University leagues are some of the best ways to both introduce new players to Siege and give players experience in new teams and in a competitive environment. This leads to the creation of some of the largest and most stable leagues in certain countries, which only helps grow each nation’s scene further. Now, as a number of these leagues come to their close for the first semester, let’s take a look at the recent action and what is yet to come.
- France - The 6 Student Trophy
- Australia - The AEL University Cup
- Brazil - The TUES University Championship
- The United Kingdom - The NUEL University League
- The United States - CollegiateR6
- The Rest of the World
Unlike the university tournaments to be mentioned further down, this tournament doesn’t pit universities themselves against each other in a rudimentary franchise system, but instead just stipulates that every player must be a university student. This opens up the opportunity for teams to be made up of multiple different universities or for established teams to participate if they happen to fulfil this criterion.
This year’s French University competition kicked off on September 24th as the 20 teams were split up into five groups and played the three other teams in their group. From this, the group stage results seeded the top 16 teams into a single-elimination knockout bracket to take place on every Tuesday in October with the eventual grand finals taking place at the Paris Games Week event alongside the 6 French League Finals this coming weekend.
Notable out of these teams were the organisations of Yunktis and Eworld in Progress who were each able to field at least part of their main roster. With the latter having just one substitute from the lineup which defeated PENTA during the Six Major 2019 qualifiers last July, they are thus one of the clear favourites. Last year’s tournament victors of CarGlaz, meanwhile, including the ex-Pro League player, Marabou, from Season 3, saw three players return this season -- Blwd and Klays for FuzeTea and KaLoGiRe for LDV Esports -- which means that KaLoGiRe will be aiming to become the first back-to-back champion of the French Student Cup later this week.
The tournament’s finals will be cast by IRSwish, the usual observer of the French language streams, and fio’, the current coach of Yunktis on the main rainbow6fr Twitch account on Thursday evening at 15:30CEST.
Australia’s University league will come to its close with a grand-final between the University of New South Wales (UNSW Clancy) and the University of Queensland (UQU Purple) on November 8-10th following a month long, eight-team, double-elimination playoff bracket.
These two teams previously played in the upper-bracket semi-finals in what was an incredibly close game. The reigning champions of UQU Purple eventually lost the series in a 6-8, 8-7, 4-7 scoreline, but with a game as close as that, the rematch could go in any direction. Since then, UQU have won all three of their lower-bracket games, losing just one map in the process to reach these finals, while University of Wollongong (UOW Esports) fell in both the upper and lower-bracket finals, just missing out on the LAN Finals on both occasions.
These top two teams will now travel to Supanova Comic Con at the Brisbane Convention & Exhibition Centre to play for the top share of the A$3,000 prize pool (A$2,000 goes to the winner, A$750 to the runner-up, and third-place -- UOW Esports -- takes home A$250). Catch all the action on the ael_main Twitch channel.
Last season’s TUES University Championship came to its close at the GameXP LAN just prior to the Circuito Femino and Brasileirão 2019 Finals that took place in the same venue. The grand final between Anhembi Morumbi University and Universidade Positivo was eventually won by the former as they took the trophy back to São Paulo.
This season, we are currently at the quarter-finals with two best-of-three games being played every Tuesday for the next three weeks before the semi-finals and grand final are played at CCXP19 (Comic Con Experience 2019) in São Paulo on the first full weekend in December.
Throughout the season, the games are cast by the two main Portuguese language Pro League casters of Meligeni and Retalha, thus lending the tournament some strong star power, with the reigning champions of Angembi scheduled to play tomorrow evening on the rainbow6br Twitch account.
The University Siege League in the UK kicked off two weeks ago and will have play days every Thursday for the next five weeks. The first three weeks see all 60 teams play in a Swiss format with the top 16 then moving on to the double-elimination “Championship Bracket” which is played over the following four weeks before the live grand finals on December 7-8th.
Those teams which fail to make it to the top 16, meanwhile, will continue playing in the Swiss tournament to earn points to qualify for a separate Challenger bracket in what’s effectively a B-league.
Over the past year, there have been three USL Seasons with the following results:
First: Staffordshire Stampede
Second: Keele University
Joint Third: Warwick Castles and Derby Raptors
First: Swansea Storm Green
Second: Staffordshire Stampede
Joint Third: Coventry Phoenix and the Derby Raptors
First: Swansea Storm Green
Second: Lancaster Bombers
Joint third: Keele Krakens and the Surrey Stags
These previous seasons have included the British talent of Sternab, dezachu, RRGeneral, and BlondeBond all take part in production roles, the ex-Pro League player of Tankninjaz playing for the Derby Raptors, and a current player for Endpoint in the CCS Women’s League, HIME, playing for Staffordshire (now a league admin).
The eventual LAN Finals currently have an unconfirmed location, but will likely be hosted by one of the participating universities where £1,000 in-game store vouchers and tickets to the ESL Premiership Finals can be won. Action can be watched on the universitysiegeleague Twitch channel with one best-of-three broadcast each week.
In what is by far the biggest university league in R6, CollegiateR6 currently has 210 teams playing every week in a format somewhat similar to the British USL competition. Teams initially play in four weeks of unseeded games followed by four more weeks of seeded games (which just began) in which teams play in one of the following tiers:
- CR6 Premier - The highest level of play in Collegiate Rainbow Six (16 Team Cap)
- CR6 Main - High-level play meant for veteran teams that are looking to play against highly skilled competition (32 Team Cap)
- CR6 Open - High level of play meant for developing teams to progress through the CR6 ladders (Infinite Cap)
Following this, the playoffs of each tier will take place on the second and third weekends in December to determine who’s the Fall 2019 Champions who will take home the approximately $5,500 prize (made from some of the $50 entry fee for each team) as well as BYOC tickets to the $1,000 DreamHack Atlanta tournament.
The previous two seasons have seen the following champions, as an all-Californian Season 1 Final turned into an all-Texan Season 2 title match:
1st: University of California San Diego
2nd: California State University Long Beach
Joint 3rd: Kennesaw State University and the University of Houston
1st: University of Houston
2nd: Texas A&M University
Joint 3rd: The University of British Columbia and the University of California San Diego
While a number of professional and semi-professional players have either cast or played in show matches for the league, CR6 also can claim that they brought out pro-level talent in the form of eCentral who, after his team of Texas A&M was invited to the DarkZero team house to spectate their Pro League game, was picked up by the roster four days later as an analyst.
Probably the first and most important R6 university tournament to date was a LAN tournament organised and hosted by the Russian State University of Physical Education, Sport, Youth, and Tourism back in May of 2017. This tournament was likely the very first R6 LAN attended by the current Team Empire players of JoyStiCK, ShepparD, and RazerGM (now their coach), the current forZe players of Shockwave, Shangri, Korben (now their coach) and YaGo (now their manager) and the ex-Challenger League players of STARBOY and PWN3F.
The players at this small LAN event have since shown themselves to be some of the top players in R6 history, with many of them notching this event as their first notable experience in R6 esports, showing the importance of accessible tier-three and four-level tournaments in growing a scene. The event and the approximately $1,800 prize pool was eventually won by the roster later known as ROOM FACTORY as they stormed through most of the competition with ease. Probably most interesting, however, is the fact that JoyStiCK only began playing R6 for a month after switching over from Counter-Strike, with this being his first ever R6 competition of any kind -- meaning that this likely kicked off the career of one of the most successful players ever.
While not a university league, university teams can also be found in the first season of the Canadian Nationals which involved both the Carleton Ravens Black and White teams, both representing Carleton University in Ottawa. These teams, however, failed to produce any kind of meaningful results, with them scoring a combined total of one point across their twelve games in the league (excluding their game against each other).
Finally, we have the OpenLAN R6 tournament, which took place last April and included eight American colleges and was eventually won by Arkansas Tech University, and the German Uniliga R6 Studicup, which took place on October 26th which you can learn more here.
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