After five months of competition and a total of ninety matches played, the Regular Phase finally came to an end on the 18th of September. Team Heretics were crowned as the champion of the Regular Phase with 44 points, the same number as x6tence. While x6tence had a better round than the Heretics -- +66 to the latter’s +50 -- Curr3nsY lead Heretics to first place after winning the two matches against x6tence 7-5 and 7-5. Just a point behind these two teams were Giants Spain (the Spanish arm of the Vodafone Giants), the only team that was able to keep pace with the two leaders.
Even though these three teams are the favourites to take home the Spain Nationals title, we can't forget about the five subsequently placed teams that followed the former three to the Finals: Team Queso, Movistar Riders, Arctic Gaming, Team Wizards, and Cream Esports. Over at the bottom of the table, though, Efficiency Team and Ramboot Club won't participate in the Finals and will have to fight to participate in the next season of the Spain Nationals.
1. Team Heretics: 44 points
Finals roster: Curr3nSy, jwey, batfat, YORPU, Iluzjonist.
When the Spain Nationals began, this roster was known as Dragons Esport Club. Their start to the campaign was one of the best as they won seven of nine matches played, losing against Movistar Riders and drawing against Vodafone Giants. After playing well in the early stages of the tournament, Team Heretics acquired the roster before the beginning of the second half, right as they signed Iluzjonist to replace Scorpion.
Now as Team Heretics, the team almost got the same results as they had during the first half of the season, securing 22 points and, once again, only dropping points to Movistar Riders and Vodafone Giants -- drawing 6-6 and losing 7-4, respectively. However, their second 7-5 win against x6tence was enough to beat the Aliens (x6tence) in the race to the first place.
Team Heretics' player Jwey was crowned as the MVP of the tournament, as he ended the Regular Phase being the second player with the most kills (181 in 184 rounds played) and the player with the highest KOST of the competition (0.74). Very close to him were two of his teammates, Batfat and Iluzjonist, with 0.71 and 0.70, respectively.
2. x6tence: 44 points
Finals roster: weskeRR, Kuriboh, Juk4, Wispy, Billordo.
Some international readers may know this team after their recent results in Europe, reaching two out of four Challenger League Qualifier Finals (losing the first one against forZe and the second one against GameWard Team). They have also recently played against Pro League sides such as FaZe Clan and Cloud9 at DreamHack Valencia 2019, and they thus are one of the most experience-rich teams in the tournament. The Aliens will try to win the Spain Nationals where they will have to face a familiar foe: best-of-three games.
As mentioned above, although x6tence finished the Regular Phase with the greatest round difference (+66), their results against Team Heretics cost them first place. The team, headed by weskeRR almost essentially mirrored Heretics, with only two losses and two draws in eighteen matches played, but x6tence drew matches against two of the weakest teams in the league: Efficiency and Team Wizards, while Heretics only dropped points against the Giants and Movistar Riders.
The team has three players in the Spain Nationals Regular Phase Top 10 fraggers, and also possess the best planter in the league, Billordo, who planted the defuser 28 times -- ten more than Yorpu, the second highest planter of the league. On another note, weskeRR was also particularly lethal with C4s in the tournament, netting ten kills.
3. Giants Spain: 43 points
Finals roster: DriD, LioN, baroz, vASS1LYY, p0Lo.
After an amazing start to the season -- with four wins out of four matches against Cream Esports, Ramboot Club, Efficiency, and Arctic Gaming -- the Spanish arm of the Vodafone Giants slowed down during the "Spanish Superweek", where the Giants had to play three matches within three days. The team kicked off the week with a loss against Team Queso (7-4). While they got to win their second match, against Team Wizards (7-3), their third one was another loss -- this time to x6tence (7-4). If this was not enough, after beating Movistar Riders the previous week, Vodafone Giants dropped points again after drawing to Team Dragons.
However, the Spanish team seemed to improve during the mid-season break as Vodafone Giants completed the best second half of the tournament, with eight wins and just one loss. The only team that got to beat the Giants was x6tence (7-2). This positive dynamic gives hope to the Spanish roster, as they travel to Madrid looking to get their revenge after losing the last ESL Masters Finals to Movistar Riders.
If we have a quick look at the stats, the team has vASS1LY to thank for a lot, with the player having the most kills in the tournament (184). Baroz, too, was not far behind with 170. These two players also had the most Opening Kills in the Spain Nationals (33 and 32, respectively). Giants also posted good survival numbers, with Lion the second best. Three places under him we can find his compatriot, DriD, and in sixth place, Baroz.
4. Team Queso: 29 points
Finals Roster: xP4TTO, nakinak, Therox, Scythe, Reina.
With Team Heretics, x6tence and Vodafone Giants being separated by just one point, Team Queso can be found in fourth place, but 14 points adrift third, demonstrating the big gap that exists between the Top 3 and the other five teams that will play in the Finals. This team demonstrated a high-level of play during the first half of the season, keeping pace with the three leaders with six wins and three losses. Before the beginning of the second half, the team had to deal with Iluzjonist’s departure to Heretics, filling his place with the signing of Reina -- the only woman in the Spanish competition, playing on Cream Esports.
However, the second half wasn't as good as the first one. After having a good first match against Movistar Riders (7-5) while Team Queso was on bootcamp, the team suffered a poor streak -- four losses, one draw and one victory -- separating them from the already established top 3. After their struggle during the last stages of the tournament, they finally secured the third place after a win against Cream Esports in the 17th game week.
5. Movistar Riders: 27 points
Finals Roster: chOi, D4rk1, Foskito, sakke, Welshy.
The Champions of the last ESL Masters, and one of the favourites to win the first edition of the Spain Nationals began the tournament on the wrong foot as they lost points on the first three rounds -- against Team Queso (3-7), Efficiency Team (6-6) and x6tence (2-7) -- and only finished with nine points. Due to this bad start, the team was suddenly fighting at the bottom of the table until the fourth round, where the team won against Team Dragons. The roster then began their climb upwards, with four wins and only one loss (against Vodafone Giants), finishing the first half in the Top 4.
The team then kicked off the second half with another loss against Team Queso and although they won against Efficiency the following week, the Riders had to wait until the 16th game week to win again. However, of note is that the Movistar team has only tied or won against one of the Top 4 sides -- Team Heretics, after winning against them 7-3 and drawing during the second half. This means that out of 27 points, only four of them have come from playing against Top 4 sides.
Movistar Riders travels to Madrid after having their roster undergo a "transformation" -- the departures of Yami and Jugger have recently been filled in by D4rk1 and Foskito who will play this weekend their first matches as professionals.
6. Arctic Gaming: 17 points
Finals Roster: iFlama, Uve, W_Mike, GroLazZ, GhostCXV.
The early stages of the competition were a bit controversial for this team, as they were invited to the tournament without having a roster or an organization that participated in the ESL Masters. Their poor start to the league added more fire to the flames, only getting a single point after their first four matches, however the roster got to win two important battles against Team Wizards and Efficiency Team -- two of their main rivals to the LAN places, just before the end of the first half.
The team then added NoThumbs and GhostCXV in a spate of changes that seemed to have backfired at first. The first matches were far from positive as they conceded three massive losses -- a 7-0 against Team Heretics, a 7-0 against Vodafone Giants, and a 7-1 against x6ence -- rounding it with a 7-3 loss to Cream Esports. It took a while, but the team finally woke up in time and Arctic Gaming won three matches and drew another one in the last five games, securing ten points compared to their paltry seven before the beginning of the 15th game-week.
7. Wizards Esports Club: 15 points
Finals roster: Llywarth, javixu, Lucian, Critical, Jot4.
Only two points behind Arctic Gaming we have got Wizards, a team that started the Spain Nationals with a big upset against Team Queso in the second game-week (7-5). Wizards won another important match two weeks later, against Cream Esports, however the green roster had to wait almost two months for their next win -- once again versus Team Queso, this time in a 7-3. Just before that, Wizards had drawm against x6tence, though, in a match that would make the difference between them and Efficiency Team in the final standings.
As a final detail, the team made a change in their roster at the middle of the season, moving MonkeyDaBlue to the bench and adding Jot4, a player that was part of the Cream Esport roster.
8. Cream Esports: 15 points
Finals Roster: Basily, Dhubleidd, EscrivaZ, Jabbawockeez, Scorpion.
Probably the biggest surprise of the Finals, Cream Esports performed the worst in the first half of any team in the competition, and were one of the main favourites to not qualify to the Finals. Having only got two points during the first nine matches (two draws against Ramboot and Arctic) seemed to be an early nail in the coffin, but the additions of Scorpion, Dhubleidd, and ByTommy (coach) turned the tide for the roster.
The improvement was seen in the 10th round as they almost draw against Vodafone Giants Spain, and the roster finally eked out an undefeated streak that lasted four game weeks (three wins and one draw -- the latter against Movistar Riders). As such there should not be any doubt; their current level is better than what the table reflects.
The groups follow a double elimination bracket where the two top teams of each group advance to the semi-finals. The groups are built depending on the position each team after the conclusion of the Regular Phase. The first, the fourth, the fifth, and the eighth placed teams will be in the first group, while the second, third, sixth, and seventh will be part of the second group.
From the semi-finals and onwards, the matches will follow Best-of-Three maps system. The winner of the Grand Final will be the ultimate winner of the first Spain Nationals edition.
The matches will kick off this Friday 10:00CEST (GMT+2), following the schedule here:
The games will be cast and analysed by the following talent:
- Álex "AlexPolo_" Polo: Caster.
- Marc "MarcR0SS" Róses: Caster.
- Erik "MrXavito": Analyst.
- Ignacio "Adonai" Ballesteros: Analyst.
- Miguel "Miwell" Sahuquillo: Caster.
- Daniel "SuperBoks" Rodríguez: Observer.
All the matches will be played in the Spanish channel (Rainbow6ES) on Twitch, so be sure to catch every single one of the clashes.
Don't forget to come back to check SiegeGG this weekend if you don't want to miss anything regarding the Spain Nationals Finals!