French squad BDS Esport are one of the favorites for the Six Invitational. While their run has hit a hurdle with an early playoffs loss to Ninjas in Pyjamas, Bryan ‘Elemzje’ Tebessi says G2 Esports and Spacestation Gaming’s eliminations have inspired new hope.
They’ve been the two idols of every Rainbow Six fan since the very beginning: Pengu and Canadian. The two greatest players of all time have won every Sledge Hammer between them across four diffferent organizations.
However, without their spiritual leaders (outside of a retired Canadian returning for one last hurrah), both their former squads — G2 Espors and Spacestation Gaming — fell to their worst ever Six Invitational finishes of tied-13th in 2021.
The sudden departure of Siege’s two most revered teams — at such an early stage — has sent hearts into a tailspin, even if logically neither team stood much of a chance.
For squads like BDS, who were a frontrunner to take it all, it’s only increased their hunger to start their own dynasty in the footsteps of those legends.
“[With] no G2 and no SSG, I think its the start of a new era of Siege,” Elemzje told Dexerto.
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“Obviously SSG won last year, and G2 won two times, but I think it’s the new era. I think the meta changed a lot and it fits other teams better.”
BDS dominated the group stage with an 8-1 record, only tarnished by a close 7-8 loss to Russian squad Team Empire. However, straight into playoffs, they fell to Ninjas in Pyjamas, forcing the favorites to run the lower bracket.
They did just that with a comeback victory against FURIA. After a slow start on their pick of Oregon, BDS lit up on Clubhouse and Consulate to wrap up the series 5-7, 7-4, 7-1.
“It feels good because I think it was a very close game against NIP and it was a hard one to be honest,” he said.
“When we lost the first map, it was a hard loss. Oregon is a very good map for us, so we were disappointed. We had a chat to each other and had to reset our mental. We were able to put up some good defenses and then some attacks, and we just played our game.”
The sudden slump after hitting playoffs may have started raising alarm bells, but Elemzje says the team were just caught flat-footed once — and they’re trying to make sure it won’t happen again.
“In a best-of-one, you only have one map, so you’re giving your best as soon as the map starts. In a best-of-three, we need to work on that. We’re a bit sleepy at the start, we need to keep the hype, the momentum, until it’s over.”
It’s also turned eyes onto BDS’ star fragger Stephane ‘Shaiiko’ Lebleu. The normally-reliable entry went into the FURIA series with a 0.82 rating and -25 KD. However, he bounced back, posting a solid 1.35 rating, including 38 frags, in a big confidence builder that was much needed.
“When the tournament started, I think Shaiiko was a bit worried about himself. Thinking he maybe wasn’t as good as he was before. We are teammates, we are brothers, so we support each other a lot and during past tournaments,” Elemzje said.
The big storyline to come out of the Six Invitational — outside of G2 and SSG’s loss — is LATAM’s raging success. FURIA’s loss to BDS marked the departure of the first LATAM team of six at the event.
The upper bracket final features a LATAM double-header, ensuring the Brazilians will have one squad in the Grand Final. While Elemzje had his eyes on the overseas teams ahead of the Six Invitational, the power of LATAM has swept everyone off their feet.
“They have a lot of good teams that play different styles. NIP play very structured and strategy heavy, and FaZe is kind of the same — it’s all about playing with executions and they’re sure on their timings,” Elemzje said.
“FURIA and Team oNe are more about gunfights — they have strategy of course — but they try to finish the enemy by fragging. They are very powerful teams, and [LATAM is] the best region in the tournament right now.”
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BDS have a long run ahead of them, next facing up against TSM to stay in the tournament. However, Elemzje is hoping his squad can be the one to take over the dynasties of Spacestation and G2 Esports.
“I don’t know where we will finish, but if we keep playing with the good mentality we have today, I think we can go to the end.”