RED Canids Fail To Deliver Brazilian Home Crowd A First Place Finish

In front of a raucous home crowd, the Brazilian CBLOL Champion RED Canids had an opportunity to deliver a first-place finish in Group A of the play-in tournament. Although the RED Canids entered as one of the group favorites, and one of the favorites to advance to out of the Play-In Tournament as the Wild Card representative, they were eliminated after a 4-2 record saw them finish second in the group.

The Mid-Season Invitational Play-In Tournament brought eight of the minor region champions together in Sao Paulo, Brazil to determine the top two who would move on to face the NA LCS (Team SoloMid) and LMS (Flash Wolves) champions to determine which three teams would advance to the main tournament.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Split into two groups, the Brazilian champion RED Canids was drafted into Group A alongside the Turkish SuperMassive eSports, Oceania’s Dire Wolves, and Japan’s Rampage. Brazil has traditionally been considered as one of the power regions amongst wildcards, with notable victories that include INTZ’s victory over the heavily favored Edward Gaming at last season’s World Championship. One of the favorite to win the group and advance, the expectations were very high for the Brazilian squad.

The atmosphere in Sao Paulo was electric, with a chanting Brazilian crowd that created one of the loudest venues in League of Legends history. If there was ever a home field advantage for a team, the RED Canids had it as they cruised to victories in their first two matches of the group stage. In the final match of the day, they faced off against the other group frontrunner, Turkey’s SuperMassive. SuperMassive would prove to be too much for the Brazilian squad, playing a clean game that set them apart as the team to beat in the group as the Canids fell to 2-1on the day.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Two days later, the Canids were still very much alive, needing only to win all three of their matches to set up a deciding tie-breaker with SuperMassive. When SuperMassive won both of their first two matches of the day, that showdown seemed inevitable as Red only needed to beat the 1-3 Dire Wolves and they would have their opportunity for revenge against SuperMassive and a chance to advance.

Already eliminated from the tournament, the Dire Wolves played like a team with no fear, making aggressive plays across the map that led to an early advantage and had the RED Canids reeling. With victory within their grasp, the Dire Wolves won a team fight and went to strike a decisive blow with a barely contested Baron. The RED Canids’ jungler Carlos “Nappon” Rücker made the play of the day when he made a stunning Baron steal to keep the Canids’ hopes alive.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

Riding a wave of momentum off the Baron steal, the Canids’ would use the pressure from Baron and the split pushing power of top laner Leonardo “Robo” Souza’s Fiora to pull Dire Wolves apart and secure multiple objectives including a top lane inhibitor.

With the inhibitor secured, the momentum appeared to have fully swung in the Canids’ favor, but a series of overreaches and multiple solo deaths would doom Red Canids. Dire Wolves would finally pull off the huge 41 min upset, ending the Brazilians’ chances of advancing and silencing the once frenzied crowd.

Source: Riot Games Flickr

While the crowd is sure to still be rowdy and loud, they will inevitably have lost some of their luster now that their national representative has been eliminated. Yet despite the disappointing result for Brazil, the rest of the event is sure to be exciting and swarming with energy as it has been up to this point.

With the loss to Dire Wolves, the RED Canids failed to deliver on an opportunity to bring a first place finish to their fans, and re-affirm Brazils claim as an up and coming region that could be considered one of, if not the wild cards best.  Still, it is hard to place too much fault in the Canids, SuperMassive eSports proved they deserve all of the hype they had accumulated heading up into the tournament and could likely be the best Wildcard team in the entire field.

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