The GSA Nationals this year will take the form of a four-month-long league, kicking off next Thursday. With three Pro League teams taking part and a record amount of prize money on the line, here's everything you need to know about the tournament:
What makes this league stand out amongst many other nationals in Europe is its sheer star power in teams as it includes both of the region's Pro League leaders from Season 11, as well as one of the Challenger League victors.
G2 Esports - Pengu, Kantoraketti, UUNO, CTZN, Virtue, Shas (Coach), and Sua (Coach)
Despite the full lineup only consisting off a single German alongside two Brits, two Finns, one Dane, and one Australian, this G2 Esports roster enters the league thanks to all players currently being German residents and their organisation being based in Germany as a way to promote national organisations.
As the successor of the lineup which won three Pro League titles, two Six Invitationals, a Six Major, and a Minor, this team has a huge fanbase that will be cheering them on throughout the league. Despite this, with the exit of Goga and Fabian over the last six months, this core lineup has technically yet to win a single title, with them having played just half a season with their newest players of CTZN and Virtue so far, making this league act as crucial practice for the team.
Prior to this, this G2 Esports roster had never competed in a national tournament together since it had first formed in Season 3. Pengu has, however, previously been crowned the Nordic and Spanish champion, UUNO has won the annual Gamers' Assembly tournament held in Poitiers, France, Virtue is the reigning Six Masters ANZ champion, CTZN is the three-times British national champion, and, Kantoraketti won the very first Nordic Championship event back in August 2017. This makes the 2020 GSA League a must-watch for many as we see the new-look G2 lineup in action every week.
Rogue - AceeZ, Hicks, Korey, Ripz, and Risze
The back-to-back reigning French champions of Rogue now jump from that scene over to the DACH (Germany, Austria, and Switzerland) region to compete in the GSA league due to their new German-majority lineup. This is a major win for German R6 as, prior to the 2019 GSA Nationals, very few high-level national tournaments took place in the region, with the Castle Siege, Saturday League, Six Lounge Series all gaining relatively little attention compared to neighbouring nationals.
As the reigning European Pro League champions, Rogue will theoretically be the favourites in this league alongside G2 Esports as they hope to gain another national title under their belt after finishing top two in Europe's Pro League for the last three seasons running. With their coach Crapelle leaving just over two weeks ago, they do enter the tournament at a disadvantage compared to their two fellow Pro League lineups, who both include multiple support staff members.
However, while this roster is new to the German scene, the players are not. AceeZ, ripz, and korey were all previously crowned as the national champions while on OrgLess after winning the Six Lounge Series #6 Finals in July 2018. As well as this, ripz is also the reigning German National champion and a winner of the Six Lounge Series #4 Finals.
OrgLess - KS, Drvn, Prano, Hife, Exp0, Lazzo (Coach), Omerta (Coach), and Titan (Analyst)
After qualifying for the Pro League two weeks ago, the OrgLess roster led by the two times ex-Pro League champion of KS will return to the GSA League this year as its reigning champions. While the lineup has gone through a number of players over the last few years, this team has been the backbone of German R6 since it first made it to the Pro League back in Season 6. Since then, every single German player to compete in the Pro League with the exception of Next1 has played on OrgLess, much like ENCE eSports in Year Two, shepherding in national talent to the top tiers of R6.
Now, after a year on the sidelines, OrgLess will not only be competing in the Pro League against top-tier opponents, but will see the two best teams in Europe come to them to challenge for their sub-regional title. In the last year, OrgLess has won both the 2019 German National title and the 2020 GSA Clash of Nations title, but has had very little opposition in these tournaments as the only Challenger League team participating.
mYinsanity - Shark, Neox3005, BLZRT, Eleven and Renup
These five Swiss players enter the tournament as the 2019 Swiss National champions following their victory at the Zurich Games Show event last year. This win then qualified the team for the GSA Finals at DreamHack Leipzig, where they were demolished by the eventual champions of OrgLess in a 7-3, 7-0 scoreline.
While this roster is not expected to be challenging the three pro-tier teams, this will be the biggest R6 tournament any Swiss team has ever played in and will be a massive opportunity for the players involved.
Turtle eSport - NERO, Sla7k0, KurtXTRM, Hudri, C0rnyyy, Sadrzm, ICMN (Coach), and Torin (Coach)
The Turtle eSport organisation has been playing in German national events since the end of 2017 with the players of ICMN, KurtXTRM, Torin, and Sla7k0. Since then, they have changed a number of players and the organisation briefly acquired an academy roster (which since turned into the WarKidZ E-Sports lineup) as it remained a staple of the scene.
Now, following a fourth-place finish at the Castle Siege 2018 LAN, a quarter-finals finish at the Six Lounge Series #6 LAN (both alongside the current Pro League player of Exp0), and two last-place finishes in Seasons 1 and 2 of the Saturday League, they will play in yet another national event against the biggest teams in Europe.
WarKidZ E-Sports - Aeserith, minimichecker, Daemon, Tooobi, Fr0xXy and Zeus (Coach)
This team has been invited following their appearance at the GSA Clash of Nations as the Austrian champions where they exited in the semi-finals. Despite being the "Austrian" team, the team includes no Austrian players, only shares a single player and a coach from the Clash of Nations lineup, and only qualified for the Clash of Nations following the disqualification of Alpenfestung on the morning of the tournament due to unsportsmanlike behaviour.
This means that it is very unclear what to expect from this lineup as we have not seen them in action before, and especially not at a tournament of this calibre. We have, however, seen a number of these players in the previous German national tournaments, with Minimichecker and Zeus representing WarKidZ in Season 2 of the Saturday League, in which they finished in fifth.
DIVIZON - ASTRO, Shermi, Kapkan, Mekses and Solotov
Joining these six invited teams come two qualified teams, the first of which is DIVIZON. This lineup is a mixed British, Austrian, Danish, Polish, and Turkish roster, which includes the GSA Clash of Nations 2020 runner-up of ASTRO, the ex-Benelux champion and 2019 German National runner up of Shermi, and Mekses, who finished the last three Polish nationals in third, second, and first, as well as a runners-up finish in the PG Italian Nationals.
As well as this individual experience, the team also showed its prowess in the Challenger League qualifiers while known as Ronald Mc Dyrt Byke after it finished the open qualifiers in fifth place above teams such as Mkers, Heretics, and GamerLegion. Following this, it came a single round from defeating Cr4zy (then known as MnM Gaming) in the closed qualifiers (7-8, 7-4, 3-7), before finishing in joint-seventh place.
This experience makes this team one to look out for when the league kicks off as it looks to challenge for a spot in Europe's tier-two scene in 2020.
Trsh - StrkR, BZ, Gsla, Daya and KeTo
Last but not least is Trsh, who also made it to the GSA League via the open qualifiers in a flawless fashion. The team itself is largely unknown, however both StrkR and BZ have notable histories in prior German nationals. StrkR previously finished as the runner-up at the Six Lounge Series #6 Finals and played alongside the previously mentioned Turtle eSport roster during both Saturday League seasons, while BZ played alongside the three OrgLess players of Prano, Hife, and Exp0 on GoSkilla in the 2019 German Nationals and during both Saturday League seasons.
The games will kick off on Thursday at 7 PM CEST (UTC+1) with four best-of-one map games being played each week for fourteen weeks in a format that copies that of the Pro League. Following this, the top four teams will progress to the presumably-online playoffs where they will fight for the title of the 2020 GSA Champion -- not to be confused with the GSA Clash of Nations title won by OrgLess last January.
As well as this title, a huge prize pool of €40,000 (~$43,900) will be awarded to the teams with the following split:
- 1st place - €10,000
- 2nd place - €8,000
- 3-4th place - €5,200
- 5th place - €4,000
- 6th place - €3,200
- 7th place - €2,400
- 8th place - €2,000
With three Pro League teams and €40,000 on offer, this makes the GSA League the second-largest in the world, trailing the ongoing 2020 Japan Nationals.
Week One will see the following games kick off proceedings, with all eyes on the Pro League face-off between OrgLess and G2 Esports, which will be OrgLess' first game against a Pro-tier opponent this year.
The games will be played on the rainbow6de Twitch channel and will presumably be cast by the usual German-language casters of Verdipwnz, ShatterXx, ThoreBnB, Harris, and AgOnY.
Previously, the channel has hosted the following notable DACH national events over the last two years, which the GSA League is effectively replacing:
- GSA Clash of Nations 2020 - OrgLess: KS, Lazzo, Drvn, Prano, Hife, and rcuth (Coach)
- German National 2019 - OrgLess: KS, Lazzo, ripz, Cry1n, Eastwood, and rcuth (Coach)
- Swiss Nationals 2019 - mYinsanity: Axios, Shark, Renup, KaKaShI, and Neox3005
- Austrian Nationals 2019 - Alpenfestung: Pacher, Slypher, Hornet, Djuna, and WolfRefleXxx
- Saturday League Season 2 - Team GamerLegion: Rotko4, Haze, iqorex, Herness, Teddis, and Mrofficer88 (Coach)
- Saturday League Season 1 - PENTA: ENEMY, RevaN, Hungry, SirBoss, blas, and Jess (Coach)
- Castle Siege 2018 - PENTA Sports: Panix, Enemy, RevaN, Hungry, SirBoss, and Jess (Coach)
- Six Lounge Series #6 - OrgLess: AceeZ, KS, ripz, Vale, korey, and Lazzo (Coach)
As can be seen, the German national scene has been very disorganised over this period, something that the GSA Nationals is hoping to fix by having one standardised tournament to watch and crown a single German national champion each year.
This also means there are 11 ex-champions from these tournaments playing in the GSA League across the three teams of OrgLess, Rogue, and mYinsanity:
- Three-times champions: KS and Lazzo
- Two-times champion: ripz
- One-time champions: Drvn, Prano, Hife, Shark, Renup, Neox3005, AceeZ, and korey
Keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for further coverage of the league throughout the season when it kicks off later this week.