The Ninjas in Pyjamas claim first place at the Rainbow Six August Major Brazil.
With their 3-0 win over FaZe Clan, the Ninjas in Pyjamas have proven to be the best domestic team. Most crucially, they have won the Brazilian Rainbow Six: Siege August Major. So how did they manage to win the tournament?
In our preview feature for the event, we already heralded the Ninjas as one of the strongest teams nationally. At the Six Invitational 2020 back in February, they had made it to the Grand Finals. Losing to Spacestation Gaming, they had still been the best performing Brazilian team at the event. Unfortunately, they had a weak start to this season, only locking in a third place finish in Brasileirão. Other teams, like oNe and Team Liquid, appeared to be much better prepared. But that was the regular league season. When the August Major came, NiP were on a completely different level.
So let's go over the Major journey of the Brazilians. The Brasileirão standings resulted in an initial match-up with Team Liquid. In the regular season, the two teams had tied both of their maps, Oregon and Clubhouse. This time, however, NiP were smart enough to ban Oregon. They first clashed with the Liquid players on Coastline, where Liquid got off to a great start. They eventually managed to convert this into a victory, putting NiP with their backs against the wall. This had been their pick, which meant that they were heading to Liquid territory next.
It came as a total surprise when the Ninjas suddenly took control of that game, delivering a 5-1 first half. Liquid attempted to mount a comeback, but it took NiP only two rounds on the attacking side to seal the deal. Julio "Julio" Giacomelli, Murilo "Muzi" Moscatelli and Gabriel "pino" Fernandes teamed up to deliver the last kills onto Team Liquid, extending the match to a third map.
Map #3 was held on Clubhouse, which was one of the maps that the teams had previously tied on. NiP started on the defence and managed to lock down Church/Arsenal and Master/Gym to win the first two rounds. Unfortunately, their Cash/CCTV defence was lacklustre, which gave Liquid a way back into the match. However, as soon as the Ninjas were able to get back onto their two successful sites, they locked in a 4-2 lead at half-time. Eventually, they got onto a narrow 6-5 lead. The last round would either seal the deal or send them into overtime against Liquid. Well, you can take a look at what happened yourselves.
With João "Kamikaze" Gomes delivering the final blow, NiP advanced to the Upper Bracket Finals. There, they met FaZe Clan, who had dispatched of Team oNe Esports previously. This match proved to be a blowout performance by the Ninjas. Courtesy of Muzi, the team stormed through a 6-0 first half on Clubhouse. FaZe managed to secure one meagre Church/Arsenal win, before conceding the first map. The map had actually been their pick! So when NiP got onto home turf on Consulate, it was no surprise to see them getting away with the victory. With this 2-0 stomp, they had secured their ticket to the Grand Finals.
Their opponents were decided through the Lower Bracket Finals. FaZe fought through two overtimes against Liquid to get a rematch with NiP. Unfortunately for them, the Ninjas had received a map advantage from the Upper Bracket. Before the match, one question loomed over the players' heads. Would the Ninjas in Pyjamas be able to repeat their winning performance?
This time, NiP opted out of banning Oregon. FaZe took this as an opportunity to pick the map, hoping to be able to compete there. NiP chose Coastline first, where they had previously lost to the Liquid squad. This time, however, they came prepared. Hedging their bets on Kitchen/Service and Hookah/Billiards, they got off to a 4-2 lead. Unfortunately, FaZe proved to be just as proficient on the defence, and eventually, the Ninjas arrived at a 6-5 scoreline.
In the last round, Muzi was forced into a clutch situation against Ronaldo "ion" Osawa and Rafael "mav" Loureiro. A quick kill onto mav gave him a window back into the round. Still, he had to collect the defuser and plant with less than ten seconds remaining. He initially stuck to the defuse, but as he heard ion come up the stairs, he peeked around the corner. The timing was perfect. The FaZe player was watching another angle, trying to kill Muzi while planting. Instead, Muzi delivered the final blow to win map #1.
So NiP had won their map pick. But what about Oregon? Well, the FaZe players weren't nearly as prepared as they should have been. For the entire first half, FaZe didn't manage to put down the defuser down even once. The Ninjas always kept the sites on perfect lockdown, getting the necessary kills long before the FaZe players could get close to the bombs. Unfortunately for NiP, they were just as unsuccessful on the attack. FaZe recorded three straight wins on the defence, getting them ever closer on the scoreboard. The 5-4 lead of the Ninjas seemed almost non-existent at that point and FaZe looked to overtake them at any point. But in the following round, Gustavo "Psycho" Rigal proved to be the deciding factor. He got his teammates onto the site, and as the FaZe players tried to stop the plants, they were taken care of effortlessly. In the last round, Muzi just went crazy and got the job done by hand. Delivering a multi-kill for the Grand Finals victory, he had secured his team the Brazilian Rainbow Six Major trophy.
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Pyrite, who has cast the Grand Finals of the event, has rightfully called this the "Muzi Major". The player has been the absolute MVP for the Ninjas, dominating their opponents in every single match. He has had countless last-minute clutches and triple- or quad-kills throughout the event. Overall, Muzi has recorded a 1.41 rating for the Major, which is only rivalled by Liquid's Luccas "Paluh" Molina. It is fitting that the last kill of the Major was through the hands of Muzi, who has proven to be a leading figure for Brazilian Rainbow Six esports.
Psycho has been particularly influential on Montaigne. His advances on the attacking sides have given NiP entry points time and time again, which have resulted in numerous successful bomb plants. All players have chimed in with kills, and generally, the Ninjas have been a well-balanced team all around.
At this event, we haven't seen the NiP that took part in Brasileirão. Instead, we have witnessed the Six Invitational runner-ups showing their national rivals the exit door. Now that NiP have proven to be consistent, we can only hope for them to get another chance at an offline event soon. They have certainly shown to be world-class, so now they need to test their skills against international competition again.
Images via SiegeGG