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"When you get that close, you don’t accept anything else": Oxygen hungry to build upon Six Invitational top three finish

Oxygen Esports came in to the Six Invitational 2023 after a poor Stage 3, but finished in the top three instead.

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Things were going very well for Oxygen Esports throughout most of the Six Invitational 2023. They tied for second place in their group, started in the upper bracket for the playoffs and won three impressive games to reach the upper bracket final.

Then, in a matter of just 22 hours, it all went wrong.

A bizarre series against w7m esports in the upper bracket final saw them win a map 7-0, lose another 1-7, and lose the third 5-7. Moving into the lower bracket final against G2 Esports yesterday, it got worse with a tense 6-8 loss on the first map and then a devastating 0-7 blowout on the second.

“Obviously, we started off, you know, pretty decent,” said Oxygen coach Taylor "Redeemer" Mayeur in a post-match interview with SiegeGG yesterday. “We really needed to close out the first map … we knew we had to take Bank.”

Both the maps played in Oxygen’s game -- Bank, then Skyscraper -- had mirrored the ones G2 had played the day prior against Wolves Esports. Then, Wolves had been in firm control on Bank in their defensive half, winning it 7-3. Oxygen’s choice to pick Bank was likely motivated partially due to that result.

“We knew that once Bank was over with and they took Bank that we were going to have a hole to, you know, crawl out of,” revealed Redeemer. His team was well aware of G2’s prowess on Skyscraper and knew it was going to be an uphill battle, especially since they had recovered from a 2-4 deficit against Wolves to win 7-4.

Their fears were well founded, as G2 this time started Skyscraper on defence and never looked back.

“It was really hard to stop, we never could gain momentum back,” said Redeemer. “There was never a moment we had control of the game and I think they just outclassed us there.”

Oxygen struggled to gain map control on the attack of Skyscraper, constantly finding themselves aggressed upon by the G2 players and were seemingly uncertain and fearful even when the G2 players backed off.

“They were playing great Siege, really great Siege, but I think it’s very clear that we were struggling (also),” reflected Redeemer.

Regardless of their rapid fall from the upper bracket to elimination from the Invitational, Oxygen are still a top-three team in the world.

“I’m proud of making top three. I always knew with the talent that we had, we can make a deep run regardless of anybody else believing in us,” said the Oxygen coach. “But when you get that close, you don’t accept anything else other than winning the whole thing.”

Redeemer also lamented that their two one-sided map losses in the final two days of their run could “overshadow” their impressive performance otherwise. Nevertheless, he expressed excitement that his team was finally able to “show that [they] made the right decision” when opting to part ways with Gabriel "LaXInG" Mirelez for Jacob "Sweater" Bravico.

“I think [our performance here] gives hope for the future,” concluded Redeemer. “This one’s gonna sting a little bit, but you know we obviously have something to work on and that’s what we’re going to focus on going into the off-season.”

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