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For those tuned into the scene, it’s no secret that Brazil has been home to some of the most passionate and larger-than-life fanbases in the professional League of Legends world for years. When it comes to competition, however, the Campeonato Brasileiro de League of Legends has historically struggled internationally.

There are plenty of practical reasons for this. Some say it’s a lack of resources compared to regional counterparts, others say it’s the smaller player base. More recently, the heavy impact of COVID-19 on the region had a major effect on teams in recent months. Despite all of this however, CBLoL representatives play their hearts out every time they get the chance to play overseas, and legions of fans show up to support them through thick and thin.

Team RED Canids Kalunga walks off stage  at the League of Legends World Championship Play-Ins Stage on October 6, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND – OCTOBER 6: Team RED Canids Kalunga walks off stage at the League of Legends World Championship Play-Ins Stage on October 6, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Photo by Michal Konkol/Riot Games)

Heading into Day 4 of the 2021 League of Legends World Championship, RED Canids are sitting on the edge of knockouts and elimination with a 1-2 record. As of right now, RED have a high chance of meeting PEACE in an elimination best-of-five on Oct. 8, and according to the experts, there’s no need for fans to lament over results or prepare for the worst.

Ahead of the final day of the Play-in group stage, Upcomer spoke to CBLoL English casters Ruski “Roodood” Hamidouche, Rafael “DiA” Ruiz and Ryan “RandomMinionCaster” Teo (RMC) gave their thoughts on RED’s performance at Worlds so far compared to expectations. Spoiler alert: win or lose, the Brazilian hopefuls can hold their heads high.

What letter grade (A-F) would you give RED’s performance based on your expectations of the group?

RMC: I’d give them an A so far! Their results are pretty much as expected: beating Infinity (albeit with some slight nerves in the beginning), and losing to play-in favorites LNG & Hanwha Life Esports. Even in their losses to LNG & HLE, the draft has been very appropriate to the meta, and their early game has looked very well thought-out. Their mid-game could still use some work and their laning hasn’t necessarily been a strength, but it’s been a solid showing and I expect to see continued growth through the play-in stage.

RED Canids Kalunga's Alexandre ''Titan'' Lima walks off stage at the League of Legends World Championship Play-Ins Stage on October 6, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND – OCTOBER 6: RED Canids Kalunga’s Alexandre ”Titan” Lima walks off stage at the League of Legends World Championship Play-Ins Stage on October 6, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Photo by LanceSkundrich/Riot Games)

DiA: I’d say a B-. CBLoL teams tend to suffer from inconsistency series to series and RED has managed to avoid that this Worlds and that’s a very positive thing. What has surprised me is that they haven’t changed many things in their approach to the game or taken many risks. To move up to a high B or A they’d need to trust in themselves a little more and start diversifying their playstyle. One more positive: I think their endgame has greatly improved from when they were competing domestically.

Roodood: B.  So far I’ve been very impressed with RED and they have slightly exceeded realistic expectations.

What positives should be taken from RED Canids’ Worlds 2021 run so far?

RMC: As mentioned above, drafting and early game. The drafts have been very on point with the Worlds patch and they’ve executed fairly well. The first nine or 10 minutes have shown flashes of brilliance as well, getting leads against some of the strongest teams in Play-ins. Guilherme “GUIGO” Ruiz has had some strong individual showings, though more is needed of the team to make it out of play-ins.

DiA: RED are definitely playing with their hearts on their sleeves and you can see it in the small skirmishes where they REFUSE to not get at least one kill back, even if it costs them more. Positives are definitely that they haven’t fiesta’d anything by 50/50-ing, and I think that their teamfighting prowess is really getting a chance to shine in Play-ins. Daniel “Grevthar” Xavier’s performance has been a good one so far, but you can see from the way that they’re drafting and playing that RED don’t trust him with more. I think against better teams this “net zero” lane expectation is hurting them.

RED Canids Kalunga's Gabriel ''Aegis'' Saes walks off stage at the League of Legends World Championship Play-Ins Stage on October 6, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND – OCTOBER 6: RED Canids Kalunga’s Gabriel ”Aegis” Saes walks off stage at the League of Legends World Championship Play-Ins Stage on October 6, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Photo by LanceSkundrich/Riot Games)

Roodood: RED being able to challenge the League of Legends Pro League early is obviously very impressive and their ability to carry through multiple roles has already been shown. Leaving Grevthar to play the enabler in their win and then being able to handle Xie “icon” Tian-Yu shows the raw talent he possesses.

Do they make knockouts?

RMC: Yes, I think they make knockouts, and I think they beat PCE 3-0/3-1 with a strong performance and maybe a loss as PCE fire back. The caveat is that they don’t get tilted from the losses today. They’ve still looked like a strong contender, and if what we’ve seen from CBLoL playoffs hold true, RED does better in series where they can look to adapt, evolve and overcome. The 2nd round of knockouts gets dicey as Group B is looking very competitive right now. I think they can still potentially beat any team in Group B, but it would be a close series. In terms of what I’d like to see from them: being able to extend their early game plans and proactivity into the mid-game. They’ve looked a little messy and disorganized, costing them their leads.

eam RED Canids Kalunga competes during the League of Legends World Championship Play-Ins Stage on October 6, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND – OCTOBER 6: Team RED Canids Kalunga competes during the League of Legends World Championship Play-Ins Stage on October 6, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Photo by LanceSkundrich/Riot Games)

DiA: Easily. The chance they drop to the bottom spot is negligible so far. Unless RED turn their monitors off, they’re making it to the next stage. I think a bo5 against PCE requires more adaptation than RED have shown us at Worlds. The intimidation factor and Bo1 format has kept them extremely conservative in their drafts and win conditions. In order to beat PCE (which I know they can), they’ll need to break free from that mold. I’d predict a five-game series; favor of RED.

Roodood: Knockouts is incredibly likely and I even think they will get to the 2nd Bo5 fairly easily. The first Bo5 against PCE I expect to be a 3-1 in favor of RED. RED are a better team, but will probably still do something daft to throw a game.

Other thoughts?

RMC: I don’t think RED or CBLoL will be sitting back, happy to make knockouts. The goal is going to be making it out of playoffs. It might be a little tough, but I have faith in RED (maybe a lil too much copium). That said, I do think that Brazil should be proud of what RED has accomplished, especially considering how much they’ve been underestimated by a lot of people. And maybe now since Grevthar has faced Jeong “Chovy” Ji-hoon, he can channel some of that to dominate the mid-lane.

RED Canids Kalunga's Gabriel ''Aegis'' Saes (C) walks off stage at the League of Legends World Championship Play-Ins Stage on October 6, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
REYKJAVIK, ICELAND – OCTOBER 6: RED Canids Kalunga’s Gabriel ”Aegis” Saes (C) walks off stage at the League of Legends World Championship Play-Ins Stage on October 6, 2021 in Reykjavik, Iceland. (Photo by LanceSkundrich/Riot Games)

DiA: I talk about their drafting and playstyle a lot in other answers so I’m going to expand on it here. RED are an amazing teamfighting/skirmishing team, and their game against HLE proved that (though they ultimately lost). It takes a major region Korean team to really come away clean from any play. However, the knowledge of this strength also seems to be pigeonholing the team into a very specific playstyle. I want to see them tank something. In most of their drafts we’ve been put in an “everyone but Grevthar can carry” position, and I want that to shift into a “GUIGO and/or Alexandre “TitaN” Lima dos Santos NEED to perform.” I see their diversification of win conditions as a lack of faith rather than a trust in their ability to outplay. There’s a chance I’m reading this wrong. To sum that up: If RED never take a chance on trusting each other with the game, they’re not going to be able to compete with the best that Worlds has to offer. It’s their first time at Worlds, and it’s ok for that to be a learning experience, but as a CBLoL fan, and a RED Canids fan, I want more.

Roodood: Overall this is a good look for CBLoL at Worlds. Even if they don’t make Group Stage, RED and Brazil should be happy with the performance given the three-rookie lineup.

RED Canids play PEACE on Oct. 7 at 8 a.m. ET.

Pop culture consumer and League of Legends thought-haver. Working on becoming a weirder person.
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