals.

However, the Bulls’ trophy cabinet following the team’s Six Invitational 2023 grand final defeat looks almost as astonishing as G2 Esports’ in Berlin. With two BLAST R6 Major trophies and the Six Invitational 2024 hammer, w7m esports is the closest thing to a dynasty we have had in Siege since 2019.

“I grew up watching PENTA and G2 Esports and I think it’s hard to compare because they are stages of Siege that are completely different, the game is now more complicated,” HerdsZ explained. “At the same time, the game is the same for everyone, what they did in their moment was incredible, and being able to do the comparison is already a big honor.”

“We have to write a history that’s not questionable as the best team in the world, a history with no doubts, if there are doubts it’s because there are still things to achieve,” HerdsZ concluded.

And now, what?

The former w7m esports roster comes from a season where nobody stood a chance against the Bulls. Despite a bunch of unexpected defeats, the Brazilians were unstoppable and ended up winning two BLAST R6 Majors and one Six Invitational.

A high amount of success in such a short time can affect a player’s career. We have seen it in traditional sports many times, where players are left thinking about what’s next in their professional future if they have already won it all.

The 23-year-old pushed away the idea as he thinks the 2023 season has only affected “positively” the team’s motivation. “I don’t know about other teams but here the hunger for staying on top is insatiable, the players only think of working more and more, improving every day, so we can continue writing history.”

It’s now up to the players to pay FURIA Esports’ trust with what the organization wants to see in Rainbow Six Siege: a black future.

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