The Six Invitational was one of the most competitive Rainbow Six events ever seen over four years of esports competition. At the end, a new world champion was crowned, and significant shakeups will now change the face of the ranking for the coming months. New contenders rise to the top, and old powerhouses fall by the wayside.
1. Spacestation Gaming (+2)
A North American team has not topped the rankings for a very long time. Canadian was a part of the Continuum roster that won the 2017 Six Invitational, and now lifts his second hammer, tied for most of any player with the G2/Penta core. SSG has proven that their red-hot run at the end of 2019 was not a fluke, and the team is the best in the world on LAN. The only team at the invitational to not lose a single match, every other team dropped at least two series on their way to being eliminated. SSG scored best-of-3 wins over TSM (#2) twice, NiP (#3), Darkzero (#4), Na’Vi (#7), and MIBR (#14).
Placements: (last six months)
2. Team SoloMid (+2)
TSM comes in at number two in the ranking, narrowly edging out NiP just below, despite a worse finish than them at the invitational. This may seem confusing at first, but can be explained in several ways. First, while NiP won in the lower bracket final, that match was not the first time the two teams had met in the tournament. TSM beat them 2-0 in the quarterfinals, so the overall head-to-head record between the two teams is 2-2 at the invitational. Additionally, TSM had a stronger online half of PL season 11, with a 6-1-0 record compared to NiP’s 4-1-2 record. Overall the two teams are extremely close to one another and should both be strong contenders on LAN for the foreseeable future.
3. Ninjas in Pyjamas (+6)
The Ninjas have taken the title of LATAM’s best team and run with it, due to their deep finish at the biggest tournament of the year and the disappointing group stage exits of both Team Liquid and Faze Clan. Looking back, the Season 10 Finals in Japan now seem to be a huge opportunity missed because of the team’s visa issues. The first-ever Brazilian team in a Major final will now look to be the region’s best shot at an international title moving into 2020.
4. Darkzero Esports (+3)
Darkzero should have now silenced all possible doubters about the team’s prowess on LAN, they are not just an online team. The team made a run to top-six at the Invitational, including a win over former #1 Team Empire, and only lost to the two tournament finalists. The new Skys and Ecl9pse roster seems to be successful after taking some time to gel together. The competition at the top of North America looks to be fierce headed into the second half of the season.
5. BDS Esport (+7)
After a rough start to their pro league careers, BDS’ addition of Elemzje following the team’s early exit at OGA PIT seems to be a success. The team’s run to fourth place at the Invitational includes wins over Wildcard, Reciprocity, MIBR, and Fnatic. The team’s fifth-place standing in Pro League leaves something to be desired, but they still sit within striking distance in a crowded top-half of the EU table.
6. Team Empire (-5)
Team Empire held onto the number one spot for nine months, but have finally relinquished it following their shocking group-stage exit at the Invitational. They first rose to the top following their victory at the Milan Pro League Finals and cemented their position with a victory at the Raleigh Major. Their lead had shrunk considerably due to the team’s failure to qualify for the Season 10 Finals in Tokoname Japan, but the Russian squad were still the de facto favorites headed into the Invitational. Now the team must prove that their underperformance in Montreal was an uncharacteristic slip in form rather than a permanent decline.
7. Natus Vincere (-1)
Natus Vincere had risen to the #2 spot in the world following their Pro League crown in Japan, but have steadily declined since then due to spotty performances. Currently the UK side sits all the way in sixth place in Pro League and retains little hope of reaching the Sao Paulo finals in May. Their group-stage exit at the Invitational looks a lot worse than perhaps it is, given they had the first and third-placed teams in their group. Additionally, Navi was even able to take a map off of SSG, something only TSM and NiP were able to replicate at the Invitational.
8. Team Liquid (-6)
Team Liquid looked so good headed into the Invitational. Surely, this was the time the Brazilian powerhouse would finally break the streak of disappointing finishes. Their sweep of the OGA PIT Minor had shown their potential, and now was the time for a deep finish to prove their strength. Instead, we had a disaster. Liquid looked off, and never seemed to get into the groove they had shown all throughout the last several months. Now it’s back to the drawing board as the team looks to redeem themselves in the shadow of NiP, the new consensus best Brazilian team.
9. G2 Esports (-1)
According to many, G2 shouldn’t have been at the invitational. After many failures to qualify, the legendary team received an invitation from Ubisoft to take the final spot at the event, after a good deal of controversy. However, once at the event the team demonstrated they aren’t ready to be wholly discounted, winning their group to secure top-eight at the event. Their roster situation remains uncertain, with SirBoss only on as a standin for the Invitational, the team may now pursue a more permanent addition to the team.
10. Fnatic (+9)
After being counted out by the vast majority of the community, Fnatic has proved that their new roster can contend with the best, and have returned to the upper echelon of competition. The traditional APAC powerhouse had fallen on hard times following a last-place exit at the Raleigh Major and an upset loss at the Season 10 APAC Finals to Aerowolf (now Giants Gaming). They redeemed themselves with a top-six placing at the Invitational, with wins over Team Empire and G2 Esports, two traditional powerhouses. With this, they jump nine places to return to the top ten, the largest jump of any team in this ranking update and the first APAC team in the top ten since Fnatic themselves had the same place before Raleigh.