With the Pro League kicking off this week, the last week saw a number of national tournaments in action around the world:
- Russian Major League - Season 4
- Spain Nationals - Season 2
- ESL Premiership Spring 2020
- EPS - Season 4
- Elsewhere Around the World
- Must Watch Games of the Next Week
Russian Major League: Season 4 - Failed Revenge for KaMa
The Russian National League kicked off this week with the first of seven weeks of play. Each week sees all eight teams play two best-of-one maps against different teams on Tuesdays and Fridays. This week, Empire and forZe won their games as expected against a range of teams with the forZe vs CrowCrowd game on Friday being the most interesting.
Just before the game, forZe’s in-game-leader of Alexander "KaMa" Chernyshov announced he had left the team and would be playing for forZe’s opposition that day in CrowCrowd to replace the forZe bound player of Pasha "Amision" Chebatkov, effectively meaning the teams had traded players. This created a particularly interesting storyline throughout the match as KaMa made sure to make a comment in chat whenever he killed Amision.
Unfortunately, KaMa couldn’t elevate the team past their Pro League opponents as both him and Amision ended the game with seven kills total while Rask and p4sh4’s eleven kills out-fragged everyone else on CrowCrowd to a 7-3 victory. With this, KaMa now has retired from professional R6 for the foreseeable future meaning CrowCrowd will need to find a permanent fifth by Tuesday’s game.
Elsewhere across these eight games, the two newest teams in the league of 43rti and JFT both impressed with the former finding victory over last season’s third-placed roster of Team Unique, 7-5, and the latter achieving two draws against CrowCrowd and WinRequest, two established teams in the Russian scene. This makes these two lineups ones to watch going forward as they aim to follow in CrowCrowd and Unique’s footsteps and challenge for Europe-wide tournaments in the future.
Spain Nationals: Season 2 - Heretics and Giants Share Points in the Most Anticipated Match of the Season
The fifth week of the competition was a very expected one, as Team Heretics and Giants Gaming, the two leaders of the league faced each other. The league is near to the end of the first leg and things look as close as never before.
Wygers 6-6 Electrify
The week kicked off with an exciting game between two teams that needed the points like water. When the season began, very few people expected Electrify fighting to avoid the relegation zone; however, after four weeks, they only got two points (although giving tough fights to teams like Movistar Riders and Heretics). Meanwhile, Wygers have been very poor and are considered to be one of the weakest teams in the league, so Electrify were the clear favourites here.
Playing in Kafe, things started well for Electrify as they won four out of their six offensive rounds. This, in one of the most defensive maps in the game, was key. Nevertheless, Wygers got to win the following two rounds, although Electrify quickly responded with two defensive wins, putting them in a very good spot. However, a questionable defence in Kitchen and a smart plant in Cocktail meant that the match would end with a draw.
This is Electrify’s fifth match ending with the twelve rounds played, drawing three and losing twice.
AION 1-7 Movistar Riders
After AION’s successful start to the league, winning their first three matches, the roster suffered a tough loss against Cream (7-2 in Villa). This week they had the chance to redeem themselves against Movistar Riders; however, the Riders had different plans.
The match lasted less than thirty minutes ass Riders won their six attacks and, although AION won their first offensive round, the Riders got the three points after winning the eight round. Scythe’s performance was crucial: he finished the match with thirteen kills in seven rounds, including an ace and a KOST of 87%.
Team Wizards 6-6 Team SinOrg
Thursday’s first match was played in Club House and it faced the Wizards against the players of Team SinOrg. The roster without org started things off with two wins On the attack, the first one ending with a 1v1 clutch from Deivid with Lion and his 417 marksman rifle. The second round was more comfortable, with a 4v1 win in Armory.
After the first two rounds, the next four were an exchange of blows as both teams won two rounds. This left Team SinOrg in a good position to win the map; however, Team Wizards quickly reduced the distance and tied things after winning the tenth round.
After winning the eleventh round, Team SinOrg were very close to win their second match of the season. Things looked very good when they were in a 2v1 situation on the last round; however, the Norwegian player of Ghost, with Buck, got to kill Kaid, planted the defuser in Church and ended the round by killing the last defender, getting a 4K and giving his team a point.
Team Heretics 6-6 Giants Gaming
With Giants and Heretics at the top of the table with ten points each, this match was crucial and probably more than three points. The game was played in Border, a map played only once in this season for both sides, as Giants won 7-5 against Movistar Riders.
The Giants Gaming Spanish roster quickly got a 3-0 advantage after three strong attacks, however, Team Heretics responded with two defences that ended in 4v1 situations and a Kuriboh 1v2 clutch when defending Bathroom/Tellers.
Now defending, Giants seemed to take back the control of the match, with two successful defences. Nevertheless, Heretics reacted once again and won three consecutive rounds, being the last one a 3v1 that Curr3nSy almost clutched as he got to kill one, injure the second and left Kuriboh with less than ten hp, but the Heretics player didn’t give him a chance. The last round was played in Vent/Workshop and, although Heretics got to plant the defuser in a 4v5 situation, the Giants killed all their rivals without losing any of their members in the process.
Cream Esports 7-4 Flamengo Stars
The last match of the week featured Cream and the Brazilian roster of Flamengo. Playing in Villa, Cream won four of their six defensive rounds, which later on proved to be enough as they won three of their four offensive rounds. This good attacking performance in Villa is nothing new to this roster, as they won five of their six offensive rounds in the Italian map one week ago, against an even tougher side, AION e-Sports.
This week’s results have made the table look as tight as never before. There are only two points between the first placed team and the fifth. Meanwhile, between the sixth and the relegation zone, there are only three points.
Next week’s most expected matches are Cream Esports vs Movistar Riders (Tuesday, 21:30 CET) and Team Heretics vs AION e-Sports (Thursday, 19:00 CET). Team SinOrg and Flamengo will play a crucial match in the relegation battle, while Wygers will do the same against Team SinOrg. The last match of the week will see Electrify taking Giants Gaming in an attempt to win their first game of the season.
ESL Premiership Spring 2020 - Finals Teams Confirmed
This last week saw two playdays on Wednesday and Thursday followed by the playoffs between seeds three to six on Saturday. Playday six saw the key game between the third and fourth placed teams of Fierce Esports and Randy's with the winner being in contention for a top-two league finish which would allow them to skip the season playoffs and progress straight to the online Finals.
Despite the two teams being so close in the standings, there was a very clear dominant team with Fierce taking three straight offensive rounds on Consulate before finally losing a CEO attack thanks to a triple kill by JTc. Following this, Randy's effectively gave up as made very clear by their Tachanka/Clash strategy on Lobby/Press Room site which, while it did come right down to a 1v1, saw the Tachanka come to no use with him dying a minute into the round without seeing an opponent. Eventually, Fierce managed to run through the remaining rounds to take the map 7-1 with their player of Shermi being the standout player with 12 kills to five deaths.
Elsewhere, we saw many other non-professional plays being made as many teams saw the league as being already over for them or not worth much considering that the LAN Final had already been cancelled due to Coronavirus fears. By the end of the playday, many of the standings had already been determined with Enclave stuck in the relegation zone, Cr4zy guaranteed a Finals position, and just second-place to be played for between Fierce Esports and Demise who then met the following day.
Facing off on Clubhouse, the map was extremely hectic from the offset with eight kills coming in the space of 10 seconds in the very first round which included a triple kill and 1v1 victory by Prox. Demise fought back winning a 2v1 situation themselves before another triple kill by Tyrant on Valkyrie helped give Fierce their first real lead as they went up 4-1 following two more fairly one-sided rounds. Demise eventually won the final round in a flawless fashion ending the half at 4-2, which, considering the banned Maverick, meant Demise could definitely come back on their offence.
A rushed Kitchen-hatch drop and plant attempt was shut down pretty easily to begin Demise’s comeback which was followed up as Demise managed to deny the plant once again on the CCTV objective thanks to a C4 from juzus. With the scoreline now tied up at 4-4, Fierce really needed to get a win, however, Prox dying while crouch walking into the site with the bomb left rhyss in a 1v3 with seven seconds left which Joshglitch promptly shut down. Another botched Kitchen-hatch drop push put Demise on match point before Fierce finally woke up and started winning rounds. Round 11 saw Fierce successfully open up both sides of the CCTV objective with decent manpower remaining allowing them to pick off the remaining defenders and successfully get the bomb down on their fourth attempt this map before, finally, Harris was left in a hopeless 1v4 retake as the map ended 6-6.
With Demise and Fierce joint on points (16 each) and head-to-head round difference (6-6), this meant the overall round difference made the difference putting Fierce ahead 15-12. This meant that Cr4zy and Fierce progressed straight to the online Finals to be joined by the winners of Demise vs Audacity (seeds three vs six) and Cowana vs Randy’s (seeds four vs five). Despite how close much of the season was, these two games were extremely one-sided with the upper seeds taking both games.
Demise won their game in a 2-0 scoreline (8-6, 7-3) largely thanks to the 24 kills by both yuzus and Joshglitch across the 24 rounds with a triple kill by yuzus on Kaid in overtime on map one making the difference there. On the other side iV managed to impress with 19 kills, however, this was clearly not enough with the next top fraggers being on 13 and 12 kills, counts that every player on Demise beat. Following this, the second playoff game ended decisively towards Cowona with a 7-3, 7-1 scoreline. Out of the four rounds which Randy’s won, two came flawlessly and a third saw just a single player die with a few seconds remaining showing they did have a few good showings despite the game ultimately going strongly towards Cowona.
This now means that next Saturday the fifth British national PC title will be crowned between Cr4zy, Cowona, Fierce and Demise online on the RainbowSix_UK Twitch account starting at midday GMT.
EPS: Season 4 - Cr9ck and Oblivion Takes Victories
Despite two matches being delayed, Play-week #3 pressed forward with some exciting contests between many of the frontrunners for playoffs. In particular, the newly-qualified roster known as Cr9ck and Team Oblivion, one of NA’s top Tier-3 teams, secured victories against their opponents to remain undefeated.
On Saturday, the viewers got to enjoy back-to-back Consulate matchups, the latter of the two being utter chaos as Team Oblivion showcased some truly wacky operator lineups to compliment their uber-aggressive playstyle. Though the final result appeared to be highly-contested (7-5 in favour of Team Oblivion), the outcome seemed inevitable as their opponent, Halfway Crooks, were unable to find any counter to the victor’s relentless spawn peeks and rush plants. Even when the match found itself at a 5-5 stalemate, Team Oblivion decisively won the remaining rounds needed without major contest to secure the 3 points and retain their position at #1 in the League.
Be sure to tune in for Playweek #4 this upcoming Saturday and Sunday on the EPSesports Twitch channel, where we’ll be certain to see another contested set of matchups!
Elsewhere Around the World - MNEB, 6 Open Cup and Russian Women's Cup
Firstly, in the MNEB Hungarian Nationals, there were two games of note as WiLD MultiGaming and Nevermore Gaming (placed third and fourth) faced off followed by Salamander and Budapest Five (placed second and first). Both of these games ended conclusively to last season’s grand-finalists of Salamander and WiLD as Budapest fell from first place down to third following their 7-1 loss. With a game against WiLD yet to come and just a single point in it at the moment, B5 are definitely not out of contention yet, however, they will have to improve drastically if they hope to challenge Salamander after such a strong defeat.
Next up there were the 6 Open Cup qualifiers as the Challenger League team of PENTA played in their first real tournament with their new lineup. Unsurprisingly, PENTA took the qualifier in straight maps while the 5 Bots lineup defeated Grizi Esport in the losers’ final to book the second spot in the playoffs. With this, now six of eight spots have been confirmed with the final two to come this coming weekend. Currently, the LAN Final is still to go ahead on April 18th in Paris, however, this is likely to be cancelled as we get closer to the date due to continuing Coronavirus concerns.
Finally, this weekend also saw a fairly small online Women's tournament take place which is unique in a number of ways. Firstly, the tournament only included a single team from the CCS Women’s League lineup with four Russian and a Saudi Arabian team -- PG Esports -- being invited instead to join the third-placed CCS team of EndPoint. As well as this being the very first time a Middle Eastern team has played in a Europe-wide tournament, it also was the first time we have seen players or talent from the nations of Pakistan or Zimbabwe which is a remarkable thing to see. The tournament was eventually won by EndPoint with the second and third-placed teams of BeachGrills and RAKETI both taking them to map three while PG came in fourth.
Must Watch Games of the Next Week
Keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for our separate coverage of the Pro League games later this week. Outside of the Pro League, these are the five must-watch games of the next week around the world:
- Movistar Riders vs Cream Esports in the Spain Nationals tonight at 21:30CET
- Chaos Esports Club vs Granit Gaming in the Nordic Championships on Thursday at 21:00CET
- Team Empire vs forZe in the Russian Major League on Friday at 19:00CET
- The ESL Premiership Grand-Finals on Saturday at ~19:00CET
- Cloud9 vs Talon Esports in the Korean Open Grand-Finals on Sunday at 7:00CET
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