RED Canids may be third in their group, but their level of play has been shockingly impressive throughout the Mid-Season Invitational.
Although they are sitting in third place in Group B, they are one victory over Royal Never Give Up away from causing a sensation: forcing a tiebreaker round with PSG Esports. In fact, had they executed their gameplan better on Day 4, they could have been favorites to attend the Rumble stage over the PCS team.
Ahead of their do-or-die matchup against RNG on Day 5, Jaxon’s Adel Chouadria spoke to RED’s mid laner, Daniel “Grevthar” Xavier about Day 4’s action, his mindset since he joined RED Canids, the team’s dream of becoming the CBLoL’s equivalent of Japan’s DetonatioN FocusMe, and more.
Below is a transcript lightly edited for clarity:
RED Canids are in a weird position where they can make it, and it isn't that far-fetched at that considering what happened against Istanbul Wildcats. What can you tell me about the way you bounced back against them today?
We came with the expectations to win against everyone. That's the mentality that you should have when you come to this kind of championship. It was kind of hard to lose against PSG, because we knew that we could beat them the same way that we did in the first game.
Because we played not quite that good in the mid-game against their composition, and I think that the draft wasn't that good because they had a hard-engage composition and we [made] a poke comp. That's quite strong against. It's difficult a bit, but I think we didn't have the proactivity that we had against Wildcats when we played against [PSG.]
It's quite hard to lose against PSG because now, we know that we need to win against RNG. Like I said, when you come to this kind of championship, you need to think that you can beat everyone. If I need to beat RNG to pass the Rumble stage, so be it: I will try my best.
Let's think back to the first time you faced RNG. It wasn't necessarily close. But the second game was more straightforward in how you lost--and it wasn't about getting crushed when you look at the early game. Let's talk about the improvement of RED through those two games.
The point that we're trying to achieve here is to be proactive no matter who you play against. Against PSG, we didn't have it. Against Wildcats [on Day 2], we didn't have it as well. We tried a straightforward hard-engage composition against RNG, tried to play aggressive and tried to surprise them.
We tried to pick Twisted Fate to play for side lanes, so we tried to play our game--proactive, and do the plays. But they are a very intelligent team, so they knew how to counter some plays, punishing us in the other side.
But I'm glad that we kept this mentality when we played against Wildcats, and we will try to beat [RNG] tomorrow. We need to beat them.
All things considered, for you, at this time of the year last year, you weren't even on the CBLoL. It's quite a long journey, one which started pretty strong at the CBLoL playoffs, you going from the Academy to "Oh, I'm going to Worlds!" Tell me about it!
You kind of know my history, man!
Yeeeah, it almost repeated itself with your academy top laner… [Betão]
It's really nice. I had only one year of CBLoL, and in this year I have already played two times internationally and I won [CBLoL] both times. Mostly because I have the best team in Brazil, the best players I could have.
Not to sound cocky: part of me know that if I had consistency on my goal, trained every day as much as I could, I could be here alongside them. When I was in Academy, I had a strong friendship with everyone. So, I knew that if I kept doing my job, I could go to CBLoL and help them, because I thought that they needed me.
I have another goal now: not only to win the CBLoL, but shine [with] my teammates on the international stage. That's what I will try to achieve.
Part of it is about personal improvement, but it's also about the team improving overall in its macro and everything. It's quite a process, but this time around, the team is putting themselves in this position—not just you putting yourself there last year, working your hardest. Everyone around you is.
Yeah. I'm happy that we're improving and that we keep improving. We have a goal: to do well internationally. It's something that our coach taught us to do: not to think only about CBLoL. Try to achieve something bigger. Don't keep thinking only about your region. Think about macro, the outside, internationally, all the time.
It's nice for us to have this mentality, because we won't be lazy just because we are winning CBLoL. We want to make history. We want to keep playing good against these incredible teams, and we want to keep surpassing our level. We want to be a better version of ourselves every time we come, every time we have experiences like that.
Eventually, every other team in CBLoL would have to do the same just to catch up to you guys, wouldn't they?
Yeah. I think, for me, I can't lose CBLoL anymore. I want to do like DFM do in Japan: I want to be the strongest team in the entire region and keep playing internationally, because that's the way we can get experience and can get even better, find ways to be better.
When I come here to play Korean solo queue, to play against the best teams in the world, I think I can improve even more. That's why I can't lose CBLoLs.