SI 2020 runners-up Ninjas in Pyjamas believe their experiences will transfer over to the 2021 edition of the Rainbow Six Siege tournament.
NiP blazed their way through the lower bracket during the 2020 Invitational and were on the precipice of raising the hammer over Spacestation Gaming. They lost a crucial match on Clubhouse, though, and seemingly ran out of steam on Bank. NiP lost 3-2 after a dominant first two maps and have been working since then to make sure they don’t lose the mental game again.
“On the mental game, we are better than last year,” Gabriel “pino” Fernandes said in a press conference.
If NiP want to make a run at the title this year, they’ll have to stay strong throughout a grueling series of best-of-ones in the group stage and potentially survive a single-elimination bracket if they falter too many times.
“I think we are very confident because of the last Invitational,” Julio Giacomelli said when detailing his experiences at the 2020 Invitational. “All Brazilian teams are doing good on the first day, so we’re feeling very confident.”
There are six LATAM teams out of the 18 total squads at SI. The inability of Virtus Pro and Wildcard to make the tournament due to the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the average overall Brazilian presence—originally there were to be 20 teams. Team Liquid and FaZe Clan are the favorites coming in, but NiP have the prestige on the SI stage. The postponement of the event from February meant that for some teams, skill and teamwork have deteriorated and motivation may have lagged. Particularly, the NA teams have lots of question marks heading into this event. There’s no such question mark over the LATAM teams, however, and they blew expectations out of the water on May 11, especially in Team oNe’s comeback victory over G2.
SI 2021 marks the return of international play in Rainbow Six. NiP said that sometimes the NA structured style of play can trip them up but EU teams are particularly strong. In the end, it really depends on the map choice.
NiP will begin their SI 2021 run against the all-Italian team MKERS on May 12 at 11:30am CT.