APAC Preview (Sep 24) -- NORA-Rengo in Danger

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With the online part of Season 10 of the Pro League set to come to a close in APAC, SiegeGG has a look at what happened in the past week and to expect in the upcoming week.

The Pro League and other competitions already underway for Australia-New Zealand (ANZ), Southeast Asia (SEA), and Japan, and is in fact scheduled to come to a close for the online segment this week in the aforementioned regions as well as Korea. Read on to find out what is in store for the region this week from the 24th of September.

Australia-New Zealand (ANZ)

In the past week, ANZ played out three Best-of-Two series, and saw some fairly close games. Kicking things off on the restart of Season 10 were Fnatic and Mindfreak, and although Mindfreak were largely expected to be rolled over, they gave a strong enough fight on the first map to force the map to go the distance. Playing with sixth member Ryan “speca” Ausden instead of usual core player Matthew “Acez” McHenry, Fnatic won the map 7-5 and then proceeded to dominate the second to the tune of 7-2.

Newly signed Wildcard Gaming found it tough on their first outing under their new banner, losing the first map to Oddity Esports by a narrow 5-7 margin, and then only managing to draw the second, dropping them to third in the table (albeit with two fewer maps played than Oddity who shot to first). Team SiNister and Team CryptiK, on the other hand, traded maps, though it seemed that SiNister were on course for a 2-0 victory after taking the first map 7-1 and then only losing the second 5-7.

This week, the provisionally second and third-placed Fnatic and Wildcard Gaming go head-to-head in a match that could well decide seedings for both at the Season 10 APAC Finals, while Mindfreak takes on Team SiNister. Oddity sits out on Wednesday, while SiNister is called into action again against FURY, but the games truly come to a head on Thursday, with three series -- Wildcard and CryptiK, Fnatic and SiNister, and Oddity and FURY -- pencilled in. 

Fnatic are all but certain to qualify to the Finals, but the second slot will be very much up for grabs between Oddity and Wildcard. Tune in to watch the action this week on the 24th, 25th, and 26th of September from 7 PM AEST (GMT+10) onwards on the Rainbow6Twitch channel, with previous games available as VODs.

Japan

Over in Japan, NORA-Rengo’s (NR) struggles in their post-Wokka era continued, with the reigning Japanese champions failing to take home all six points on offer against Father’s Back (FB). After taking the first map 7-1, it seemed that they were set to repeat the feat when 4-2 up on the second map, but could only secure two of six further rounds on attack and allowed FB to get their first point of the entire season.

Cyclops Athlete Gaming (CAG), too struggled somewhat, drawing the first map against FAV Gaming before coming back strong to beat them 7-2 on the second. The next day, the pattern of a win and a draw continued, with DetonatioN Gaming first drawing against Unsold Stuff Gaming (USG) before beating them 7-4, and GUTS Gaming cleaning up Lamy Wonderland 7-0 before inexplicably drawing the second map.

This week, the top two take each other on first, with the league leaders of CAG likely keen to open up the four point gap between them and NR to ten points. FB will then play against DetonatioN in the hunt for more points, while FAV Gaming -- five points behind NR -- will seek to capitalise on any possible points dropped by NORA-Rengo in their own game against Lamy. Third-placed GUTS, too, will be hoping for a 2-0 victory by CAG over NR as they play USG on Wednesday and seek to jump two points above NR.

On Thursday, though, four concurrent series will take place as CAG takes on DetonatioN, FB takes on Lamy, NR plays USG, and FAV closes things out against GUTS in a match that could define the second APAC Finals representative. These results and games mean that NORA-Rengo’s players are well and truly in danger of missing out on an APAC Finals appearance for the first time after it nearly happened last season, with GUTS and FAV ready to pounce this time around.

Catch all the Pro League action on the 24th, 25th, and 26th of September from 7 PM JST (GMT+9) on the Rainbow6JP Twitch channel (in Japanese), with VODs of previous games also available there.

Korea

Korea sees the restart and end of its Pro League this week, with the games now spread out across four days from the 24th of September to the 27th. With Cloud9 likely to defeat both TRIPPY and SCARZ by a 2-0 margin, and TRIPPY six points clear of SCARZ in their pursuit to follow Cloud9 to the APAC Finals, all TRIPPY has to do is avoid a 0-2 defeat to SCARZ to qualify.

The current Pro League standings in Korea (Image: Liquipedia)

As such, Korea will see a restart later today, with the Cloud9 vs Team uR game pushed to the top of the schedule, followed by SCARZ vs TRIPPY, Cloud9 vs TRIPPY, and Cloud9 vs SCARZ on the subsequent days.

Southeast Asia (SEA)

Over in Southeast Asia, the past week saw a triumphant victory from second-placed Aerowolf, as they beat Luminescent 7-1 and 7-3, while Team MBT dropped map one by a margin of 5-7 to Lese, but came back to win 7-4 on the second. Team Void would then surprise a new-look NEX Esports roster playing with former Xavier Esports player, Thiti "Redsun" Chairoek, and draw the first map before losing the second 4-7.

This week, the classic Southeast Asian rivalry between Xavier Esports and Aerowolf kicks off once more, with Aerowolf having beaten Xavier 2-0 in both their past two meetings. Scrypt E-Sports' disqualification has allowed all the week's matches to be broadcast, with the Luminescent vs Team Void game shifted to Tuesday after the top-two clash, and Luminescent will then play NEX Esports on the following day. 

Team MBT will then take on Team Void, before Aerowolf will start to close things out on Thursday against Lese Esports before Xavier Esports will make their first and only appearance since the restart against Team MBT to mark the last game of the SEA season.

With qualification to the APAC Finals guaranteed for Aerowolf and Xavier, it is their match on Tuesday that will determine the seeding, while Team Void will attempt to take at least three points off Luminescent to virtually guarantee their own safety at the expense of their opponents’.

Catch all the Pro League action on the 24th, 25th, and 26th of September from 7 PM SGT (GMT+8) onwards on the Rainbow6SEA Twitch channel (in English), with VODs of previous games also available there.

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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.