In Case You Missed It: This Week in Siege - July 29th

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ESL Premiership - Na’Vi Defends Their Title

Travelling to the Premiership Finals in Leicester, England, last Saturday was the Pro League team of Natus Vincere, the Challenger League side of Team Secret, the only team to take points off of Na’Vi in the regular season in T3H and MnM Gaming, led by the previous member of the NaVi roster, Mark "Prox" Johnstone. The day saw three best-of-three map games play out between these teams as they fought for the title of the best team in the UK and for the top share of the ~$13k prizepool.

The first semi-final saw NaVi face off against T3H, who themselves are a promising contender to make it into the Challenger League this season. The gap between them, however, was clear from the start as despite it being T3H’s pick, Clubhouse ended decisively in favour of the current titleholders. T3H did manage to take round three due to aggressive plays from neLo and CTZN both being punished but any hope of a close game ended quickly with CTZN’s 4k in round 6 showing just how in control they were.

T3H put up much more of a fight in map two but nevertheless, they couldn’t break past Na’Vi. Even in the team’s standout play as Vex achieved a 4k on round six, Doki was there to clean up the round to a 7-3 victory and qualification to the grand-final later that day.

Next up saw Secret face off against MnM Gaming in what was a much tighter fight. MnM had held Secret to a draw during the online season on Consulate, leading to Secret banning this map and forcing a Kafe, Border and Coastline game -- none of which MnM had won on this season.

Map one began with MnM trading rounds back and forth before a 1v1 win by Acelele while Elemzje was planting the bomb gave them the first two round lead. Secret wasn’t to give up here as they switched to the defensive half and went on to win five of the following six rounds to take the map 7-5. Next came Kafe which went all the way into overtime despite being Secret’s map pick. Secret was lucky enough to get the defensive side for the overtime which had already won 10 of 12 of the initial rounds which were continued on here as meepeY’s 4k on round 15 brought the round back from a 3v5 situation to win it for Secret, 8-7.

And so the grand-final was a rematch of last season’s grand-final between Na’Vi and Secret as both teams want to regain the title and trophy for another three months. The final, however, was much less of a competition as many had hoped as Na’Vi stormed to a 6-0 lead on map one before taking it 7-2 as the Pro League team showed exactly why they are one of the top teams in Europe. Map two was a closer affair with Secret taking map round one before Na’Vi won the remaining five rounds to close out the half including what is likely the best retake of the season:

It looked as if it was simply an extremely defence-sided match as was the case in Secret’s semi-final as the following two rounds ended in 1v4 situations for Na’Vi which meant Secret had almost tied it up at 4-5. Secret’s confidence had obviously risen by this point, however, that was to end here as, despite an Elemzje double kill on a jumpout putting Secret up in a 3v2 situation, Doki and neLo quickly traded it to take the round out of nowhere. The final round saw a very similar situation as a quick flurry of kills left Doki to finish out the round and take the map 7-4 and the title of the ESL Premiership Summer 2019 champions!

This makes Natus Vincere the very first two times British R6 champions in what’s been a rollercoaster of a year in which they have now won 3 LAN events, won the Challenger League and ended the first half of the Pro League season in the top half of the table. The the next season of the Premiership, the Autumn 2019 season, will likely kick-off in Septmber where they will attempt to defend their title once again.

 

PG Nationals - Mkers’ Domination Continues

Also, last Saturday was the grand-finals of the PG Nationals as the top two teams in Italy faced off in a best-of-five for the title of the Italian champions.

Mkers, previously known as EnD Gaming was the undeniable favourites here as they not only ended the regular season with a 13-1-0 win-draw-loss record but have won the Italian national championships for the last three seasons running with little to no opposition. Notorious Legion meanwhile -- their opposition -- came into the finals as the only team able to stop Mkers during the regular season as well as hoping that Mkers’ focus on the Challenger League qualifiers limited their preparation.

An explosive day! 💣💣💣
The Teatro Olimpico in Rome became the home of Rainbow Six fans for a day.
Operators get ready for a new mission, soon you'll be back on the battlefield!

The single game was a best-of-five being played on Villa, Bank, Coastline, Consulate and then Kafe, however, as expected not all these maps were needed. Map one saw Notorious Legion make a very impressive run as they won four rounds running, a number of which ended in 4v1 situations, however, Mkers pulled it back to end the first half on Villa 2-4 which on the defensive side is a fair result. As shown over the next couple of rounds, no matter how hard you hit Mkers they will always find a way to come back with Blurr and BakaBryan winning out a 2v5 situation on round seven before Mkers took four rounds of their own back-to-back to take Villa.

Next up was Bank which, while started off with Notorious Legion winning a 2v4 by waiting out the clock, very quickly swung in Mkers favour with it taking all the way till the end of the first half for the Legion to take their second-round -- both of which were Open Area/Kitchen defences. At this point, the map result was pretty much assured. Nortorious once again got the first round of the half but Mkers followed it up by winning three of their own and taking the map putting just Coastline between them and the title.

The crowd at the event via @PGEsportsIT

The final map was even more one-sided as Notorious took just two rounds -- the first being thanks to an early double kill on the two roamers by Osho on Blitz and the second thanks to N3M3SIS getting a double kill after literally crawling into the site. Mkers, however, were undeniably the better team throughout as their 7-2 results on this map and overall 3-0 series victory proved as they were crowned the Italian champions for the fourth season running!

Not only did Mkers win these finals yet again, but they did so in straight maps meaning across their four title victories they are up 10-1 in maps during grand-finals losing just one back in the ESL Italia Winter 2017 finals. Mkers are undeniably the best team in Italian history and will now set their sites on the Challenger League qualifiers as they aim to make it back into the top 16 teams in Europe.

 

6 French League - Vitality Punished

This week’s big game saw Looking For Org face Team Vitality in what on paper should have been a Pro level matchup. Unfortunately, as we’ve seen in a number of games this season, that wasn’t delivered as it was clear from the start teams weren’t taking it seriously. Round one saw Vitality all crawling around the map in a line, while Tachanka picks came out and players were running around with just their pistol out multiple times during the map. The matchup eventually ended 7-2 in favour of LFO, however for obvious reasons that was hardly representative of the two teams abilities.

Unlike previous games, however, this wasn’t ignored by admins with the @R6esports_FR account later announcing that they will be docked three points if the behaviour is repeated as it is “inappropriate behaviour… and disrespectful to their opponents and spectators”. Later that day BiBoo released a statement stating they were trying to “create entertainment at the expense of competitiveness” and apologising to sponsors and supporters saying they will “give the best they can in every game they play”.

During the match against LFO in the #R6FL, Team Vitality showed inappropriate behaviour, contrary to the competition's code of conduct and disrespectful to their opponents and spectators. As a result, the team is sanctioned with a suspended withdrawal of 3 points.

Elsewhere in the league, both Supremacy and Bastille Legacy achieved 7-2 victories over the bottom-placed teams of Team MCES and Oplon while PENTA had a very close game against GameWard Team. M4DMAN once again topped the leaderboard on his team with a 1.22KD, however, RevaN simply couldn’t be stopped as he went 15-6 and led his team to a 7-5 victory to retain their undefeated streak.

The 6 French League standings after six playdays via @ESIX_FR

This now means that Supremacy has overtaken GameWard to push into the top four in the league making next week’s games of GameWard vs LFO and Supremacy vs Vitality even more entertaining.

Spain Nationals - Team Heretics' Leads the Table After Game Day 13

After a game day characterized by Cream Esports' improvement and by Team Heretics, x6tence and Giants Gaming’s qualifications to the LAN Finals, Rainbow Six came back to Spain with six Spain Nationals matches. To playday 13’s five games we had to add the postponed match between Team Heretics and Arctic Gaming, from the tenth week.

The week kicked off with Ramboot Club facing x6tence. The robots had been looking to enter the LAN spots for some weeks, being one point away from them. Things would change at the end of the week, but not in favour of Ramboot's interests. The match, played on Coastline, was very quickly decided after five of the six first attacking rounds ended in x6tence favour, planting the defuser in three of those five successful rounds -- Billordo is still in the top of these standings, with 23 plants. Although Ramboot put up some fight during the second half, the Aliens won the match by 7-3.

The following match was, by the viewership, the most anticipated encounter of the week. Played in the new Kafe Dostoyevsky, Team Heretics and Movistar Riders fought in a match that could have been a huge step ahead for Heretics, as they were going to play two matches during the week, while their direct opponents would play only one. In a map where the defence is normally in an advantageous position, Team Heretics started defending.

The heretics ended the first half winning four out of the six initial rounds, but Movistar Riders won the following two rounds after swapping sides. Their streak continued and Riders quickly got the matchpoint (6-4), giving Team Heretics two chances to at least get a tie. Surprisingly Team Heretics got to stop the Riders' streak and even won the final match point, finishing the match with a draw that kept alive Heretics' hopes to end the week in first place.

Tuesday ended with the match between Giants Gaming and Arctic Gaming. Played in Coastline, this clash was the beginning of a horrible week for Arctic's roster. The match ended with a "giant" destruction, a 7-0 for Giants, after six defensive rounds and a single attacking point.

However, most of the doubts were solved during the following day. A lot of people still doubted Efficiency's new roster after M4DMAN's and SETzz's departure, key players in the first half of the season. After losing both players, the club still had to score any points after three matches. The bad streak ended this week.

Facing Team Queso during their bootcamp in Barcelona, Efficiency got their first point against a Top 4 team, showing that there's hope. The game was a very close one, with no team being better than the other. Both teams won three rounds when they swapped roles, and by the tenth round the tie was still there. Team Queso won the eleventh round, which meant that by the end of the day they would get at least one point from the match.

The last round of the match was a big chaos. Efficiency got ahead after two kills in the first 1:15 of the round, but two kills by Therox and another one by nakinak while Galthan got a third kill for Efficiency tied things up in less than fifteen seconds. Therox got a third kill that left AntifaH alone in a 1v2 clutch position, against Maestro and Smoke. However, AntifaH, who was playing with Twitch, killed the Italian operator and later on he won the 1v1 fight against the British operator.

This round was the best end to one of the most tense matches of the Spain Nationals. This draw is also enough for Team Queso to secure their presence in the LAN Finals.

The following match wasn't that tight, however, the result of this match was going to mess up the relegation and LAN fight. Wizards and Cream Esports were the main characters, playing in Border. Starting on attack, Cream Esports controlled the match during the first stages of the match, winning the first half by 4-2. The Hispanic-American team did not have any problem defending and only lost one of their four defensive rounds, mainly thanks to Jabba's performance, who ended the match with 15 kills.

This result presents a big change in the lower part of the rankings. After their 7-0 loss to Giants', Arctic gaming lost the 8th place to Cream Esports, which makes a difference in the LAN spots since the early stages of the competition.

The week concluded with the postponed match between Team Heretics and Arctic Gaming. The wolves would get back to the LAN spots if they won the match, but the dream was far from reality. Arctic ended the week with a second 7-0, 24 hours after losing by the same margin against Giants Gaming. This time in Bank, where Arctic has only played once and lost by 7-2 to x6tence, Arctic followed the same pattern that we saw on Coastline the day before: six attack rounds lost and a single defensive round. Jwey was the best player of his team, ending the match with 12 kills in seven rounds, that helped him to be placed first in the Spain Nationals top-fraggers standings (143 kills in 135 rounds).

This -14 in the same week and the recent results by Cream Esport make Arctic Gaming the team with the worst record of the general standings (-51), nothing compared to the second-worst (Cream, with -34).

With five game days left of the Spain Nationals regular phase, these would be the two groups that would be made for the LAN phase. The most skilled of the groups is undoubtedly the first one, which is formed by Heretics, Queso and Riders, as well as Cream Esports, a team which has improved during the last weeks. In the second group, x6tence and Giants Gaming look to be the favourite teams to take the two spots of their bracket.

Elsewhere in R6 this Week

Elsewhere this week we also saw PENTA retain their title as German champions as they -- along with ForeignFive and ex-Bavarian Titans -- met in the Saturday League online playoffs. Prior to this, we saw a tie-breaker match between PENTA and FF to decide who came top of the regular season as well which saw both UUNO and Goga from G2 sub in for PENTA leading to a 7-4 victory to PENTA pushing them straight to the playoff grand-final.

The end of season standings via @saturdayleague_

The playoffs themselves started off with a marathon of a 37-round game between FF and the ex-Titans roster which was eventually won by ForeignFive to set up a rematch of the day’s earlier game. While Goga and UUNO both weren’t playing in this game, SlebbeN instead subbed in and achieved a remarkable 2KD on map one as he helped the team take the title as the first-ever Saturday League champions, 7-4, 7-5.

The playoff brackets via @saturdayleague_

Finally, this week saw the Stage 2 playoff semi-finals of the US Nationals as Rogue and TSM defeated their opponents to set up a meeting on Tuesday in the Western Conference finals while Rise and SSG set up a meeting of their own in the Eastern Finals this Thursday. Check back here at SiegeGG for more in-depth coverage of Sateg 2 of the USN in the coming weeks.

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And so, there’s the roundup of everything that happened in R6 over the last week. Check back here next week for more coverage of R6 action at all levels of play including the BR6 grand-finals, the finale of the Mexican Nationals and Stage 2 of the USN!