The Reykjavik Rundown with Sliggy: The South
“The team Vikings, from Brazil, really impressed me. Individually, these guys are great. I think they can have a really good run.” -Sliggy
Heading into Masters, Brazil is shaping up to be the biggest point of analysis-audience disconnect. The audience will likely be looking towards the big names from NA, EU, and even Korea—simply given its dominance in other esports.
However, if you listen to the analysts, Brazil needs to be respected. In particular, Brazil’s first seed, Team Vikings, have really impressed by surging into a clear lead over the rest of the region. Normally characterized by bonkers aggression, Vikings endured a crucible of rushes, duels, and mechanical prodigies in order to rise to the top.
For Sharks Esports and Brazil as a whole, there are more question marks. With many utility-based agents looking strong, the current meta doesn’t seem to fit raw rushes and unfiltered aggression. For many onlookers, it’s unclear if insane aim and skill will be enough to overcome what might be a meta-gap.
All the same, Sliggy looks to Brazil for a challenge and to Latin America (LATAM) for a possible upset.
Do you have any favorites heading into this tournament?
I would put us, Sentinels, and Vikings. I’d probably throw Fnatic in there as well. I would’ve put Version 1 in there as well but they just got a replacement so I think that’s gonna be quite hard for them.
Who are your dark horses?
I guess Nuturn, the Koreans, are probably gonna surprise some people.
Actually, I was watching the LATAM team [KRÜ Esports], they use some pretty cool comps. They use [pretty much] the same comp as us on Haven. It feels like they're quite on the meta at the moment, which looks pretty impressive.
Individually, the Brazilians look really good but I think Brazil, in my opinion, fell a bit behind the meta but there’s also a good amount of time now to change stuff up. So I guess we’ll see.
It's interesting to hear about the LATAM team (KRÜ Esports). Do you feel like they also play similar to the way that you guys play or do you feel like it’s a similar comp but different execution?
No, no, it’s very similar. Especially if I’m just going on the example of Haven, it’s pretty much exactly the same as what we do. So I feel like they’ve looked at our comp or it was a thing that happened at the same time.
But it’s good. I think in this game you have to adapt pretty fast and you have to look at what other teams are doing and sometimes you have to do similar things and try and make it work within such a short amount of time. It’s impressive, to be honest, that they managed to do it.
Do you think that bodes well for their growth in the tournament, the fact they’ve done that?
Massively, massively. Like, even on some of the other maps their comps looked really good. Obviously everyone has to implement Viper a little bit, at least on some of the maps, so it was nice to see that they had done that to a good level.
Sacy credited some of Vikings’ success as a team as playing anti-meta in Brazil. Basically, lowering the tempo with utility, like what we had done against Oxygen. How do you think they shape up internationally? Do you think that [style] will make them more effective against certain regions, less effective against other regions?
I think it plays into their hands for sure. I’m not saying that the NA teams are as aggressive as the Brazilian teams because I think it’d be kind of hard to be as aggressive as the Brazilian teams. Brazil is as aggressive as you can go.
But I think there’s definitely some teams that will come out swingin like this. So the fact that Vikings have been dealing with it for a long time and are controlling the tempo themselves as well… Honestly I think that they’re gonna have a really good run.
I’ve been impressed by their stuff. It seems like when I watched Brazil it was a lot of individual stuff, where when I’ve been watching them recently it’s been the individual stuff as well but they have a lot of tactics and ideas to back it up. It’s super impressive.
Do you think Brazil—Vikings in particular—will struggle against slower pushes and slower teams? Will they have more of an issue because that’s something they haven’t run into or are you not too concerned?
Nah, I’m not too concerned.
Maybe it’ll be a thing where they’ll start using utility a lot so they don’t have more in the late game. But in terms of all the other teams, all of these teams apart from maybe the Koreans, we’re not like an FPX where we wait til the last 30 seconds every single round.
Honestly I think they’ll be fine.
One of the things I think is really interesting about Vikings is they’ve sworn off Jett. They’re also pretty secretive about why. I’ve also seen we’ve pulled Jamppi onto Killjoy, so I’m curious about how you’re feeling about Jett, if you have some kind of read on what the Vikings are doing here.
I don’t have a read, I think they just really like Raze. Maybe there’s something I’m missing cause I still think Jett is super strong, especially if you have a really good awper. So I would love to know eventually what the actual reason for it is.
One of the other things I’m curious about with Brazil is this has all been Vikings, and there’s been talk of a gap between Vikings and Sharks and then the rest of Brazil. How do you feel about Vikings vs. Sharks vs. Brazil?
So at least from this tournament, I felt that Vikings definitely looked better than Sharks and then I’ve also been watching Gamelanders quite a bit as well. So in terms of the other Brazilian teams it feels like there’s 4-5 strong teams in Brazil and everyone else is behind.
I could be completely wrong on this, but it feels like Vikings are the best and the other three can beat the other three on any given day. That’s where my rough thoughts are going. The 2 to 5th team could beat anyone and then VIkings look pretty dominant. They seem to have a better understanding of teamwork and again, all the individuals are great on all the other teams, but I think [Vikings] just clicked more as a team.
Up Next: The West (EU and NA)