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Who are… Black Dragons? One of the most dedicated Rainbow Six organizations returns to the international stage after almost five years away

BD has had four full rosters since their last appearance at SI 2018.

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Black Dragons e-Sports have been in Rainbow Six Siege since before Brazil was part of the pro circuit. Since then they’ve been relegated, attended world championships, reached two global grand finals, and have had academy, console, and women's teams.

Now, after almost five years away, Black Dragons have finally made it back to the global stage after qualifying for the Copa Elite Six on round difference.

Here’s a complete rundown on the history of one of Rainbow Six’s most dedicated organization and their newest lineup to find international success in Brazil.

Team history

Black Dragons have had a total of 11 teams in Rainbow Six, seven of which have been professional-tier men’s rosters. This is an unprecedented total that has led to most of Brazil’s greatest R6 players to have come through the organization.

The very first BD roster to compete in an official ESL Pro League tournament included Leo "ziGueira" Duarte, José "Bullet1" Victor, and André "nesk" Oliveira, who went on to win Brazil’s first Pro League title a year later for Team Liquid. This team finished as the Season 4 runners-up for BD, losing to PENTA in the grand final.

Later that year, a completely different Black Dragons roster also finished as runners-up during the ESL Pro League Finals in Season 6, losing to ENCE eSports in the grand final. This team was later picked up by Ninjas in Pyjamas and included Julio "Julio" Giacomelli, Gustavo "Psycho" Rigal, João "Kamikaze" Gomes -- the same core which won Brazil’s first and only Six Invitational title -- as well as current Team Secret coach Marlon "Twister" Mello.

This roster became Brazilian champions and also represented the organization at the 2018 Six Invitational, where they went out in the semi-finals to PENTA. This was the most recent time Black Dragons played on the global stage.

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Replacing the NiP-bound players came a new roster that had just won promotion to the Pro League for Season 8, which included João "DRUNKKZZ" Giordano, who now plays for TropiCaos, and Juliano "Levy" Andrade, who’s now on 00 Nation and last year won Brazil’s first Six Major title for Team oNe.

This roster finished in last place, leading to its automatic relegation to the Challenger League. It was, therefore, replaced by a new roster for Season 9. This new team included Vitor "hugzord" Hugo, who now coaches Team Liquid, Gleidson "GdNN1" Nunes, who attended the Charlotte and Berlin Majors as w7m’s IGL, Vinícius "live" Santos, who had three stints on Black Dragons before moving to FaZe Clan and now 00 Nation, and, finally, Felipe "FelipoX" Lucia, who’s now on MIBR.

Despite the roster’s talent, they finished fifth in both Seasons 9 and 10 of the Pro League. The team notably saw consistent player changes throughout 2019, which included João "HSnamuringa" Deam join and leave between being dropped from FaZe Clan and joining Liquid.

By the time 2020 rolled around we had yet another team. This time, Hugzord had returned from a brief stint on MIBR, while Lorenzo "Lagonis" Volpi made his competitive debut. Lagonis went on to lead oNe to a Six Major victory and now plays for Liquid. Vinicius "Patoxy" Lima also joined and remains on this roster to this day.

Despite the talent on the team, they once again finished the season poorly -- this time in eighth place.

In 2021, Black Dragons then picked up the ex-FaZe Clan core of João "yoona" Gabriel, Ronaldo "ion" Osawa, and live, as FaZe opted to sign the recent BR6-winning MIBR roster, and gave Pablo "resetz" Oliveira his competitive debut. After finishing seventh and sixth, this roster also fell apart, which led to Vitor "peres" Peres and Guilherme "Bassetto" Bassetto joining.

These two, along with ion and Patoxy who joined earlier, and Felipe "nade" Ferreira, who joined in Mar. 2022, make up BD’s current lineup.

So far in 2022

Black Dragons so far have not made a change since March this year, which is the longest the organization has kept a full roster in its history.

In the three stages, they’ve gone from fifth to seventh to fourth place. During Stage 1, they were just a single round from making it to the Copa Elite Six over FURIA Esports, meaning this qualification was a long time coming.

The team also finished second during the Stage 2 Copa do Brasil tournament, only behind Team oNe. They lost the grand-final in a marathon 56-round best-of-five game, with map five ending 7-8.

During Stage 3, Black Dragons won their Copa Elite Six spot, confidently earning all available points against Liquid, FaZe, NiP, 00N, and TropiCaos. They also won a point from FURIA.

As a result, they were leading the BR6 League as of play day eight but nearly fumbled their qualification after a final day loss to Team oNe. Luckily for them, NiP managed to steal a point away from FURIA to stop them from beating Black Dragons to a Copa Elite Six place on round difference for the second time in three stages.

Players & roles

The roster is now as follows:

#flag@20:br Vinicius "Patoxy" Lima #flag@20:br Ronaldo "ion" Osawa #flag@20:br Vitor "peres" Peres #flag@20:br Guilherme "Bassetto" Bassetto #flag@20:br Felipe "nade" Ferreira

Ion has attended multiple global events before while on FaZe Clan, finishing the Season 9 Finals in the semi-finals, DreamHack Valencia 2019 in third, the Raleigh Major in the quarter-finals, DreamHack Montreal 2019 in 9-12th place, and SI 2020 in 13-16th.

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For the other four players, this is their debut global event, with this also being nade’s rookie year. All four have also never played on any other professional roster, making this almost a bona fide Black Dragons project.

Roles-wise, ion is the roster’s main fragger and is supported by nade, who excels on entry. Bassetto is the main support player, but his role has hit his kill figures hard, as he had the lowest KPR in the BR6 League for Stage 3. He is supported by peres, while Patoxy is a flex.

Nade also has the second-most clutches, ion has the fourth-most plants, and Bassetto has the second-worst entry record with three kills to 16 deaths.

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The organization

Firstly, looking at their other Rainbow Six Siege teams, Black Dragons has also been the biggest organization in the Circuito Feminino, R6’s largest women’s tournament. Its two distinct rosters won two LAN tournaments in 2019 before, despite dominating in both 2020 and 2021, finishing runners-up in both years due to shock grand-final defeats to two different rosters.

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This includes a loss against FURY in the 2020 grand-final, who will be making their own global debut at the Six Jönköping Major.

This year, Black Dragons Women have already won back-to-back stages and are once again favorites to win the yearly title come December’s finals.

As well as a women’s team, BD also had an academy roster at the beginning of 2021, as well as an Xbox roster during the Six Invitational 2017 qualifiers, and a PS4 roster in 2016.

The organization itself was founded in 1997 but is owned by Nicolle "Cherrygumms" Merhy after she bought out her co-owner earlier this year. She is an ex-Rainbow Six player who also worked as a manager and coach for the roster. She is also a major streamer who has been nominated for Esports Personality of the Year at this year’s Esports Awards.

With the number of big-name Rainbow Six stars that have got their start in Black Dragons and the SI, Major, PL, and Minor winning players who have all been supported by the organization, Cherrygumms’ efforts has made her a foundational support of the entire region and is one of the most important individuals in professional Rainbow Six.

Outside R6, Cherrygumms last year acted as a major voice against the regulation of esports by the Brazilian government alongside the owners of a number of other Brazilian organizations such as INTZ and oNe. This included speaking during a senatorial hearing on the matter in front of Brazil’s Education Commission.

Games-wise, Black Dragons had other rosters in Counter-Strike, Rocket League, PUBG PUBG Mobile, Free Fire, Arena of Valor, Overwatch, Valorant, and Crossfire. The most successful of these was the CS:GO lineups as their main team competed in various national-level tournaments while their women’s lineup won multiple tournaments throughout 2021 and 2022.

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