9z Team is an Argentinian esports organization founded in 2018, while the CS:GO side was launched in 2019. After a 0-2 start to the Swiss stage, the team was able to qualify for PGL Major Antwerp 2022. So how could 9z turn into the greatest sensation of PGL Major Antwerp 2022 Americas RMR?
Franco "dgt" Garcia has been playing for the team since May 2019, and he was a part of the first roster. Before 9z, the Uruguayan played for a couple of small South American organizations like Furious Gaming. In-game leader Maximiliano "max" Gonzalez joined the squad in February 2020 after leaving Isurus. In January 2021, Martin "rox" Molina was added to the squad. This was the first notable experience for the Argentine player. The active roster was put together in January 2022, when Luca "Luken" Nadotti returned from Sharks Esports and David "dav1d" Tapia Maldonado came from Paquetá Gaming. Rafael "Zakk" Fernandes has been coaching 9z since March 2020.
The Key to Success
The previous star player for 9z was Santino "try" Rigal, who scored 1.24 of 2.0 Rating during his period on the team. Recently the 17 years old Argentine joined Marcelo "coldzera" David in 00 NATION. The new 9z AWPer Luca "Luken" Nadotti is a new shining player scoring 1.14 for the last three months. Also, Franco "dgt" Garcia made a new step in his game and showed 1.26 for the same period, including 1.31 at PGL Major Antwerp 2022 Americas RMR.
9z has a solid map pool with Vertigo as a permanent ban. Their favorite map is Mirage, which is the main first pick for the team, with a 72.7% win rate after 11 times played, including a 16:7 win against FURIA. Furthermore, 9z has 83.3% and 71.4% win rates for Overpass and Dust2 on six and seven maps, respectively. There are some issues with other maps, especially Inferno, but the squad shows good perspective and development. For example, Dust2 was one of their worst maps recently, but now the squad is very competitive on it.
9z win 75.3% of rounds after getting the first kill, and 26.8% give the opening death, making the team very dependent on finding the majority in each round. Also, they have 20.3 ADR for utility and 0.21 flash assists per round. 9z is very bad in pistols rounds winning only 40.9% of them. Moreover, the teams have a 69.4% win rate in the second round after winning pistols and 15.4% after losing it.
The RMR Run
After losses against MIBR and Evil Geniuses, 9z was on the verge of being eliminated, performing 0:2 in the Swiss. To keep their Major hopes alive, the South American team needed to win three consecutive B03 matchups, which they did. Before their qualification match, 9z defeated Bad News Bears, 00NATION, and Sao Caetano before avenging themselves in the eighth place playoff against Evil Geniuses. The match for the last place at PGL Major Antwerp 2022 from Americas was against paiN. 9z won their own pick Mirage and pulled out a 19:17 victory on Dust2, the best map of the opponent.
In its first-ever Major match, the team will face ENCE, one of the strongest teams at this stage. Thus, anything may happen in BO1, and 9z is surely not the weakest team to take part at PGL Major Antwerp 2022. They are a dark horse of the event, and nobody should underestimate them; even if they reach 0:2 in the Swiss, they can still come back and qualify. Nevertheless, the team is in history already. 9z is the first-ever Argentinian esports organization to participate in the Majors. Franco "dgt" Garcia and Maximiliano "max" Gonzalez are the first-ever Uruguayan players at the Majors. Martin "rox" Molina and Luca "Luken" Nadotti are the first-ever Argentine players in the Majors. David "dav1d" Tapia Maldonado is the first Chilean ever player in the Majors.