There is no doubt that 2021 has been more than an unforgettable year for the Rainbow Six competitive scene in Brazil, after Ninjas in Pajamas managed to be crowned world champion at the Six Invitational in Paris, by beating Team Liquid in a tight 3-2.
With this precedent, the first major of the 2021 season brought with it great expectations, by travelling the 16 best teams from around the world to compete in Mexico City, marking the first time a tournament of this calibre was played in Latin American lands.
Motivated by this, the last contest of the tournament brought together two great titans, with Team oNe eSports, runners-up in the Copa Elite Six, fighting against Team Empire, current champions of the European League.
In the beginning, Team Empire was able to prevail clearly in the first match at Clubhaus with a 2-7 score, although on Chalet, Team oNe would manage to get their first point with a 7-2, equalizing the score in this back and forth duel.
The Brazilians would keep their momentum high for their third match at Coastline, being the closest and hardest for both squads but ending with another victory for Team oNe, putting them on match point.
The biggest surprise of the night came at Consulate, a map where Team oNe previously demolished Empire with a 7-0, but this time the Russians answered the challenge fair and square with a 7-3 win, tying the score and sending the series to a definitive fifth game at Villa.
On the decisive card, only one team made the game as Team oNe took advantage of the low experience Empire had in this map, by dominating the European champions 7-1, taking the final dub and shocking the world by winning their first international title, just six months after the creation of the team.
"I think I cried already like... six times. I think I lost count," head coach Arthur "TchubZ" Martin began in the press conference after the victory. "I remember, I told [everyone] before the SI 2021 that I built this perfect team. Yes, and now it's proven, five months later."
As most of their players were basically unknown before the tournament, from now on they will be on the eyes of everyone, specially Juliano "Levy" Andrade dos Santos who was crowned as the major’s MVP, alongside both Alem4o and Caio "Neskin" Szazi, who also earned EVP awards.
"I can't believe what we've achieved as a team in six months. Other teams haven’t won a major even after three years together," said oNe's captain Lorenzo "Lagonis" Volpi. “Never before has a Brazilian team won a major. This victory is for our fans and for the whole of Brazil."
With this victory, Team oNe eSports goes back to Brazil with the trophy, a $200,000 USD prize, a more-than-guaranteed spot at the SI 2022, and most importantly, the intact pride of a nation which after long years in the shadows is now sitting at the top of the mountain.
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Header image via Ubisoft.