The Spain Nationals first leg ended one month ago, with the Vodafone Giants leading the competition, closely followed by Team Heretics. Now, however, teams have changed a fair bit and new faces have been introduced.
Let's have a quick look at what happened during the first two months.
The First Leg
Although Giants and Heretics have led the league since the very first day, the rest of the teams have also shown strong performances during the entire season. A word that perfectly summarises the league is equality.
- The competition has seen 482 rounds of a possible 540 (89.2%)
- 22 out of 40 matches played have seen a twelfth round (10 of these have ended in a draw).
Behind the Giants and the Heretics, we find Movistar Riders and Cream Esports, with 18 and 15 points, respectively. These are the only two teams that have closely followed the two leaders' steps. Furthermore, the only matches they have lost have been against Heretics and/or Giants.
The rest of the competition has built its own group of sorts, swapping places every week. Nowadays, we find Flamengo Stars and Team SinOrg in fifth and sixth position, both with 10 points. Meanwhile, AION e-Sports is seventh with nine points, a team that started the competition with three wins in the first three weeks but has not earned a single point since then.
In eight place we find Electrify Esports, with seven points, then Wizards and Wygers, both with five. Electrify's roster was the team that suffered the most to win a match, as they only got their first three points in the seventh week. Nevertheless, their large number of draws have helped them to finish the first leg inside the LAN zone while both Wizards and Wygers are placed in the relegation zone.
As far as the maps go, Clubhouse was the most played one (9), followed by Kafe (8), Villa and Border (7), and Coastline (6). The rest of the matches were played on Consulate (4), Theme Park (3), and Bank (1, isn't part of the map pool anymore).
If we pay attention to the operator bans, we see that Thatcher, Capitao, and Maverick are the most-banned operators (a total of 26, 20 and 11 times respectively) on attack, while Mira (35) and Echo (20) have been the most banned operators for the defence.
But, who are the names in these Spain Nationals? Let's have a look at the ten teams.
* Check the tweet to find out every move made during the transfer market.
1. Vodafone Giants: 23 points
The Spanish roster has completed a brilliant first leg. Giants is, alongside Heretics, one of the two rosters that still haven't lost a game. Their undefeated status and the fact that they drew just two matches is mainly thanks to their experience and ability to face pressure: they have never lost the twelfth round, drawing against Team Heretics and Team SinOrg, and winning against Movistar Riders.
- Giants Gaming is the team that has won more attacks (29, a 67.4%). They also have the biggest percentage of rounds won in the league (64.9%).
- Iluzjonist is the player with the most kills (107). He's also the second player with more OK (21).
- Jwey and Therox are the two players that have survived the most, as they survived in 47 rounds.
We talked with DriD to know more about Giants' roster:
This is your first season as a coach and the team is undefeated, only dropping points in two weeks out of seven. Did you expect to finish the first leg in first place?
We train to improve, although we don't play thinking where we're going to finish the season. We just play, little by little.
2. Team Heretics: 21 points
Their season, overall, has been very good. Although they started with tight results against mid-table teams, the Heretics have kept a great pace during the entire season, drawing in three occasions, two against Giants and Movistar Riders. Heretics have shown a great capacity to dominate their matches and a great regularity that helped them to finish the first leg in second place, only two points behind Giants.
Things to highlight:
- Kuriboh is the player with the most clutches (5).
- Team Heretics is the team that has won the most defensive rounds (33). They have played 46 defensive rounds, which means that they have the highest percentage of won defences (71.7%).
- Team Heretics is the team that has played the most times in Border (3) although their first appearance in the map was in the fifth week.
- They are the only roster which has banned Bandit. They always banned the German operator in Clubhouse, two times, winning both matches.
We talked with Kuriboh to know more about the team:
Your roster is the team that has won more defences, with a percentage that's above the 70%. However, your offensive results, although above the league's average, are clearly lower than your main rivals, Giants and Riders. Does this difference, between attack and defence, worry you?
It obviously worries us and we're aware that this difference exists. It's true that it's easier to defend, but this doesn't mean that we don't have to win offensive rounds. We like attacking and we know that these rounds make the difference, and this is why nowadays we're working a lot to improve in this aspect. We know which are the problems and one of these it's the communication, so we're focusing on that.
3. Movistar Riders: 18 points
Movistar Riders' start to the league was a bit messy. The first week ended with a draw against Electrify, while the second ended with a loss in "El Clásico" against the Giants. Wesker's team woke up just in time and won their next three matches against TSO, AION, and Wygers, nine points that left them as the top-two contenders. In the sixth week, we got to watch one of the best matches played so far: tied at ten points, the riders faced Cream in a game that ended in a draw.
Movistar Riders' players then managed to win two of their last three matches, against Flamengo Stars and Wizards, while they drew against Team Heretics.
Things to highlight:
- D4rk1 and Billordo are the players with the highest KOST, with 0.76 and 0.73 respectively.
- Billordo is still one of the main planters in the league, this time in second place (13), just behind Basily (Cream, 15).
- Movistar Riders is, alongside Electrify, the only team that has banned Jackal, doing so when they play in Coastline (always banning Valkyrie alongside the Spanish operator).
We talked with Wesker to know more about the team:
After a slow start, Movistar Riders has shown that they can keep up with the leaders. Can we expect Riders to surpass Giants and Heretics, the two favorites?
I think that we already showed that Riders is on the same level as Giants and Heretics. We'll try to be more regular during the second leg in order to get better results, especially against the "favourites".
4. Cream Esports: 15 points
This team has improved a lot since last season. Cream, who has recently signed with the Spanish football team Real Betis, started building this roster after Season's 1 mid-season break, where they were candidates to get relegated. Now, they already have put a step towards the next round.
Cream's roster started the season with a loss against the current leaders, Giants Gaming. Nevertheless, Cream did not lose another game until the seventh week, when Heretics defeated them 7-1. A dramatic tie against TSO and a comfortable win against Wizards meant they would end the first leg in fourth place.
Things to highlight:
- Basily is the player that has planted the most (15). He's also the player that has killed the least (37).
- Cream Esports is the team that has planted most times (23). They are also one of the three teams that have planted at least once with all their members.
- EscrivaZ is the third player with the most kills (89). He's also the player with the most OK in the competition (25).
We have talked with ByTommy to know more about Cream Esports:
Kafe is the second most played map in the Spain Nationals, as it's been played 8 times, only behind Clubhouse. However, apart from Giants -- team that you previously coached before signing for Cream -- your team is the only one that hasn't stepped into the Russian map (you have banned it six times). Is this going to change?
I like both things, the map and the drink. Kafe is a map that's decided on who wins more attacks. Our Kafe hasn't been seen because our opponent hasn't allowed us. We have things prepared that this map hasn't seen many times.
5. Flamengo Stars: 10 points
The Flamengo Stars are a special case in Europe. At first sight, this seems to be a normal national team, but they aren't just another team: three of the five players are Brazilians (Couto, Thuunder, and Arthur, plus the rest of the staff).
This roster ended the first half of the season in fifth place. The team has shown two faces during the first nine weeks: the first one wasswas between the first and the fifth week -- a month where they only scored one point (against the bottom team, Wizards). However, between the sixth and the ninth week, the Brazilian roster got nine points, after winning three consecutive matches and losing the last game against Movistar Riders by 5-7.
↓ Robinn, Almeida.
↑ Nakinak, batfat.
Things to highlight:
- Couto is the second player with the most kills (92).
- Arthur is the fourth player with the most OK (19). However, he is also the player with the most OD (22).
- Arthur has completed three clutches, as he's the fourth best in this stat.
- Flamengo Stars is the team that has planted the least in the competition (9).
- Couto is the player that unites both countries, as he gives the information both in Spanish and in Portuguese.
We talked with Couto to know more about his team:
To give some context to our readers, the biggest part of your roster is Brazilian, which makes you an almost international roster. However, you're the team that connects the Spanish part to the "samba" of the group. How are you dealing with this role? How do you feel?
I feel thankful to be this "connector" between the Brazilians and the Spanish players. I had to adapt in the matches and play an IGL role. It was difficult at the beginning but I think that this has helped me to grow as a better player, as I had to leave my comfort zone and I had to practice to get to the next level. After the changes, I feel that the team is stronger and we feel ready to face the second leg. We know that it's going to be difficult to adapt but we will give our 500% so things can work between us.
6. Team SinOrg: 10 points
In sixth place, we find TSO. This team has shown great potential during the whole season, losing only three matches, two of them against Movistar Riders and Team Heretics (their third loss came against Flamengo). We have to add the fact that they are, alongside Heretics, one of the two teams that stole points off the Vodafone Giants.
Although the team has only lost once in the last five matches, the roster has made three changes, which created a lot of noise in the Spanish scene. The spectators are not sure how the roster is going to perform, as two of the reinforcements have very little experience in the competitive scene (Joab and Gerva).
↓ Rulo, Th3Al3XD.-, Cristiano
↑ Naoresh, Gerva.
Things to highlight:
- Deivid is the fourth placed in terms of kills (87).
- Team SinOrg has played seven times the twelfth round. They have only won it three times, drawing against Wizards and Giants and losing to Heretics and Flamengo, losing a total of 8 points. However, they won the last two times they had to play a twelfth round.
- Team SinOrg has played only four different maps, being the only ones alongside Electrify. Kafe and Club -- 3 times -- are their most used maps.
- Team SinOrg has banned Capitao in eight of nine games.
We talked with Deivid to know more about his team:
A lot has been said about Team SinOrg since the beginning of the transfer market. However, your team got promoted this season and you're now tied with Flamengo in fifth place. How do you think the new transfers will improve your team?
It's a risky decision, honestly, as they are two young players without experience but at the same time I think this movement it's something that we needed. We're working quite well and if we keep the good vibes we can achieve our objectives.
7. AION e-Sports: 9 points
A great start but a sloppy ending is the perfect definition for a roster that won its first three matches in an impressive way, but seemed to disappear since then. The team hasn't earned a single point since Week 3, when they won against Wizards in the only match played in Bank.
In fact, five of their last six matches played have concluded by the tenth round, losing by 1-7 against Movistar, 2-7 against Team Heretics, Cream and Giants and 3-7 against TSO. They did lose 5-7 when they faced off Electrify, but it was Electrify's first win in the competition.
After these results the roster decided to make changes, as Dhubleidd and batfat left the team to make space for Rulo and Th3Al3XD.-, who were playing for TSO. The team also signed an analyst, Blade.
↓ batfat & Dhubleidd
↑ Rulo, Th3Al3XD.-
Things to highlight:
- Since AION's last victory (Week 3) the roster has only won 10 rounds (out of 33) in defence and 15 (out of 57) in attack. This means that AION has only won 30.3% of their defensive rounds and 26.3% of their offensive rounds.
- AION's roster is the team that has played the least rounds (89).
- Batfat was the player with the best numbers, as he was the player with the biggest KOST, the second best KPR (kills per round) of the league and the fifth player with more kills. He is also the player that has defused more times.
We talked with DSGabilanED to know more about the team:
After an amazing start to the league with three consecutive wins, the team played six matches without earning a single point. This great start allows you to face the second leg in a LAN position. Do you feel ready?
Yes, it's true, after the first loss the team had troubles and we tried to solve them week after week. There were matches where we thought we were solving them but we couldn't. This mid-season break will help us. Our objective is to qualify for the LAN Finals, I trust in our team and I'm sure that we can make it together. It's in our hands.
8. Electrify Esports: 8 points
Viewers expected them to be one of the main contenders after doing great in the European Challenger League qualifiers, but this wasn't the case.
As a promoted team, their start to the season was great, drawing against Movistar Riders and Team Heretics, and losing by 5-7 against another top-four side, Cream Esports. However, their first win in the competition came in the eighth round, when they won against AION e-Sports.
This roster has suffered a lot when closing matches, and has been forced to play the twelfth round in seven of their nine appearances (only Giants, 2-7, and Flamengo, 4-7 saw Electrify defeated before the twelfth round). In fact, Electrify was ahead in the twelfth round in three of their four draws.
Things to highlight:
- Electrify Esports is the team that has played more rounds (104 out of a possible 108).
- Four of their nine games were played in Kafe (two in Clubhouse, two in Consulate and one in Coastline, where they won against AION). Three of the four matches played in Russian territory ended in a draw.
- Electrify is, alongside TSO, the only roster that has only played in four maps.
- Jot4 is the second player with the least OD (2), while he's one of the players with the most OK (11).
We have talked with Jot4 to know more about the team:
This season looked good for your team, after playing in the Challenger League closed qualifier and signing for an organisarion a few days before the start of the Spain Nationals. However, things didn't go as planned. What are you trying to focus on the rest of the season?
Greetings! You're right. We were confident at the start of the season after playing the Challenger qualifiers and doing a great job there. Maybe we were too confident and it played against us. The Spain National rosters are teams that spend a lot of time analyzing and that also was against us. We will use this second leg to "start again", get ready for every game like it’s the last. We know that we have a very good roster, we have already proven this, we only need to adapt and play better against Spanish teams, which are very different to play against compared to European teams. We're working on this adaptation and we're sure we will get better. We know that it's very difficult to win in this regular phase so we want to focus on our mistakes and qualify to the LAN Finals.
9. Wygers: 5 points
The team of the white tigers currently sits in the first relegation spot. The roster has only earned points in three different matches, drawing against Electrify and Cream and winning against Wizards.
Overall, their performances have been poor and haven't shown signals that the situation is going to revert soon. This roster has been doing great with attacks, following a style that brings us memories from a certain French team.
Things to highlight:
- Reina is the second player that has died the most times (82).
- YOORPU is the player with the biggest headshot percentage (75%, 11% more than the second placed player).
- Wygers has only won 16 rounds out of 48 in defence, a 33.3%. They are the worst team at defending.
- Wygers is the only team that has played twice in Theme Park. Although it seems to be a defensive map, Wygers has only won two out of eight defences.
- Four of their five points came on Clubhouse.
We talked with LioN to know more about the team:
Your team has won 46% of your attacks, which makes you the second best team out of the Top 4. However, in a defensive meta -- although in the Nationals things look to be pretty equal -- your team is the worst on defence. How are you trying to solve this problem?
We realised that things didn't work out as we expected. We have zero problems at coordination during attacks and we always go for what's best for everyone, that's why we're better at attacking, we have great communication and we do everything the IGL says. However, on defence, we don't have the same synchronization, we don't play as much as a team, everyone has their own zone and we forget to help the rest of the team. We know which are our mistakes and we are focusing on solving them. We have seen an improvement so we expect to do better during the second half.
10. Wizards Esports: 5 points
The Wizards’ team completes the table with five points, the same amount as Wygers. The rookie roster started the season with five points in their first five matches, drawing against Flamengo and TSO and winning against Electrify; nevertheless, Wizards seemed to experience a downturn in the last part of the second leg and lost against Wygers (7-4), Movistar Riders (7-1), Giants (7-2), and Cream Esports (7-2).
This isn't something new for the Wizards, as this roster dealt with a similar situation last season. While representing Arctic, the team did a great job during the second leg in order to get to the LAN Finals, as they earned ten points during their last five games.
Things to highlight:
- The Norwegian player of GhostCXV is the third player that has died the most times (81) and he is also the player with the most OD (16). However, he is the third player with the most OK, with 20.
- In nine matches, Wizards have banned Coastline eight times and Border five times. They have also banned Theme Park in five matches out of six. since the map was introduced to the map pool.
- After nine weeks, Wizards hasn't defused a single time. Their opponents have planted the defuser in seventeen occasions, but never been able to defuse it.
We talked with SiLenCe to know more about the team:
Now, with five points, you're the last team. However, in the previous season, your roster was in a similar place -- under the name of Arctic Gaming. Can you repeat it?
This team is known to share and work hard in the same objective which allows us to improve. During the previous season we got away from a harder situation and we didn't have the tools we have now. Regardless of that, we got to the LAN Finals. Our objective is to make it again. It will be an intense fight and we will get out of it as a better team, which is always the main objective.
The Second Leg
The Second Leg will begin tomorrow, Tuesday the 12th of May at 19:00CET. You can follow the matches on the Rainbow6ES Twitch channel and also on their YouTube channel and can keep track of the teams and players performances on their official web page.
The Week 10 matches are as follows:
- AION e-Sports vs Flamengo Stars.
- Electrify vs Movistar Riders.
- Cream Esports vs Giants Gaming.
- Wygers vs Team SinOrg.
- Wizards vs Team Heretics.
Just like in the first leg, the league will be casted by:
- Álex "AlexPolo_" Polo.
- Marc "Ross" Rosés.
- Ignacio "Adonai" Ballesteros.
- José "Naigal" Luís Rodríguez.
The matches will be observed by Daniel "Superboks" Rodríguez.
Keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for more information about the Spain Nationals and about the future of the Rainbow Six esports scene.