With BLAST's national leagues returning this week, there have been many roster and teams changes in the off season between Stage 1 and Stage 2. In honor of this new season, here is BLIX's list of players and teams we think are deserving of extra attention.
Jason "Ryce" Ngo (DarkZero - NA)
The promising North American player arrives on the team replacing world champion Matthew "Achieved" Solomon. Jason doesn't have statistics that usually catch the attention of fans, but he's crucial for the team, largely due to his being a flexible player with good defensive awareness. He effectively complementing teams with very aggressive players, as is the case with DarkZero's Roberto "Panbazou" Feliciano, Nick "Njr" Rapier and Gaven "Gaveni" Black.
His offensive numbers aren't appealing when you look at January 2022 onwards. The player had a KD of 0.89, KPR of 0.61, and a negative OPK of -16 (22/38). However, as mentioned before, it's not expected for the player to excel in offensive aspects, given that the team already has three quality fraggers with high expectations on them.
Defensively, during the same period, the player has 35 plants, a valuable rate of 12% of the rounds he participated in. Additionally, the player's survival rate of 31% and his 15 clutches, a rate of 0.29 per map, show that he has a style more geared towards the late game, making him a player more akin to Troy "Canadian" Jaroslawski.
Roberto "Loira" Camargo (Black Dragons - Brazil)
There’s high expectations both from fellow players and the community for Loira, as he’ll be achieving a feat few Brazilian players have accomplished; starting his professional career directly in the top division, similar to Karl "Alem4o" Zarth in INTZ or Diogo "Fntzy" Lima in FURIA. As previously mentioned, the player enters directly into the Brazil League with not much public knowledge about his competitive play style besides his performance in ranked matches. This makes it challenging to provide a comprehensive analysis.
However, based on what has been observed in streams and the off-season tournament Varzea’s Cup, we can expect an offensive and aggressive player who isn't necessarily the first one to enter the bomb site. He seems to have a playstyle reminiscent of Gustavo "Herdszz" Herdina, with a strong in-game adaptability to follow strategies based on the map and opponent's demands.
Luminosity (North America)
The team is entering its third stint in Rainbow Six Siege. During its first stint, the organization had a team that had just been promoted to Pro League Season 10. One of the players was Richie "Rexen" Coronado, now a player for Soniqs. In their second iteration, the team once again sought players in development, delving into the North American Tier 2 scene and recruiting the Stage 1 champions of the Challenger League, the Wichita Wolves. Now, the organization makes a return to Rainbow Six with some of the players involved in the second iteration, such as Edwardo "Eddy" Diaz, George "Silent" Hernandez and Connor "Azian" Felux.
The team returns with a spot in the official BLAST league, employing a few young prospects who have not had much exposure in the main league yet, and in some cases, players who had not previously competed in the top league.
Undoubtedly, the standout name on this team is Nick "Snake" Janis, a player with a history in TSM, participating in the Six Jönköping Major and Gamers8 with the team. He’s known for his highly aggressive playstyle, which complements the team's already aggressive approach. Apart from Snake, the team also features other aggressive players like Eddy, Silent and Azian, creating a squad with an in-game style of intense aggression. However, this aggression is strategically shaped, with each player's style tailored to specific positions to maintain control in the match.
Team Secret (Europe)
The organization enters this season with changes, aiming to secure their second international tournament in 2023. Team Secret secured a spot in the Six Invitational early in the year through the open qualifiers. However, despite putting up good performances, the team didn't find much success in the competition. Their second season saw a similar performance, leading them to make changes in their roster. These changes have resulted in the team now predominantly communicating in Portuguese. Alongside Lucas "Savage" Da Silva Alves and coach Marlon "Twister" Mello, the team now includes Brazilian players Kaique "Faallz" Moreira and Luis "Miracle" Abrantes.
The team managed to reinforce itself effectively, as the two Brazilian acquisitions have already demonstrated their ability to compete at a high level in Rainbow Six Siege tournaments. Both Faallz and Miracle were market opportunities, given that they were without teams in Brazil, playing for squads actively seeking organizations.
The player changes could potentially elevate Team Secret's standing within the European scene, thanks to the experience and tactical intelligence brought by these new reinforcements.
The team enters this second season with two changes in the starting lineup, as "Faallz" and Luca "LuKid" Sereno depart to make way for the duo of Rennan "R4re" Vitor and Diogo "Fntzy" Lima. The team's expectation is for collective growth, which doesn't reflect negatively on those who left, but rather indicates that the team needed a breath of fresh air—a change that could be beneficial for both sides.
The arrival of the R4re and Fntzy duo is highly regarded within the scene, as they bring international experience and a long-standing partnership from their time at FURIA. The duo did excellent work within the organization. On opposite ends of the spectrum, Fntzy was a more aggressive player, an entry fragger with agility and courage— traits that were well appreciated by the community. When his role was executed well, it often resulted in many eliminations and impressive plays. On the other hand, R4re was a player with a less offensive spotlight, but defensively served as the security anchor, acting as the entry's eyes via drone and often taking risks to execute a plant. During that time, FURIA was one of Brazil's top teams, contending for spots in the Six Major and Six Invitational, often succeeding.
Expectations are high for a renewed MIBR lineup, led by Tassus reduct, a two-time Top 4 Six Invitational player, bolstered by the experience of the new signings, and with the drive of younger players like Vitor "Peres" Peres and Caetano "Nyjl" Curbello, all vying for a spot in the Six Major.
With Stage 2 kicking off today, be sure to check out BLIX's coverage of the other national leagues, including our expectations for the South Korean League.