Image via Ubisoft/@Kirill_Vision
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA: There are very few sure things in life. BDS making it out of the group stage at a Major, but not making it to the finals, seems to be one of them.
They did it at the Mexico Major, the Sweden Major, and two Six Invitationals in a row. BDS always seems to be right there, right on the precipice of challenging for a title, but can’t pull it through. The community is beginning to lose faith that the French squad can pull it out. That isn’t a problem, BDS head coach Arnaud “BiOs” Billaudel says. “We have nothing to lose here … for us, we don’t really care if we lose here, or are not the favorite team,” he said.
Over the course of multiple tournaments, being publicly unfazed and unflappable, even after tough defeats has been BDS’s mantra. Time and time again, even when the community loses faith that BDS will win a tournament, their mentality remains the same, at least publicly.
In a way, BiOs also says that BDS is a bit “lucky” to be here. BDS ended EUL Stage 1 second in the region, but had an uncharacteristically sluggish start. An overtime victory over NAVI and an overtime loss to Rogue were manageable, but regulation losses to Heroic and MNM Gaming put BDS’s Major hopes in jeopardy.
“We struggled a lot at the start of the season because of the meta shift,” Bryan “Elemzje” Tebessi said. “... I think we were lacking a bit of knowledge about the meta. Of course, all the teams in Europe improved a lot, it was hard to regain our form.”
All the same, BDS qualified with yet another high regional placing. They’re in a group that favors them – familiarity with their fellow Frenchmen on Wolves Esports, North American Astralis is brand-new to international competition, and The Chiefs are a solid team for APAC – but definitely aren’t expected to have firepower like BDS have.
When BDS are at full strength and have a good idea of the meta, they’re unquestionably one of the world’s upper echelon teams. They’ll almost undoubtedly make it out of this group, and will probably win a playoff series as well.
But, this team certainly has the firepower to win championships. Loïc “BriD” Chongthep is one of the best fragging support players in the world, Stéphane “Shaiiko” Lebleu is one of the best entry players in the game and world-renowned for his mechanical prowess. It’s almost stunning that they haven’t won a title with the sheer amount of talent they’ve had for two years.
BDS’s last international outing was disastrous – but to some extent, it wasn’t their fault. Adrien “RaFaLe” Rutik was “unable to compete” for reasons that have still not been disclosed. A Ubisoft representative informed SiegeGG before the Six Charlotte Major press conference that BDS would not be speaking about the situation at this time.
So – can BDS finally pull off a title run, or will they remain stuck in quarterfinals and semifinals territory? One thing’s for certain – BDS’s true test won’t come until Friday, at least.