Antônio Cardoso, B4’s CEO shared with BLIX.GG the plans for 2023 and explained some negotiations and topics that were the subject of debate in the last few weeks.
B4 joined the VALORANT scene with the Angels roster consisting of tayhuhu, celinett, isaa, shyz and Shizue. A team that marked an era in the VALORANT scene with the rivalry with the Gamelanders Purple ladies, a team that later joined Team Liquid.
Antônio talks about that move of being one of the first organizations to join the scene.
“When we started with the B4 Angels’ project we didn’t imagine the “scale” they would achieve and the weight in the market they would have. We adopted the organization to give that starring role to girls in Esports.
However, with only Taynah “tayhuhu” Yukimi still in the organization from the original roster and after so many roster changes, B4 and the players decided to follow different directions for 2023.
“At the end of the last year, we sat down with the ladies and both parties saw that it would be good to explore new options for them, especially for tayhuhu and for us to renovate the roster.”
Big organizations joined the scene but Antônio gave his thoughts on the transfer window and creating the new B4 roster.
“There were a lot of good pieces available in the market but we see value in girls/non-binaries/transgender and all of the inclusive scene. We saw there were several hidden talents that don’t have opportunities, not only to play but to have a good structure behind them like a psychologist, coach, gaming house, etc.”
“This year we saw the obligation to bet on some girls and be the place for them to develop. We wanted to reveal a new talent that we know has a huge potential.”
“That’s our mindset, a long-term project.”
“This is an important thing for our supporters, this is not a short-term project. Our goal is to give time for the roster to develop. We know they can be world champions but it’s a step-by-step process."
“I think this was the most active female transfer window that I’ve ever seen and I think that’s incredible. When we joined the scene we gave the highest salary in the scene and now the medium salary is three times bigger. Congratulations to Riot, it is great they were able to give visibility to this scene, that’s really good.”
“The only negative point that I noticed was the organization wanting only known players when you have a lot of unknown talents with huge potential. I saw only a few opportunities being given to those girls.”
A difficult farewell
The relationship between B4 and tayhuhu worked so well that when we thought in tayhuhu we remember B4 and the reverse the same.
“The B4 and Tayhuhu relationship is excellent.”
Project B4 in Challengers
In VALORANT, B4 had everything to be in the Brazilian Challengers with the roster that is now competing under the RED Canids tag. The roster that was able to get the spot in Challengers played as “Acadêmicos do Tucuruvi” but all the rumors indicated that only an announcement was missing to be official and that roster to be B4. Antônio explained what happened.
“We have all lined up with “Acadêmicos do Tucuruvi” as the players played the qualifier in B4’s gaming house. However, since December with the project already built, we joined a “very hot” negotiation with another organization to do a merger.”
“That process didn’t happen at least until the moment at this interview. We only had until the 4th to stay with the guys or sell them for them to be able to play the VCT. We were not able to do the merger during the tournament because of Riot rules.”
“This was our scenario: either we try to do the merger before the 4th or sell the players, which was very difficult because it’s a rough process to merge two companies or we let the players play as “Acadêmicos do Tucuruvi” which would be very bad for them because they wouldn’t have an organization and structure."
“Or we sell the roster or give up on the merge, which was not our will. We decided to sell the roster thinking about the players for them to have a good structure and to have time to negotiate the merge. If we played as B4 we could only progress in the talks with the other company that wants to merge with us in March, which doesn’t make sense for us. The negotiations fell but it’s business."
“I still don’t know if we’ll try another spot in VCT, try the merge, we still don’t know.”
“I’m happy for the players, we were satisfied to negotiate with RED Canids which has an excellent structure and I hope they’ll go well, I really believe in them and I think they have a lot of potential.”
In mid-2022, B4 announced the ex-Black Dragons roster and officially entered the CS:GO female scene. Since then, the evolution of the roster has been absurd. B4 qualified for the first international event, ESL Impact League Season 2, and closed the year with the GC Masters trophy in a final against FURIA, who’s considered the second-best female team in the world, just behind Nigma Galaxy.
“Being very transparent, the project exceeded our expectations a lot. We believed in their potential but after Popins' addition and the combination with the psychology department and the girls, the project exceeded our expectations. A classification for a world tournament was our target but we knew it would be hard, but they made it, one they played in Sweden and the other in Katowice in the next month. They still got able to win the GamersClub Masters and it’s their merit.”
2023 will start in the same rhythm for the B4 ladies as the team guaranteed a spot in 2022 in ESL Impact Katowice starting on February 10.
“2022 was a very good year for them but we think 2023 can be even better because of their work and evolution since they joined us.”
A learning year
In another way, B4 didn't achieve the success of other titles in the CS:GO male scene. Antônio explains the 2022 year for B4 in this scene.
“We had huge expectations for the male CS:GO, I think it was behind it and we decided to stop the project at the end of the year to prepare better for a new entry. It was a year in which we learned a lot. As the scene is completely free and very hot because of the Major it brought some instability to our roster that we didn’t imagine.”
“We at B4, we’ll always mix experienced players and new talents. We brought nqz and t9rnay, really young players that we saw had huge potential, adding names like drg, realzin and dok that are more experienced. At the moment that things were going well we got pressure from other teams, nqz joined 9z, drg to Sharks. We were not ready for that, which I think it’s completely normal since our little time in the scene. I don’t think we’ve made bad changes but we changed a lot in the team’s structure which blocked a bit the roster development but we still were able to miss the RMR by only one map.”
“For me, CS has two tiers with a huge gap between them. The S-tier with 00Nation, FURIA, Fluxo, etc. who invest a lot, and another tier - tier 1 - with teams that can upset. Arctic is an excellent example of it, SWS, Meta, etc that can surprise some teams but it’s impossible to face them because of the difference in the investment.
When I joined with B4 in the CS:GO scene, I tried to put B4 in the middle of those two tiers. I invested more than those teams in this last tier but it was nothing compared to the teams above us. I think this tier isn’t well monetized since you can’t compete in sponsors with teams that have Coldzera or FalleN. You end up investing way more than you receive in Brazil’s prize pool.”
“Now with more knowledge, we’re seeing if there’s one opportunity to join that S-tier or build a project to compete in tier 1.”
“I don’t have the expectation to make B4 millions, obviously there are bills to pay but I see our purpose as giving opportunities to new talents and offering a good structure for them. I would be very satisfied if the players that started in B4, were in the top tiers. If we do that and still become world champions, which is very viable, I would be fulfilled.”