Spain Nationals: First Leg Roundup

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After the start of the league in April, the Spain Nationals will kick off the second half of the season this week. Let's take a look back to what happened during the first leg!

After almost two months of competition, the Spain Nationals has been one of the premier European events so far. So far, this tournament has made a big impact in the Spanish scene, and a big part of the viewership has a very good opinion about the tournament. After a very close start, the last three game days have created a gap between the top five and bottom five.

The first group is made up of x6tence, Team Dragons, Giants Gaming, Team Queso and Movistar Riders, while in the second block we find Efficiency Team, Arctic Gaming, Team Wizards, Ramboot Club and Cream Esports.

Even though this is a national tournament, the competition has offered a production level that can be compared to the Pro League, with stats and live comments, informative graphics and post-match interviews.

Without doubt, and having in mind that this competition offers a 20,000 prize pool, the Spain Nationals is one of the biggest national European tournaments in the Rainbow Six scene, alongside the newly created French League.

Graphic that shows how each round ended (via @Rainbow6ES)

Furthermore, from now on, the stats will include an "Achievement System" that the players will be able to acquire during the second half of the season, which includes the following achievements:

We include an Achievement System that the players will be able to win during the League.

  • 1 KOST Award
  • MVP Award by #PredatorGaming (one for each game day)
  • TOP Kills
  • TOP Clutches
  • TOP Plants

The Broadcast

The broadcast team currently includes five members:

  •         Marc "R0SS" Rosés, caster
  •         Álex "AlexPolo_" Polo, caster
  •         Erik "MrXavito" Javier, analyst
  •         Ignacio "Adonai" Ballesteros, analyst
  •         José "Naigal7" Rodríguez, analyst

You can follow the Spain Nationals through the Rainbow6ES official Twitch and YouTube channels. Apart from broadcasting all the Spain National matches, they broadcast and cast in Spanish all the Pro League matches.

Here's a look at the current standings and the teams in the league:

1 - Team Dragons: 22 points

Team Dragons leads the table at the end of the first leg after only blowing two matches, a lose against Movistar Riders (7-3) and a draw to Vodafone Giants in the last game day. Although their round difference is only +20, the dragons are first in the table after their 7-5 victory against x6tence.

Team Dragons' season has been totally different to their previous one in the ESL Masters. After the first leg, the team had 9 points from 8 matches. Nowadays they have 22 points, only 3 points less than the final score they got during the last season. The team has shown an improvement in the Spanish scene and also in the European scene, after reaching the Raleigh Major European closed qualifiers and also the last European Challenger League closed qualifiers.

Despite their strong performances, the dragons will make one change in their line up before the beginning of the second season. ScRpN, a player that already competed for Team Dragons in the ESL Masters, announced that he left the team due to schedule problems. Iluzjonist, who left Team Queso, is the best placed player to join the roster as he played some matches for them during the Six Major Raleigh open qualifier matches.

2 - x6tence: 22 points

The team of the Aliens is one of the few teams that won't suffer changes in their line up. As Team Dragons does, x6tence currently has 22 points. However, the dragons sit in the first place due to their 7-5 victory in Consulate.

Even though they are the second placed team in the standings, x6tence has probably been the team that performed the better. They are the team that planted the most times (18 in 88 played rounds, 17 of these plants by Billordo) and they have a round difference of +32, twelve more than Team Dragons (+20). A big part of their matches have been dominant performances, featuring one of the only two 7-0 wins (against Cream Esports), two 7-1 -- versus Ramboot Club and Team Queso, both games played in Bank, their best map -- a 7-2 against Arctic and, other than that, they are the only team that won their games against Movistar Riders and Vodafone Giants, 7-3 and 7-4 respectively. The only Top 5 side that scored against them was Team Dragons.  

To these high performances in the Spanish national scene, x6tence have also showed a great level in Europe, reaching the Challenger League closed qualifiers as well as recently getting a spot for the Raleigh Major closed qualifiers, after scoring the second highest amount of points. Without any doubts, x6tence is considered nowadays one of the favourite teams to qualify for the Season 10 of the Challenger League, the main objective for most of the Spanish teams.

The MVP's of each game day played (via @ES_Acer)

3 - Vodafone Giants: 19 points

Easily the most recognisable Spanish team in the European scene, thanks to the presence of four players that represented gBots in the golden age of the Spanish Rainbow Six story. The roster, which was the favourite team at the beginning of the season, did not show the expected level during the first leg. This was mainly due to their bad performance during the Spain Nationals Superweek, where they had to play three matches in three consecutive days: against Team Queso, x6tence and Team Wizards. The Giants lost the first two matches -- 7-4 in both games -- and won the third one by 7-3. Although Giants won the Spanish derby against Movistar Riders by 7-4 showing off a good performance, they closed the first leg with a draw in Coastline against Team Dragons.

Giants Gaming have been using a shield playstyle (Montagne and Clash), something that we have seen from them many times before the beginning of the Spain Nationals. The teams have been constantly banning both operators, banning Clash in five of the nine matches played, while Montagne has been banned four out of nine times. Only in two matches, against x6tence and Team Dragons, both operators were banned. Both matches were played in Coastline and any of these games ended in a win for Giants -- a 7-4 win for x6tence and a 6-6 draw against Dragons.

4 - Team Queso: 18 points

After a very good beginning with a win against Movistar Riders, the current champions of the competition, the Spanish organization lost 7-5 against Team Wizards in Border. This beginning perfectly sums up Team Queso's season so far: irregularity. Although they won against Movistar Riders and Vodafone Giants -- by 7-3 and 7-4, respectively -- and playing Dragons until the last round (5-7), x6tence destroyed them -- 7-1 in Bank -- and Ramboot brought them to the twelfth round. The other three matches were easy wins against Cream, Efficiency and Arctic Gaming -- they won by 7-1 against Cream and Efficiency, while they won by 7-2 against Arctic.

Team Queso is one of the seven teams that will face changes in their line up, as Iluzjonist is leaving the team. After some days of waiting, the club recently announced the introduction of Reina, who was playing for Cream Esports.

5 - Movistar Riders: 16 points

Although they were one of the two big favourites to win the Spain Nationals alongside Giants, a bad beginning for the Riders complicated the entire season. Team Queso won against them in the first round, followed by a draw against Efficiency. A week later, x6tence won against them and Riders sat in the relegation spots for some days.

However, the team improved since they lost to the Aliens. Movistar Riders won against Team Dragons by 7-3 in Bank, starting a four wins streak, that was cut off by Vodafone Giants. In their last match of the first leg, Movistar Riders won against Ramboot Club and sits now in fifth place in the first block of the competition, four points away from the sixth placed team but only six points away from the leaders.

Together with Vodafone Giants and x6tence, Movistar Riders looks like they will be one of the three organizations that won't make any change to their current line up, which demonstrates the confidence in the project even their poor start to the league.

6 - Efficiency Team: 12 points

After qualifying to the Spain Nationals through the playoffs, Efficiency Team is, without a doubt, the best team of the three non invited teams. Their start to the league featured two very different teams: the first match was against Ramboot, a match that will be remembered as M4DMAN got 21 kills, while the second tie was against Movistar Riders. 

However, Efficiency did not get any other point until the fifth round, another tie, this time against x6tence. Finally, in the seventh game day of the competition, Efficiency won their first match against Cream, and won the following two matches, against Arctic Gaming and Team Wizards -- 7-0 and 7-2 respectively. However, nobody knows what to expect from Efficiency during the second half of the season. 

The reason: Both M4DMAN and SETzz, the two international members of the team, have signed for GameWard Team, a French roster that is now competing in the French League. Efficiency already announced that Ju4mp4 and Zellaso will join the team, who are Spanish. This means that Efficiency will stop using English as their main language and will be focusing in a total Spanish environment.

7 - Arctic Gaming: 7 points

The participation of Arctic Gaming in the Spain Nationals was followed by controversy: although they did not own a roster that competed in the ESL Masters, and keeping in mind that the organization didn't play in the competition either, Arctic Gaming was one of the teams to get an invitation to play the Spain Nationals. However, the Spanish org sits today in the seventh place, just over Team Wizards, a team that played in the last ESL Masters, and they are also ahead of two rosters that qualified through the playoffs, Cream Esports and Ramboot Club.

The matches that Arctic have played against teams that are "out of their league" haven't ended with good results for them: they lost against Team Dragons by 7-1, x6tence, Vodafone Giants and Team Queso won against them 7-2, while Movistar Riders did it by 7-3. However, Arctic Gaming took advantage of their direct opponents thanks to their positive results against them, winning versus Team Wizards and Ramboot Club, and drawing against Cream Esports.

Although the roster has been performing better in the last game days, the roster decided to make a huge difference, something that Flama, captain and IGL, described as a movement that had to come "sooner or later". With this decision, iSniPer will leave the club and NoThumbs and GhostCXV will join the organization, which from now on will be a six-man line up.

8 - Wizards: 7 points

Although they performed quite well during the first game days, with good results against x6tence and winning against Team Queso in a second game day that will be remembered after their well build defences held at Customs Inspection/Supply Room on Border, a site where they won two of their three successful rounds played as defenders. In the fourth round they got a second victory, this time against Cream Esports, however, that was also their last match won in the competition. In their last five matches played they just won a single point, after drawing against Ramboot Club.

We also have to add the loss of MonkeyDaBlue, one of the most important players of the team. His performances during the first half of the season did not go unnoticed and his attacks with Capitao were very important for his club. Team Wizards will fill the gap left by MonkeyDaBlue with the signing of Jot4.

9 - Ramboot Club: 3 points

Ramboot Club were one of the teams that featured in the first match of the Spain Nationals, that ended with a 6-6 draw. The viewers will remember that match after M4DMAN got 21 kills. However, the match was an introduction to Ramboot Club: tight matches. Six of the nine matches played have seen twelve rounds being played, three ending with a draw and the other three ending with a loss. If we talk about the three matches left, Ramboot lost two by 7-4 -- a tally of 11 rounds played in each match -- and a 7-1, played in Bank, against x6tence.

This leaves Ramboot Club with 3 points, after three draws against Efficiency, Team Wizards and Cream Esports. The team will try to change the situation with the signing of aLex, a player that they used to play one of the four open qualifiers for the Raleigh Major.

10 - Cream Esports: 2 points

The Hispanic-American organization had the worst first half of all the teams. They have only drawn against two teams, which are Arctic Gaming and Ramboot Club. The team introduced Reina -- also known for being the first woman to compete in the highest Spanish competition -- in the third round of the league, producing a positive change in the play style of the team. Although her debut ended with a tie, the current Team Queso player got the MVP of the match with a tally of 18 kills. The improvement seemed clear since the very beginning, although Cream only got a single point since then. This means that they currently sit in the last position, five points away of the eighth placed team.

These results have forced the team to take desperate measures. After the announcement of Reina leaving Cream, Basily, Cream's captain and IGL, announced that the roster would face two signings before the start of the second half of the season.

The second half of the season will kick off this Monday, 1st of July. Although two matches will be postponed -- Vodafone Giants vs Cream Esports and Team Dragons vs Arctic Gaming -- we will be able to enjoy a week full of Spanish Rainbow Six, leaded by the Movistar Riders vs Team Queso match that will be played on Tuesday.

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And, so far, this has been my roundup of the Spain Nationals first leg. Come back each week to SiegeGG to follow the Spain Nationals and many other national competitions, in addition to Pro League matches and the upcoming Raleigh Major closed qualifiers.