By the Numbers is an article series breaking down each group with a statistics-focused analysis. This iteration covers Group A of the Six Invitational 2020, in which the sixteen best teams meet in Montreal for the title of world champions. To jump to a specific team, click on their name below:
The only group with a representative from each region, Group A consists of Team Empire, DarkZero Esports, FaZe Clan, and Fnatic. These teams have met just five times in the past six months, including the Six Major Raleigh, in which Team Empire was crowned champion, and the Pro League Season 10 Finals. In the meetings, Empire defeated FaZe Clan once (Six Major), FaZe and DarkZero Esports are even at one apiece (Six Major and Pro League Finals), and Fnatic took a loss each to DarkZero and FaZe in the Six Major Raleigh.
The only squad without a loss to another group member, Team Empire also leads the group in map victories during the past six months; however, DarkZero Esports has a better win percentage. FaZe Clan have proven to be unreliable as they nearly match their map wins in losses. All six of Fnatic's map losses come from international LAN events, four of which came against members of this group.
Team Empire enters the Six Invitational 2020 as the #1 ranked team in the SiegeGG Ranking, a position they have held since their victory in the Pro League Season 9 Finals last May. Their hold over the first position peaked following the Six Major Raleigh, which they took home over G2 Esports, but has since been reduced. The most recent threats to the first position have come from Team Liquid, a member of Group C, and Natus Vincere, who enter the event as a first seed in Group B. Their current lead, just 4 points above Team Liquid, is the lowest since they advanced to #1.
Through the first half of Pro League Season 11, Team Empire placed second in Europe behind Rogue (Group B). Their success came off of the work by ShepparD and karzheka, whose ratings both earned spots in the top six of Europe. Surprisingly, neither highly-regarded fragger JoyStiCK nor Pro League Season 9 Finals MVP Dan earned a rating of 1.00 or greater.
To have success in the Six Invitational, Team Empire will need karzheka and ShepparD to perform at a consistenly high level as they have during this Pro League season, barring a match or two. While these two alone have shown the capability to compete for the top spot in their region and the squad has never lost to a member of this group, they will need Dan or JoyStiCK to show flashes of their old selves as Team Empire progresses deeper into the competition.
DarkZero Esports have remained a contender in the past six months, during which they have not exited the top fifteen in the SiegeGG Ranking. While they have remained near the top of the competition, they have struggled at finishing the job, with their highest LAN placement at the Pro League Season 10 Finals, where they came up just short behind champions Natus Vincere (Group B). They have especially excelled in online competition as they have placed first or second in the past two seasons and hold the second place in North America at the midpoint of Season 11.
DarkZero Esports' exceptional performance in the first half of the current Pro League season has come from a very consistent team performance. All but one player, Hotancold, hold ratings of 1.00 or greater. Even Hotancold has reason to be proud as his KOST% lands in the top ten of North America and he is tied for the third most plants at eight.
DarkZero may be the most consistent team at the Six Invitational 2020 from top to bottom. Each player has the ability to step up for the squad in any given match. Every player led the team in rating at least once during the first half of the season. As for KOST%, just Hyper did not lead the team in the category at least once during the season (Ecl9pse and Skys shared the title in their match against TSM).
FaZe Clan, despite their 13-1-12 map record in the Six Major, Pro League Finals, and online Pro League during the past six months, have remained within the top fifteen of the SiegeGG Ranking in the same time period. Their LAN placements have left some to be desired as they have not advanced to the semi-finals in an international competition since DreamHack Valencia last July. Domestically, they have been at the top of the pack, placing second in Brasileirão 2019, second in Pro League Season 10, and third at the midseason point of Season 11.
FaZe have relied on Yoona and mav to bring them to their third place Pro League standing as the two place in the top ten in Latin America for both rating and KOST%. Also, Yoona earned the top achievement in plants, leading the region with twelve.
At the Pro League Season 10 Finals, FaZe competed with ninexT as a stand-in for ion, who had issues obtaining a visa for the event. ninexT performed well for a stand-in on short notice, but the rest of the team seemed to crumple around him against DarkZero Esports. Astro, who had the best rating of the team in that match, matched DarkZero's worst-rated player. The two teams will meet again on the first day of the Six Invitational 2020, where FaZe will have much to prove. Their midseason numbers, while enough to propel them to third in Latin America, do not tell the story of consistency like DarkZero or domination like the group's final team, Fnatic.
Fnatic have remained in the middle of the pack during the past six months in the SiegeGG Ranking. The squad failed to qualify for the Pro League Season 11 Finals, falling to Aerowolf in the quarter-finals. They turned to the online qualifier and moved forward to the Asia-Pacific qualifier, where they appeared much more confident as they did not lose a single map. Additionally, they have yet to lose a map so far in the Pro League season, so they sit atop the Australia and New Zealand standings.
Fnatic have shown nothing short of domination in their region so far, with the lowest rating on the team, Tex's 1.09, still placing in the top fifteen. Virtue and Magnet both hold the top two spots this season for both their rating and KOST%. If the squad can translate this performance to the Six Invitational stage against international opponents, they may be the underdog to look out for as Dizzle hoped in a recent interview.
As mentioned previously, Fnatic have lost both meetings with group members in the past six months. They failed to qualify for the Pro League Season 10 Finals, and they placed last at the Six Major Raleigh, losing to DarkZero Esports and Fnatic in their quick group stage exit.
With two of the same group members, the Six Invitational 2020 will be a good test of Fnatic's progress since the Six Major Raleigh. Have they found the roster that will take them to the next level as an international contender? They will have to be able to take some of the load off of Virtue, and their Pro League performance bodes well for them in that area.
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