After an astounding Oceanic Cup tournament this March, our friends in Australia came back with exciting news announced earlier today. While the tournament now looks to highlight regional talent out of the ANZ region, a refreshed format aims to create as competitive of an atmosphere as there can be.
Differing from last year’s Six Masters and March’s Oceanic Cup, the Six Masters 2019 will start with online open qualifiers through GO4s from May 12th to June 2nd. Six of these top teams will then move onto the group stage, where they will join the six invited teams in two separate round-robin groups: Group A competing on Saturdays and Group B competing on Sundays.
The top four squads from each group will then proceed to the playoffs of the Six Masters, which will be hosted as part of the Melbourne Esports Open 2019. A step-up from last year’s event being hosted through the Melbourne Convention Exhibition Centre as a part of PAX Australia, the Melbourne Esports Open will be hosted at the Margaret Court Arena.
2019's Six Masters prize pool will be nothing short of impressive, as they have decided to go above and beyond 2018's $25,000 AUD prize pool. In fact, doubling the pool to an impressive $50,000 AUD! The pool will be split as shown:
Currently there have been six invited teams to the Six Masters. First and foremost, there is 0RGL3SS, the first seeded team in this tournament and the reigning champions of the Oceanic Cup. Joining them will be fan-favorites Fnatic, Mindfreak, Oddity, ex-AVANT, and Ex-Nihilo to round up the list of already qualified teams for the Six Masters 2019.
EmoRin, Derpeh, Ethan, NeophyteR, Diesel, syliX / Fluxx (Coaches)
Introducing the highest ranked team of the Six Masters, 0RGL3SS have made waves since their victory over Fnatic to take home the Oceanic Cup. They finished the Pro League season with an 8-2-2 (W-D-L) record heading into the APAC LAN Finals, only to be stopped dead in the tracks by the Southeast Asian juggernauts of Xavier Esports. As of this June, Joe 'JoeyG' Lanciana announced his retirement only to be replaced by ex-Fnatic's Daniel 'NeophyteR' An. For 0RGL3SS, this tournament serves to validate their existence as a rising force from Down Under.
RizRaz, Magnet, Lusty, Acez, Virtue, speca, Dizzle (Coach)
This explosive roster needs little introduction. From upsetting Evil Geniuses at the Rio Finals, to a Quarter-Finals finish at the Six Invitational 2019, Fnatic have been the team to beat. With new signee Ryan ‘speca’ Ausden on the team, much of the international community has been curious at what exactly speca brings to the team. Nevertheless, as the reigning Six Masters champions from last year’s iteration, Fnatic look to keep their seat in Melbourne warm.
Loona, Fishoguy, Copper, Vicious, Niko, Sheaffey, Shifty (Coach), Maxs (Analyst)
Avant stunned all of us with their early 2019 roster move of bringing in Kaya ‘Loona’ Omori as the only active female player in Pro League. Yet, their Season 9 finish wasn’t as incredible as they had hoped for. Last season/year, they didn’t qualify for the Oceanic Cup. Now, after the departure of Ryan ‘Flossy’ Lacey earlier this month, could the team pull off a victory lap to the playoffs and prove to their region that they are not to be fettered with?
JackDaddy, Cutie, Shak, ItBeStyle, Kngz, BakedBeenz (Coach)
Formerly known as Dark Sided, the roster made big moves by joining the organization after their prior lineup had departed. Their performance during Season 9 of ANZ Pro League, however, wasn’t particularly stellar. With only victories here and there, alongside an early exit to the hands of Last Chance qualifiers Extricity, this could be Mindfreak’s last opportunity to prove themselves to their fans.
Warden, Cursedwings, Shadeydays, Rock, Spruce, uyen / Solaris (Coaches)
On the other coin, the ex-roster of Mindfreak (prior to the VSDS pickup) would continue under the banner of Ex-Nihilo. While rescuing themselves from a potential relegation, the team also managed to take the second map off of Fnatic during their series at the Oceanic Cup, before eventually submitting to Fnatic on the third map. The team would be acquired by Australian-based organization FURY Australia on May 2nd, as well as the swap of Jcz for Joshua 'Rock' Shiels.
Now with the backing of an organization alongside Solaris joining Uyen ‘uyen’ Pham as a coach, does Ex-Nihilo have what it takes to launch back into the scene?
Vast, Legion, Redolent, Todd, Vinnie, Raven (Coach).
Oddity come from a fourth place finish during Pro League, with a staggering seven ties over the course of the season. On top of that, a loss to a minor orgless team at the New Zealand qualifiers for the Oceanic Cup would definitely lingers on the team’s mind. With this new opportunity, however, Oddity might have the means to rectify their tie-filled season and get the results that matter.
Three out of the final six teams that have qualified via Go4 points- Extricity, Off The Grid Esports, and Equinox all participated in March's Oceanic Cup- Extricity making it past Mindfreak with a 2-0 victory before falling to soon-to-be Oceanic Cup champions 0RGL3SS.
The Six Masters 2019’s Group Stages and LAN playoffs from the Margaret Court Arena will be streamed live via the Rainbow6ANZ Twitch. However, if you’d like to attend live in-person, tickets will be available through the Melbourne Esports Open website.
The Group Stages will be live on weekends from June 22nd to July 22nd, followed by the LAN finals on the weekend of August 31st and September 1st.