Since 2014, Brazil has been a mainstay in the League of Legends World Championship. Every year, a South American squad has taken at least one game off a top-level opponent, proving their worth as an international threat.
Perhaps the most notable of the Brazlian World Championship atendee was paiN Gaming, whose 2015 group stage performance included wins over both Counter Logic Gaming and Flash Wolves.
People recognize the names of organizations such as INTZ eSports and paiN as top level teams from the wildcard region. Even a primarily western audience might be somewhat familiar with names like Felipe “brTT” Gonçalves or perhaps the infamous Pedro Luiz “LEP” Marcari.
However, Brazil’s newest name to compete internationally is not likely to be one that many western fans will be familiar. In honesty, most Brazilians hadn’t even heard of these players until a few months ago: meet Team oNe, the most unlikely qualifier to the LoL World Championships.
Just months ago, Team oNe was INTZ.Genesis, the challenger team for one of Brazil’s greatest organisations. They placed first in the regular season but weren’t particularly dominant in comparison to their fellow challenger peers.
Some were rising talent, others failed former-pros, but none stood out as the next big hit in the CBLOL. In playoffs, they fell in a close series to T Show, and only barely qualified for the CBLOL.
There was little in particular to indicate their meteoric rise that was to come in the following weeks.
Team oNe were the last team you’d expect to win a championship in Brazil, competing against Brazilian players with years of international experience.
Most players from the original KaBuM! e-Sports and paiN lineups still fight in the CBLOL, and their experience shows in their consistent results. Long-standing lineups such as paiN, INTZ, and Red Canids have dominated Brazil for the better part of a year. Team oNe has destructively broken the regional mould.
Heading into the CBLOL Playoffs, it seemed like the traditional trend would continue through the rest of the year. INTZ and RED dominated the split and continued to assert their authority as the most respected teams in the region.
Team oNe, who lacked a consistent standout performer, and paiN, who struggled with communication issues, seemed no match for their experienced lineups.
Contradictory to all expectations, the most unlikely event occurred in Sao Paulo, as both of the favored, experienced teams crumbled.
PaiN managed to break through with a star performance from Gabriel “Kami” Santos Bohm, whilst Team oNe used their bot-jungle synergy and adaptability to upset their more experienced opponents.
In the finals, oNe’s remarkable synergy and strategy for such a young team continued and they were able to exploit the opposing jungler’s weaknesses, and won the series against all odds.
From the Winter Promotion Tournament to the CBLOL Finals, Team oNe has experienced a crazy split. Despite a few changes, their team remains a ragtag roster of rookies and rejects thrown together into one big pile of talent.
It’s hard to predict the future for such an inexperienced team, especially in a Chinese stadium far from home, they might not hold to the same standard.
However, Team oNe are certainly a team to watch at the World Championships: no-one predicted their sudden rise to the top, and it might just keep on going. Brazil have performed at Worlds historically, and we might just see another similar result from the young talents of oNe.
There’s an aura of upset in the smooth Brazilian air, and we might see it transferred to the international stage. One thing’s for certain: Team oNe are on the rise.