With the Challenger League already in action, we saw a number of national tournaments in action over the last week in action also:
- 6 Open Cup 2020 Finals
- Benelux League - Season 5
- Russian Major League - Season 4
- Elsewhere in R6
- Must Watch Games of the Next Week
6 Open Cup 2020 Finals - PENTA Crowned Victorious
After three open qualifiers in March and the quarter-finals the week prior, the €20,000 6 Open Cup semis and grand-finals took place last weekend as the latest French champions were crowned. The Pro League team of BDS were the clear favourites despite their rough season followed by the two Challenger League teams of Izi and PENTA who had faced off in Europe's CL just the day prior. Finally, we had Otterworld eSport, an almost completely unknown team who defeated the 6 French Challengers runners-up in the quarter-finals to make it this far.
The first game kicked off strong with BDS vs PENTA on Theme Park with the two teams neck-and-neck for most of it despite their inexperience on the map clearly showing. Slow clears by PENTA on their attack cost them initially as it led to multiple last second rushes allowing BDS to capitalise. By the half-way split, the two teams were tied up, however, giving PENTA the advantage as they moved onto the defence. The teams continued their back-and-forth to 5-5 and then 6-5 to PENTA at which point a double-kill by Shaiiko was responded with a triple-kill by BlaZ to end the map, 7-5.
Neither of the next two maps was particularly close, however, as Kafe saw BDS go ahead on the attack to a 4-2 half despite both Thermite and Maverick being banned allowing them to clean up the second half with relative ease to a 7-3 finish. Across this map, Shaiiko was by far the standout player with 14 kills to five deaths while his teammate of Elemzje sat on 10 kills to four deaths, more than making up for Renshiro's single kill across the 10 rounds.
This fire was completely cut out the following map as, after three close rounds, a 1v3 by RevaN on time kicked off a four-round win streak for PENTA to put themselves up 5-2 and very close to knocking out the tournament's favourites. While BDS took round eight thanks to a triple kill by RaFaLe, a 3k 1v2 victory by ENEMY on round 10 ended the map 7-3, and the series 2-1, booking PENTA a spot in the grand-final.
After this thriller, the next matchup seemed to be an easy one as IziDream are looking set to qualify for the Pro League later this week while Otterworld is almost completely inexperienced. Despite this, Otterworld put up quite a fight, particularly on the second map of Coastline. Here, the 18 kill count from P4 and a 16 count from Magest1K dragged both teams all the way to the final round of the map which IziDream won to end the game 7-4, 8-7 set up a grand-final against PENTA. This result cemented Otterworld as a team to look out for in future French and Europe-wide tournaments just as Izi's impressive performance against Rogue at the 6 French League semi-finals last November put them on the map and as Challenger League favourites.
And so PENTA vs IziDream was played to decide which team would walk away with the €10,000 victor's prize, just a single day after the two teams met in the Challenger League which ended with a 6-6, 7-5 scoreline to IziDream on the maps of Consulate and Coastline.
With both teams winning on Theme Park in the semis, this map kicked off the grand-final with the game being defined by BlaZ's outstanding plays. As well as securing 19 kills in just 11 rounds -- eight more than his closest teammate -- he also ended the map with the least number of deaths and, crucially, won a 1v1 victory against the ex-PENTA roster member of Voy to close out the map, 7-4.
While he continued to be the top fragger on his team in the next map of Border, this wasn't a particularly hard task as he was the only player without a negative kill-death spread. Instead, this map was Voy and Shiinka's time to shine with them securing nine kills each across their nine round, 7-2 stomp of PENTA.
And so finally, this set up Kafe to decide the title. Here, after going up 5-1 in their defensive half, PENTA seemed to throw their lead as IziDream's defences led to them winning five out of the next six rounds to push them to overtime thanks to a massive 1v3 victory by Dirza while down 5-6 on series point:
IziDream won the "coin toss" and started out on the favoured defensive side leading them to decimate their opponents on round 13 as Alive was left in an unwinnable 1v4 attacking the Bar objective. PENTA fended off the first series point thanks to a double-kill by ENEMY leaving Chaoxys in a 1v2 with two seconds remaining, to set up a winner-take-all round 15. Here, no kills were seen until the final 30 seconds when PENTA took control of the A-site of the Kitchen objective thanks to ENEMY on a Montagne allowing BlaZ to get a double kill from Prep-room and Kaktus to plant the defuser behind the kitchen counter. This eventually left Shiinka in a 1v3 retake which BlaZ ended to give PENTA the title!
This is, therefore, PENTA's first notable title since the 2018 Castle Siege German nationals which was won with a very different roster. This lineup has, however, won a French national title way back at the Coupe de France 2018 tournament when ENEMY, RevaN and Alive were joined by Voy and Panix. Just prior to this weekend's grand-final, BDS also faced Otterworld eSport in the third-place matchup which ended 5-7, 7-4, 7-3 to the Pro League team, once again showing the prowess of Otterworld.
Benelux League: Season 5 - Rough Start for Defusekids
As the three-times Benelux League champions who have a very good chance to qualify for the Pro League by the end of the week, Defusekids are by far the league favourites, however, their performance so far has been much less than desired as they struggled in their opening two games.
Game one was against Sector One -- a mixed-European roster led by the Season 3 semi-finalist of WishMaster -- on Theme Park with DK starting on the attack. S1 came out strong as BaasheD on Jager secured a triple kill to win round one, followed up by a 1v1 and a 3k by MXKX on round two and a 4k by BaasheD on round three. By this point, S1 was clearly outfragging their Challenger League opponents, however, two relatively clean takes by DK allowed Leonski to get the plant down twice to take both rounds before Duco won a 1v2 on round six to end the half, 4-2.
As sides switched, a 1v3 by Avaiche on Bandit was responded to with an action-packed round eight as Leonski got a 1v4 down to a 1v2 before almost denying the defuser plant before dying. At 5-3, DK now switched on and seemed unstoppable from here on out. A flawless round nine was followed up by rounds 10 and 11 which both saw S1 players in 1v4 situations to psuh Defusekids all the way to a 6-5 lead which they closed out on round 12 as a double kill by Cryn on Wamai was cleaned up by Avaiche on Bandit.
With this close call dealt with, DK's next game the following day was against Epsilon eSports in a rematch of last season's grand-final which DK won following a forfeited map and a forced substitution by Epsilon. In a very similar story seen in Defusekids' last match, Epsilon took a strong round one followed by a post-plant 1v2 clutch by Deox on round two against Leonski. This was made up for, however, the following round as Deox lost a 1v1 against Avaiche to put DK on the scoreboard which was quickly doubled thanks to a triple kill by Avaiche on round four. DK secured just two kills across the next two rounds meaning Epsilon ended the half up, 4-2.
Just like last game, Defusekids hoped to come back from this which, considering they were now on the defence on the most defence-sided map in the pool, shouldn't be too difficult. Unfortunately for them, however, Epsilon's attacks were solid with as they got the bomb down onto the Aviator/Games Room site before successfully defending it round six and Deox won a 1v1 against Cryn on round eight before, finally DK got back on the board as Cryn got his revenge in a 1v2 against Deox and JP. A 4k by Deox pushed the game closer to a draw before Deox closed out the game with a quadruple kill of his own to defeat the reigning champions, 7-4.
Elsewhere, both mCon and Mouseplayz won both their games against Epsilon (playing with a substitute) and El Whiz Wranglers for mCon and Ux and XY for Mouseplayz. This put them firmly at the top of the league while both XY and UX sit at the bottom with zero points so far. This makes Wednesday's matchup between Mouse and mCon a key one as we see which one of them will keep their unbeaten record intact and create a real lead at the top of the table.
Russian Major League: Season 4 - 1 Loss and 3 Close Calls for Empire
16 games have taken place in the Russian national tournament over the last two weeks creating an awful lot to talk about. These games included the huge Pro League meetup between forZe and Empire last Tuesday as the two teams met on Clubhouse with this being Empire's chance to close the six-point gap between the two teams and to guarantee themselves a spot in the online Finals.
ForZe gained an increasing lead on their defensive half on Clubhouse as Empire couldn't find an in without going down in manpower leaving them little time and outnumbered to execute onto the site. This meant that Empire looked to be getting completely swept at 1-4 down before they managed to gain one last win at the end of the half thanks to three kills in the space of three seconds by Scyther to end the half, 4-2.
As Empire started defending, momentum immediately swapped as they tied up the scoreline by taking rounds seven and eight without breaking a sweat, with dan securing a 4k in the latter:
Empire took round eight as karzheka won a 1v1 against wTg before forZe kept everything tight with a flawless round for themselves. ForZe pushed to match point as wTg shut down karzheka's 1v2 attempt before Empire ended the match in a draw thanks to Joystick's very late double kill which included p4sh4 as he was 0.73 seconds away from planting the defuser.
This result was just one of four 12-round thrillers by Empire over their last two weeks of RML games as they defeated both fifth-placed Team Unique and third-placed 43rti, 7-5, while falling to fourth-placed CrowCrowd on the 17th in an equally as close, 5-7 scoreline.
This latter result came despite karzheka securing a two kill-death ratio with 14 kills to seven deaths compared to CC's best player of Frey's 15 kills to nine deaths. By the end of CrowCrowd's first half on Coastline's attack, they were up in a 4-2 lead before quickly pushing to match point at 6-2. From this point, Empire mounted a comeback all the way back to round twelve at which point a 5v5 was closed out flawlessly in the space of 18 seconds with most of Empire hardly making it into the building.
Elsewhere in R6 - New Leagues, the Nordic Championship and the Operation League Taiwan Finals
The Nordic Championship played its last playday before their month-long break last week which saw a single surprise victory as third-placed Granit Gaming took down GiFu eSports in second place in GiFu's second defeat of the season. With this being in the middle of GiFu's Challenger League super-week, the defeat can be likely explained by their lack of focus on the league but, either way, this signals a huge change in the league as Granit pushes into a top-two position. The league will return on May 21st and continue every Thursday till its conclusion in mid-July.
Season 2 of the Operation League Taiwan tournament came to its close last weekend also as the undefeated team during the regular season of Team Notorious took down teh reigning champions of 7th Heaven 7-5, 7-4 to win the $8,300 victor's prizepool. DCC also unsurprisingly took down THEM Gaming, 7-3, 8-7, to secure third place after they ended the regular season with 31 points compared to THEM's 14.
Finally, the last week saw three major new tournaments be announced in the ~$31,900 Six Masters 2020 League which kicks off on Tuesday and will include seven ANZ Pro League teams, the 2020 GSA League which will see two teams qualify to join six invited teams in the national tournament for Germany, Switzerland and Austria and the Polish Masters which kicks off in a months time following two more qualifiers to also join six invited teams. Keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for coverage of these tournaments closer to the time.
Must Watch Games of the Next Week
Keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for our separate coverage of the Pro and Challenger League games later this week. Outside of the Pro League, these are the five must-watch games of the next week around the world:
- Wildcard Gaming vs Team SiNister in the Six Masters on Tuesday at 11:00CEST
- Pittsburgh Knights vs Team Ferox in the Six Masters on Wednesday at 13:30CEST
- Defusekids vs Mouseplayz in the Benelux League on Thursday at 19:00CEST
- CrowCrowd vs Team Unique in the Russian Major League on Friday at 21:00CEST
- Budapest Five vs Team Plague in the MNEB on Saturday at 19:00CEST