The Regular Season
After Mkers’ took last season of the PG Nationals despite multiple roster and organisation changes rocking the Italian scene, many thought this season would be much more of the same as many of Mkers’ previous opposition had seemed to have collapsed in the subsequent months. This, however, was far from the case as the season saw three serious challengers come forward -- Samsung Morning Stars, GoSkilla Academy and Cyberground Gaming.
GoSkilla shocked the scene first as they became the very first domestic team to win a map from Mkers (7-3) since December 2018 on playday five of 14 which was followed up the very next day as last season’s runners-up of Notorious Legion also found victory over Mkers, 7-4. This pushed GSK to first place and made it clear the season was competitive, however, the shock week was not to be repeated as Mkers then remained unbeaten till the final game of the season when, after already guaranteeing first place, they fell to sixth-placed Outplayed to finish with 11 wins and three defeats.
This meant Mkers’ had doubled their three maps lost in the last five seasons in this season alone and still finished on top. GoSkilla meanwhile, lost their first-place standing to Mkers on week six after losing to both Cyberground Gaming (5-7) and Mkers (0-7) in the space of two days to finish with an 9-2-3 win-draw-loss record while, Cyberground ended eight points ahead of their closest opposition with 25 points in fourth after holding this standing for the final six playdays of the league. The lone team to make it to the playoffs that failed to beat Mkers comes the Samsung Morning Stars who finished in third place with a 8-2-4 win-draw-loss record after winning just four points out of a possible 18 against the three other teams which qualified for the playoffs.
Playoffs saw first-seeded Mkers crush fourth-seeded CGG in a 7-2, 7-3 scoreline on Kafe and Villa while the second and third-seeded teams of GSK and SMS, who drew on head-to-head results during the league (4-7, 7-4), faced off for a spot at the Milan Finals where Samsung’s pickups since made the difference to take the game in two close maps, 7-5, 7-5.
Mkers’ Four Years of Domination
- Campionato Italiano 2016 - dat fLAM3RS
- Alation, Peak, Torok, Boroz, Jackzorz and kubeee
- ESL Italia Championship Winter 2017 - EnD Gaming
- Alation, Peak, Torok, Hunter, sNakj and Boroz (their coach)
- ESL Italia Championship Summer 2018 - EnD Gaming
- Alation, Peak, Torok, Hunter, Fratelli and Boroz (their coach)
- ESL Italia Championship Winter 2018 - EnD Gaming
- Alation, Peak, Torok, Hunter, sNakj and Boroz (their coach)
- PG Nationals Summer 2019 - Mkers
- Alation, Torok, Sloppy, BakaBryan, Blurr and jahk (their coach)
Current Roster = Alation, Torok, Sloppy, SirBoss and AueR
While just Simone "Alation" Gelsi and Matteo "Torok" Bellotti remain constant throughout the years, this one continuous roster has dominated the Italian R6 scene since the very beginning. Back in 2016, dat fLAM3RS won the very first ESL national tournament ever ran to be automatically invited to Season 1 of the Pro League where they remained through two fairly unremarkable seasons before being relegated out of the top tiers of R6 at the end of Season 2.
A year later at the end of 2017, EnD reconfirmed their title as the best team in Italy after winning the first R6 ESL Italia league before requalifying for the Challenger League in Season 7, replacing the roster soon to be known as Team Empire. Here the team stood for the rest of 2018 finishing Seasons 7, 8 and 9 in third, fourth and seventh position before failing to make it back to the league for Season 10 and moving onwards to the Mkers organisation in 2019.
After transitioning to a mixed European roster, the team won the first PG Nationals earlier this year under the helm of their coach of Cyril "jahk" Renoud who has since won a Pro League title on Natus Vincere, and defeated the reigning Spanish champions and Challenger League hopefuls of x6tence at the PG Nationals Showdown event during Milan Games Week. Now, along with their last-second ex-Pro League addition prior to these Finals of Ferenc "SirBoss" Mérész, the ex-Challenger League player of Bartek “AueR” Hajma, and the two times Italian finalist of Manuel "Sloppy" Malfer will join Alation and Torok as they aim to end 2019 with their sixth straight title together after losing just 3 maps across their five prior campaigns.
The New Challenger
- Last Season's Roster = NoAir, j3n4, Mefisto, Alexyo, Gemini and Hokusai
- Current Italian Roster = NoAir, j3n4, Mekses, Gemini, Voy, Jess (their coach) and MrBox (their analyst)
- Current Polish Roster = NoAir, j3n4, Mekses, Mefisto and KingVader
After joining R6 for the Summer season of the PG Nationals by coming through the open qualifiers, the Samsung Morning Stars made a number of huge changes over the last few months with the core aim of taking down Mkers and taking the crown as champions of Italy.
The first main change was to pick up the ex-Pro League coach of PENTA, Jessica “Jess” Bolden who had led her team to the Six Invitational and three Minors -- DreamHack Winter, the Allied Minor and DreamHack Valencia 2019 -- before leaving the team following a very public split in the roster. This experience was then added to with the acquisition of Valentin "Voy" Cheron, an ex-Pro League player for Mock-it who played in two Majors, 2 Minors and four Pro League seasons, at the mid-season. This gave the quickly growing roster of SMS the experience they needed to add to the existing organisation support.
The get further competitive experience, this roster also participated in Season 3 Masters League alongside the PG Nationals online season which in which they took after losing just one map out of seven played at the LAN Finals. Now, with one national trophy claimed they look forward to this Sunday’s game as they aim to become the first team in R6S history to hold multiple official national titles at once.
The Broadcast and Event
The best-of-five map grand-final will kick off at 15:00CEST on Sunday, December 15th, the same weekend as the US Nationals and the day after the Benelux League Finals.
The game will be streamed on the rainbow6it Twitch channel and cast by the online season casters of Valentino “Lordchanka98” Allegri and Mauro “JustRyuk” Barone while the regular caster of Filippo “Etrurian” Burresi and the previous event analyst of Raffaele "Draven" Angius will be joined by the ex-Challenger League analyst for EnD Gaming in Jody "ChiNook" Carraro on the analyst desk for the event.
Happy to see @JChiNook_ and @DravenNHK at the analyst desk of the Finals of the #RSSPGN. It's an honor for me to have them with us and I'm excited to be able to work with them. I can't wait for Sunday!
The LAN itself will be taking place at the Infront Studio 5 event space in Milan.
Keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for updates on this weekend's PGN, BNL and USN LANs.