With the reveal of the $160,000 US Nationals prize pool, the start of Europe's very first all-LAN league in the French Nationals, and the Six Masters, which includes eight Pro League rosters, the last few months have seen huge leaps in R6 national events around the world. The GSA Nationals, though, is perhaps a step forward even from these.
The GSA (German, Swiss and Austrian) Nationals will consist of three separate national LANs, one per country, with the winners being invited to a fourth, much bigger LAN event next January. This all offers all the teams involved competitive and LAN experience, as well as a chance at the biggest total prize pool in European history in the first national event to have public LAN qualifiers for the final eventual LAN event.
The qualifiers for the German national tournament took place every Tuesday in July, with the winner of each qualifier qualifying for the Finals at Gamescom 2019 in Cologne at the end of this week. Here, this coming Thursday and Friday, the best teams will face off for €10,000 in an event attended by an estimated 400,000 people in what will be an excellent growth opportunity for R6 esports while giving more German players a shot at accumulating LAN experience.
This wont be the first R6 event seen at Gamescom events, the world's largest video game trade fair, as Gamescom 2015 included a showmatch played on the R6 beta build won by the current coach of Team Reciprocity, Anthony "HOP3Z" Lee, and was attended by the ex-pros of Niklas "KS" Massierer and Yeray "DriD" González. More recently, Gamescom 2017 was host to the Season 5 Finals which saw KS return to the event and take the title in the PENTA organisation’s third and final Pro League Finals victory. This year the Friday and Saturday will also see the G2 Esports R6 team attend meet and greet and signing sessions, the details of which can be found here.
Qualified for these Finals are the following rosters:
- OrgLess - ripz, KS, Cry1NNN, Lazzo, Eastwood and Mrofficer88 (their coach)
- GoSkilla - Prano, BZ, GeRRy, HiFe and Exp0
- Fierce Esports - ASTRO, Next1, Haze, J7ck and Bogan
- Spaghetti Carbonara - MadMouse, DavE, Acelele, Zenoxo and Fratelli
This LAN will see the semi-finals play off on Thursday starting at 15:00CEST, with the grand-final kicking off the following day at 19:00CEST, broadcast on the rainbow6de Twitch channel. The games will be cast by the usual German talent, including Marius “Verdipwnz” Lauer and Lucian “AgOnY” Kohn, and will see the invited special guests of the cosplayers Aspira, Deta and pan, as well as the huge German streamers/Youtubers of ZanderLP and avive. You can learn more about the event here and buy tickets to the finals here.
Following this, we will see the Austrian National qualifiers take place every Sunday from August 11th till September 1st. Once again, the winner of each qualifier will be invited to the LAN Finals in the largest video gaming event in the nation -- the Zurich Game Show -- from the 13-14th of September where they will fight for the €5,000 prizepool.
At the moment the first two qualifiers have already finished, with the following teams qualifying for the finals:
- Lostik.R6 - Edu, P3ga, QaZz, Schweizaner, Victory and Zocker (their coach)
- Petits Cornichons - Shaiiko, rxwd, Panix, DaReeal and TuniGG
Tickets for the LAN event can be found here, however, the casters and special guests for the event have yet to be confirmed. Previous R6 events have also taken place at the Zurich Game Show with the 2018 show hosting the R6 Mountain Masters tournament on the PS4, though this is the first notable PC LAN event in the nation. Online, however, we have seen a previous Swiss National event -- the “King of Switzerland” tournament held by the Swiss eSports League and cast by med1cz in August of 2018, won by the Buteo Esports roster containing just one Swiss player.
Finally, we have the Austrian national tournament, with qualifiers on the following four Sundays in September, with the winners of each being invited to another €5,000 LAN Final at GameCity 2019 in Vienna from 24th to 26th October. Taking place in Vienna City Hall, this admission-free event already hosts a number of esports tournaments every year, although usually for the School Championship 2019 games and the A1 Austrian eSports League that includes a €7,000 Smash Legends tournament.
This will, therefore, be the first national R6 event in the country's history, allowing new players to get involved with the game as we have yet to see a single Austrian player play in a major tournament.
Finally, we have the Clash of Nations, in which the winning teams from these individual LANs as well as the German National runners-up will meet for a huge €30,000 prize pool Finals from January 24-26th at DreamHack Leipzig in Germany.
DreamHack Leipzig already boasts an impressive esports history, with last year’s event hosting the very first $100,000 DreamHack Pro Circuit Rocket League tournament attended by all five finalists of the last three RLCS Finals -- Renault Vitality, G2, Cloud9, Dignitas, and NRG. Other tournaments last year include the €5,000 League of Legends German University finals and the €10,000 Win the Winter Hearthstone event.
While other LANs such as the BR6 Finals have had LAN qualifiers, no other LAN in R6 history has had their qualifiers be separate open LAN Finals in themselves, making this a unique and really amazing event in itself. Should this be successful, this could be a pretty major benchmark in the way R6 national leagues are run, as this format gives the most amount of people a chance to play, watch, and win on a LAN environment.
To signup to a qualifier, every member of the roster must be over 18 years old, with three out of the five main players coming from the nation in question -- three Germans for the German qualifier for instance. This, unfortunately, means that both the reigning German champions in PENTA and the most successful partially-German roster at the moment, Giants Gaming, both can’t participate in the GSA Nationals, meaning the biggest tournament in Europe will be made up primarily of amateur teams.
The biggest team of note participating, therefore, is the ex-Na’Vi roster of OrgLess, whom we will see this week at Gamescom, and the core of the promising Challenger League lineup of BDS Esports, which will represent Switzerland at the Zurich Game Show. This team is particularly noteworthy as it includes three ex-Pro League players and one ex-Challenger League player in what will be Shaiiko's second LAN event in a week since returning from his two-year-long ban after being disqualified from the Pro League.
As for Austria, we have never seen a notable Austrian player in R6 history, however we’ve seen a number of Swiss players in the Pro League such as the previously mentioned ex-PENTA player of Dimitri "Panix" de Longeaux, the ex-Natus Vincere player of Bryan "BakaBryan" Tester, and the ex-Year 1 player for Playing Ducks of Jamil "eLTunisianoX" Essifi. With 13 teams -- and 65 players -- signed up for the first Swiss qualifier, this shows just how much these small national scenes can expand further and fulfil this event's objective.
And so, that’s a preview of the GSA Nationals 2019 and its four upcoming LAN events totalling a remarkable €50, 000 in prize money to be won. Keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for further updates on this tournament and further nationals around the world!