With the Pro League and other competitions underway in APAC, it certainly is an exciting time to be part of the competitive Rainbow Six scene in the region. Read on to find out what happened in the past week and what is in store for the region this week from the 25th of June.
Australia-New Zealand (ANZ)
As had been expected, Fnatic got their season underway strongly, taking a 2-0 win against Zealous, while 0RGL3SS did the same against Power Plays. Mindfreak also had little difficulty against FURY, and while Oddity Esports crushed Team SiNister (formerly TBA) 7-0 on the first map, they had to work a lot harder on the second, with SiNister getting five rounds of their own.
This week, Mindfreak takes on Oddity Esports in what is expected to be a tight matchup and could be the ANZ game of the week. Caster opinions are varied, with two casters expecting an outright win for each team, but others are more cautious, expecting a closer game. Similarly, FURY vs Zealous is seemingly going to be a match where spoils will be shared evenly, with majority of the casters expecting a win apiece for each team.
Fnatic, on the other hand is expected to cleave through Power Plays, as is 0RGL3SS against Team SiNister, but the predictions are not unanimous throughout, possibly taking into account Fnatic’s shakier Season 9 that saw them draw a fair few games and perhaps pointing towards a possible resurgence from the newly signed Team SiNister roster.
In the Six Major Raleigh qualifiers, though, 0RGL3SS had to dig in deep against Rhythm after losing their first map 7-5 before coming back with 7-5 wins of their own on the other two maps. Their hard work was then needed again in their 8-6, 7-4 win against Team SiNister. Meanwhile, Mindfreak capitulated 0-2 to Oddity Esports, with both latter matches quite possibly a sign of things to come this week when they are repeated in the Pro League.
0RGL3SS then also beat Oddity 8-7, 7-3, and now sit in the Grand Final, one win away from the LAN qualifier in a few weeks.
On the other hand, both Mindfreak and Team SiNister were eliminated in the Lower Bracket by Power Plays (2-0) and ACME Association (2-1), respectively. Now, Power Plays will take on the not-to-be-underestimated ACME Association before the winner will face Oddity Esports in the Lower Final.
The past week also saw the start of the Six Masters 2019 group stage. 0RGL3SS kicked things off with a comfortable 7-3, 7-2 win against Zealous, and SiNister finally had a positive to their week with their 8-7, 7-4 win over Power Plays. Surprisingly, Oddity fell 2-1 (7-4, 4-7, 7-3) to ACME, but the best viewing was certainly to be found on the second day.
Fnatic, apparently saving strategies for the Pro League, beat Sleeper 7-4, 8-6, but when they next came up against Extricity, the explosive under-18 team, they nearly fell short. Losing Bank by a 7-3 margin was never in the plans, and while they struck back 7-3 on Clubhouse, Extricity kept close pace with Fnatic on Border, pushing them to the final round in overtime, but the APAC champions held on to win the map 8-7. After the heart-stopping match was a notably calmer affair, albeit still a three-map one, as FURY came from behind to beat Rhythm 2-1 (4-7, 7-5, 7-0).
Over in Japan, NORA-Rengo’s campaign got off to a shakier start than they would have hoped, winning the first map against DetonatioN Gaming (DNG), but drawing the second. FAV and Cyclops Athlete Gaming (CAG), though, had no trouble defeating surprise Pro League entrants UnsoldStuffGaming (USG) and LamyWonderland, respectively, while former NORA-Rengo players Takumi “JJ” Iwasaki and Yasuhi “CrazyPapiyoN” Nakajo led GUTSGaming to a stunning 2-0 victory over Father’s Back.
This week, Father’s Back takes on FAV in what is to be another tough game for them that has almost all casters predicting a 2-0 in favour of the latter, and NORA-Rengo is expected to remedy their week one performance with a 2-0 over LamyWonderland. Things are a bit dicier when it comes to GUTSGaming vs DNG, but it seems that GUTS are expected to take the upper hand, and CAG are predicted to have no problems against USG.
In the Raleigh Major qualifiers, things work slightly differently in Japan. With the open qualifiers now over, the top four teams from there will now join the Pro League sides in the closed qualifiers to be played this Saturday on the 29th of June. Of the teams, FAV Gaming and CAG are expected to be the strongest and will be fighting hard to ensure qualification.
Catch all the Pro League action from 7 PM JST (GMT+9) on Wednesdays and Thursdays on the Rainbow6JP Twitch channel (in Japanese), with other games also streamed to the same channel.
Over in Korea, Team uR had a bit of a struggle in the Pro League against TRIPPY, losing the first map 5-7, and only managing to draw the second one. Cloud9, though, faced little resistance even against second-seed SCARZ, defeating them 7-1, 7-1. This week, SCARZ takes on Team uR in a game the former is expected to win, while TRIPPY is this week’s target practice for Cloud9.
In the Raleigh Major qualifiers, Cloud9 once again cruised through the opposition, having taken down SCARZ 7-3, TRIPPY7-3, and then TRIPPY again in the final, by a score of 6-8, 7-1, 8-6. SCARZ, on the other hand, crashed out against Hyperspace, having lost 7-2. As such, Cloud9 is already qualified for the offline qualifier and can being counter-strategising for the opponents they are likely to face.
Finally, in the Korea Cup, TRIPPY, HyperSpace, SCARZ, and Cloud9 have all qualified for the US$4,300 monthly Finals to be played on the 28th of June.
Catch all the Pro League action from 6 PM KST (GMT+9) on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on the Rainbow6KR Twitch channel (in Korean), with other games also streamed to the same channel.
Rounding things off, Southeast Asia saw Xavier Esports clear the hurdle presented by Lese Esports with little difficulty, but Aerowolf struggled a lot harder against NEX Esports than was expected, only managing a 7-3 win and a draw. Elsewhere, Team Void also secured a 7-5 win and a draw against the higher seeded Scrypt Esports, and MBT Impetus Gaming followed suit exactly against Venberg Esports.
In the Raleigh Major Qualifiers, though, was where the true surprises lay. Just six days shy of exactly a year, Aerowolf finally secured only their second-ever victory against Xavier Esports, defeating them 7-4, 7-4 in the Upper Final. The win was especially a surprise as, since that first meeting, Aerowolf had never beaten Xavier (in the Pro League or other qualifiers) until this match.
Xavier Esports, who had been playing with newcomer Atibordee “Scatman” Noichan in place of Thiti “redsun” Chairoek who has taken a break from the game will now get a second chance, but will need to beat Aerowolf twice to make it to Sydney, and then perhaps to Raleigh.
This week, in the Pro League, the Thai teams Xavier Esports and NEX Esports face off in an exciting game, while Team Void takes on Lese Esports in another exciting game to come. In the Raleigh Major Qualifiers, Scrypt will once again face Team Void in a repeat of the Pro League game, with Xavier Esports possibly awaiting the winner.
Catch all the action on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 7 PM SGT (GMT+8) onwards on the community-run R6_SEA Twitch channel.
For more coverage on APAC’s competitions including and beyond the Pro League, check back here at SiegeGG regularly as we bring you what’s in store for the week ahead.