The Six Invitational format will change this year after four Majors running of the same six-day schedule. Instead, this year will see a double-elimination playoff in which the upper-bracket winner will enter the grand-final with a single map advantage, following the GSL-Style group stage.
With this change, the schedule has been expanded to an eight-day event with the following schedule:
- Friday, Feb 7th - The opening games in each group. Eight games total across both streams.
- Saturday, Feb 8th - The Winners and Elimination matches. Eight more games across both streams.
- Sunday, Feb 9th - The Decider matches. One per group on just the main-stream.
- Tuesday, Feb 11th - The Playoff’s Quarter-Finals.
- Wednesday, Feb 12th - The Playoff’s Semifinals and two initial Losers’ bracket matches.
- Friday, Feb 14th - The Playoff’s Losers’ bracket round two.
- Saturday, Feb 15th - The Winners’ Final and Losers’ round three.
- Sunday, Feb 16th - The Losers’ Final and Grand-Final.
As well as the grand final, the final day of the Six Invitational will also see the unveiling of the Year 5 schedule as we will learn further details regarding the Season 12 format change, the esports roadmap of Year 5 including the Season 11 Finals location, a full unveiling of the upcoming Year 5 Season 1 operation and a first look at 2020’s new operators and maps.
Casting the event this time will be a fairly fresh-looking English language talent pool with this being the first Major for six of the 16 names invited.
Anna Prosser -- a host for Twitch and Blizzard -- enters as a new stage host replacing Matt Andrews, Rachel “SeltzerPlease” Quirico will be returning from the Season 10 Finals as the panel host, the ex-Pro League coach and caster of Jessica "Jess" Bolden will be joining the analyst desk, while the three European names of Derry "Dezachu" Holt, Tim "AceOfPyrite" Leaver, and Ante "Med1cz" Medić each join the lineup after an impressive showing at the OGA PIT Minor in December:
The most notable change from the Season 10 Finals comes as one of the main faces of the French scene and ex-Pro League champion of Benjamin "Sixquatre" Leray withdrew from casting the event after a confrontation with Ubisoft over the Team France lineup in the Road to SI: Creators Cup competition.
The teams will be competing for a total of $3,000,000 -- one million up from last year -- making it by far the biggest event in R6 history. The prize pool is split down as follows:
- 1st - $1,000,000
- 2nd - $450,000
- 3rd - $270,000
- 4th - $200,000
- 5-6th - $150,000
- 7-8th - $110,000
- 9-12th - $80,000
- 13-16th - $60,000
Viewers can earn a total of five exclusive charms by linking your accounts here and watching the event with the VIP Sledge bundle also available as a rare drop for those watching the final day of action. Those at the event, meanwhile, will have a busy schedule of meet and greets with community figures and voice actors to look forward to on top of the action with a rough schedule seen below:
To get an idea on what to expect, we asked a number of notable casters and members of a number of Pro League teams that aren’t playing in the tournament to predict who will finish first and second in their group, who will finish first and second in the whole event and who will be crowned the SiegeGG MVP.
This brought forward the following conclusions:
The reigning Major champions and last year’s Invitational runners-up, Team Empire, are the clear favourites at this event despite failing to qualify for the Season 10 Finals with all but two people picking them to make it out of their groups. Next up, we have the Pro League Season 10 runners-up of DarkZero Esports (DZ) in second, with half those asked putting them within the top two.
The last LAN event that DZ attended saw them find an early exit to Spacestation Gaming in the USN quarter-finals, however this was just after they made two key changes that have both been crucial in keeping them up in second place in the Pro League in Season 11.
For the two remaining teams of FaZe Clan and Fnatic, we have seen very little from since the last Major where FaZe beat Fnatic in straight maps to make it out of the groups. Now, over 75% of predictions list Fnatic as once again failing to make it out of the groups (with 7/10 picks in their favour coming from APAC players or casters), led by just two votes by FaZe (in which 7/9 of the LATAM players and casters asked had them exit their group).
For more details on Group A check out the “By the Numbers” article here.
Next up, we have Group B which is a much more even affair. North America’s last international titleholders and current Pro League leaders of Team SoloMid sit as the group’s favourite with almost everyone picking them having them in first place. In the last place, meanwhile, we have the most successful team in the group in the reigning Pro League champions of Natus Vincere, as they currently sit down in sixth place with a 2-1-4 record in the Pro League at the moment.
For second, however, there comes a close battle between the new European roster of Rogue (previously known as Giants Gaming) which currently sits undefeated in Europe’s Pro League, but has disappointed in a number of international events in the last year. These disappointing results came most notably at the Season 9 and 10 Pro League Finals, where Rogue exited in the quarters, and the last Invitational where the team was also first-rounded. Just behind them comes, Team USA, Spacestation Gaming, who has been a rising power in North America over the last six months and will be sure to contest the group throughout.
For more details on Group B check out the “By the Numbers” article here.
Group C is by far the closest, with three teams in close contention for second-place behind the strong favourites of Team Liquid. Like Empire, Liquid also sits with all by two people predicting them to escape the groups (both from APAC) following their victory at the OGA PIT Minor and BR6 national league and a runners-up finish at DreamHack Montreal, marking the team as a major international challenger.
The remaining three teams see the current leading LATAM team in NiP edge out last season’s semi-finalists of Giants Gaming, who are coming in with one of their key players from last season now playing for Fnatic, and their fellow LATAM roster of MIBR, which put up a strong challenge the OGA PUT Minor before sweeping their opponents in the SI Open Qualifiers to make it a three-horse race in group C.
For more details on Group C check out the “By the Numbers” article here.
Finally, we have the only group without a clear leader in Group D, where the two European rosters of BDS and G2 are miles ahead of their opponents despite a rough few months. After only qualifying for this event via the Ubisoft Invite, G2 ended the first half of the season by replacing Pascal "Cryn" Alouane with Ferenc "SirBoss" Mérész in a surprising move which makes them a real unknown at this event.
Also surprising was BDS’ decision to replace Dimitri "Panix" de Longeaux with Bryan "Elemzje" Tebessi at the beginning of Season 11, a decision which has seen mixed results so far, as the Frenchmen sit below G2 Esports in fifth place so far with a 3-1-3 record in the Pro League.
Below these two leaders comes Team Reciprocity, despite them finishing Season 10 as a semi-finalist and currently sitting in fourth place in North America. With two new players joining the team since the last season, however, it’s hard to know what to expect as they come to a LAN environment once again.
Finally, we have the only team in this group not to make any roster changes since last season -- Wildcard Gaming. With predictions in their favour from just five casters (four ANZ casters and Interro), Wildcard sits as the biggest underdog at the event largely due to a very underwhelming Pro League season so far. This means that just like Fnatic at the last Invitational, they’ll need to trounce everyone’s predictions if they wish to contest the group at all.
For more details on Group D check out the “By the Numbers” article here.
Who Will Win?
Next up we have the predictions on the winner, runner-up and MVP titles which sees the following picks:
Starting with the victors, Team Empire are by far the favourites, sitting with the same number of predictions as next three teams -- Team SoloMid, Team Liquid, and Rogue -- combined, while the top two are then switched for the runners-up predictions, while Liquid sits as third favourite in both. For the MVP, meanwhile, Bryan "Merc" Wrzek has shown himself to be the top favourite, with twice the number of votes of the next closest player.
Here are some quickfire things to notice in the results above:
- G2 Esports isn’t predicted to defend their title by a single player or caster
- DarkZero and Team Reciprocity aren't predicted to make the grand-final by anyone
- Four out of five Team Empire players have been listed as MVP, missing just Scyther
- Despite being our DreamHack Montreal MVP and three of his teammates being listed as MVP picks, no-one selected Beaulo as the Most Value-able Player
- Rogue, SSG, and TSM are the second, fourth and fifth favourites for the event, despite all sitting in Group B together
As well as players and casters, as usual, we also asked staff here at SiegeGG who they thought would come out on top with the following results as Empire once again came out as the favourite with half of all victor picks:
To learn more about how each team has been preparing for the event check out our interview with the teams below:
- Dizzle: "It is a good feeling going back to being an underdog"
- Twister: "We never have an easy shot"
- Karzheka: "I wouldn't risk naming ourselves or anyone else as favourites"
- Mint: "Double-elimination is huge for the game"
- Risze: "I don't think there is a group of death this year"
- Canadian: "The only pressure we have is what we place on ourselves"
- Lunarmetal: "I think we've been on track to improve a great deal"
- NeLo: "We are a team that likes to grind it out when we are struggling"
- Fluxx: "I don’t think [a one-map advantage] is the best experience"
- FoxA: "Group D is one of the easier brackets in comparison"
- Sensi: "LATAM fans always want more from us"
- Bagel: "We are here to prove that we can be one of the best"
- Rxwd: "[Elemzje] has been bringing the cohesion we needed"
- Psycho: "There should be a limit on the teams per region in the same group"
- Pengu: "I think [our situation] feels worse than it is"
- Guille: "Ubisoft should try a Swiss-system tournament"
And so, that’s what to expect for the upcoming Six Invitational starting tonight as 16 teams playoff for their share of the $3,000,000 prize pool. Keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for full results, highlights, roundups and statistics for every game of the major!