With Season 10 of the Pro League just nine days away, let’s take a look at some of the best action and biggest news across the lower-tier leagues over the last seven days.
Allied Esports Vegas Minor
The Vegas Minor event kicked off yesterday with an initial Swiss format group stage to determine which teams will play in this weekend’s playoff bracket. To the surprise of many, the tournament favourites of DarkZero Esports failed to make it to Day 2, while the European hopefuls of LeStream Esport also struggled to get there. The standout teams of the day were clearly Rogue and Team Secret, both of whom had a particularly bad season, but looked like their old selves again as they won all three of their games.
Full coverage of Day 1 of the action can be found here or you can check out the highlights of the on-stream games below!
Pro League Changes
Announced this week was a number of major changes to the Pro League format as summarised below:
While most of the changes are pretty self-explanatory, the biggest change to the viewers and teams involved comes with point three and the “new play day schedule”. Now, each week will see two playdays of games from each region, meaning each half of the season will be just three and a half weeks. This is presumably to give time for the Major qualifiers and Pro League relegation matches, but it does now mean that there’s going to be just 14 weeks of the Pro League in the next 12 months.
Also of note is the addition of the newly reworked Kafe Dostoyevsky to the Pro League map pool to replace Oregon, making Bank the only release map that hasn’t been buffed or reworked in the seven-map map pool. This has been met with some mixed reception, with some saying Outback should’ve joined instead and others saying Bank or Villa should’ve been replaced instead of Oregon. However, no matter how well the map is received by the overall competitive community, it is likely to remain banned for the majority of Season 10 of the Pro League as people learn their way around the new areas of the map.
ESL Benelux League Season 3
The final two play days of the Benelux league was played this week as teams fought for their last chance to qualify for the LAN Finals later this month. Following three forfeited games from Elegance’s Minions (EM), they were disqualified from the league, with all their results being nullified, while issues with ESL Wire from ForeignFive meant they also to had to forfeit their game, leaving us with just three games across the two playdays -- Trust Gaming vs Conquer Gaming, Trust vs Flash Point, and Os Leões vs El Whiz Wranglers.
With Elegance’s Minions on four points at the beginning of the week with three games to play, they were in real contention for a LAN spot, putting both Flash Point and Os Leões’ chances in doubt. This means that despite the fact that EM was later disqualified, nullifying this threat, all three games were do-or-die for the players involved.
Trust Gaming made a show of both their games as they both went to the final round before they clinched victory. In both cases, the teams were tied at the half, and then traded rounds into Trust’s defensive half in which a surprise off-site pick -- Customs/Supply on Border and Kitchen/Dining on Oregon -- led to their victory. While the rounds were back and forth, the Conquer Gaming player of Sejinex was the only person putting up a real fight individually, as he was the only one of Trust’s opponents to get a kill/death ratio above 1 this week.
The final game of the online season was also extremely tight despite not meaning much for either team. The Finnish mousesports player of SlebbeN led Os Leões throughout the game, achieving a noteworthy 1.59 rating across the matchup, however this wasn’t enough to clinch a victory as he was effectively cancelled out by the 0.77 and 0.34 ratings elsewhere on the team. The eventual draw between the two teams means that Os Leões ends the season in third place rather than second which, while likely disappointing, has literally no effect as the second and third-seeded teams face-off in the semi-finals anyway.
And so there we have our teams and matchups for the LAN Finals in Trust Gaming vs Os Leões and ForeignFive vs Flash Point Esports. These games will take place on the 22nd of June at a LAN environment in the Netherlands as Trust aims to regain their title as the best team in the Benelux region.
Finally, we have the Spain Nationals’ super-week, which included nine separate matchups across Tuesday to Thursday, featuring some pretty major upsets.
Giants Gaming were seen as the obvious Spanish leaders, with them having by far the most experienced players, as well as a fairly big organisation behind them. However, this week they fell to two of the big up and coming teams in the league. First they lost to Team Queso, a mid-table team prior to this game, who seemed in control throughout. The team went up a dominant five rounds to one in the first half on Consulate before an attempted comeback by Giants and notably Baroz (who achieved a 1.6KD) was thwarted and the Giants fell 7-4.
Following this loss, they then played x6tence, the only undefeated team in the league, who proved themselves to be worthy of the top spot in the table, as weskeRR led his team to victory against his ex-teammates and the roster which narrowly knocked them out of the ESL Masters España Season 1 semi-finals. While the scoreline ended the same, 7-4, the game was closer throughout with Giants putting up an actual fight, but the new blood of x6tence overcame them, pushing them down to third place in the league.
Giants weren’t the only team to struggle this week, as the previously mentioned undefeated roster of x6tence failed to get a win against Efficiency Team, a roster sitting narrowly outside of the relegation zone within the league. While it is somewhat likely x6tence focussed their preparation on Giants, leading to this pore performance, this does show chinks in the Alien’s armour
And so, there’s the weekly roundup of results across the Rainbow Six competitive world. Check back here next week for more coverage of R6 action at all levels of play!