With the Challenger League and Pro League now over, a number of national tournaments in action in the past week gave plenty of viewing for action-starved fans. Read on to find out what happened in each.
- Russian Major League - Season 4 Finals
- Six Masters 2020
- GSA Nationals 2020
- Benelux League - Season 5
- Spain Nationals - Season 2
- Elsewhere in R6
- Must Watch Games of the Next Week
Russian Major League Season 4 Finals - Virtus.pro Tears Empire Down
The four-best Russian teams played this weekend in the Russian Major League Finals, a competition that was supposed to be on LAN, but was shifted online due to the COVID-19 situation.
The S4 RML Finals followed a double-elimination bracket and the matches were Bo3 except for the Grand Final, which was Bo5. VP's current roster was one of the two favourite teams to take the trophy home, alongside the current Russian champions of Team Empire.
The rest of the teams were no pushovers, in the form of forZe -- previously 43rti -- and CrowCrowd. Although these two rosters had played some great games in the Finals, the Grand Final was the clash that everyone wanted to see -- Virtus.pro against Team Empire.
The Road to the Grand Final
Virtus.pro did not have any problem getting to its place in the Grand Final, as it beat both CrowCrowd and forZe by 2-0. Both matches followed a similar script, as VP dominated their rivals in the first map (7-2 and 7-0 against CrowdCrow and forZe respectively), but struggled in the second (8-6 and 8-7).
Their Grand Final opponents, however, did not have it easy. Team Empire fell against forZe by 2-0 after losing both maps (Villa and Consulate) 7-3 in a shocking twist. They also had problems when facing CrowCrowd in the Losers’ Bracket match, as they comfortably won on Consulate (7-3) but lost the second map (Villa, 3-7).
Although they lost on the Italian map, though, the Scyther C4 triple spawn-kill was a certain highlight. Playing on Clubhouse was more familiar territory for Empire, however, as the team finally made it to the next round after beating their rivals 7-2.
The Pro League side faced forZe in the Lower Bracket Final, but this game shared little similarities with the previous clash, as Empire dominated both maps (7-2 and 7-4, playing on Consulate and Villa respectively). Although this meant that forZe wouldn’t be playing in the Grand Final, third place was enough to give them a spot in the next edition of the Challenger League.
Virtus.pro 3-0 Team Empire (Default Win, 7-2 Consulate, 7-2 Villa)
The two European League sides finally faced each other in the Grand Final, with VP having a one-map advantage thanks to its Upper Bracket path. Viewers expected this to be a very tight game, but that was not the case. VP dominated the series as they won the first four rounds played on Consulate while attacking, with each offence very well planned out and Empire looking helpless.
Nevertheless, Empire seemed to wake up just before swapping sides as they successfully won the following two rounds, but that would be all that Empire would get. VP’s aggression while defending, with impressive run-outs and aggressive peeks by all their players, especially Rask, was key, as they stopped every Team Empire attack with little difficulty.
Now on Villa, the script was the same. Although the start of the map gave an indication that this could be a closer fight, VP won their fifth and the sixth attacks, giving them a 4-2 lead before swapping sides. Now, on defence, the ex-forZe roster once again oozed confidence with an aggressive play style that stymied Empire.
A 7-2 victory followed again, as VP crushed their opponents 14-4, with the result also meaning that Team Empire had been unable to win a single attack in eight attempts.
This meant that Team Empire’s RML streak came to an end after they had won the previous three editions of the Russian Major League. Not only that, this was a special win for Rask and Shockwave, as they had played in the previous two seasons under forZe but had lost both grand finals.
Six Masters 2020 - Elevate Held to a Draw Against Ferox
Over in the Six Masters 2020, both Elevate and Okami had been looking to shake each other off and secure a comfortable lead over third place. Elevate kicked things off on Consulate against Ferox, but faltered in the very first round, allowing Deptra to secure a 1v3 clutch.
Ferox kept piling on, taking round after round, before Elevate finally found an answer on the fifth round but their opponents simply kept marching on to go into the second half with a 5-1 lead. Elevate looked completely lost on the map, as Ferox took match point with relative ease. A rehost, however, would give Elevate a chance to get back into the game. Two rounds after the break would give Elevate hope to pull off a comeback, but time wasted on the final round meant that Ferox would take the first map 7-3.
Elevate fought back on map two as they tried to keep their second-place position which they held onto thanks to a 7-4 victory on Border. Hence two kill-death ratios from both Redd (13 kills to six deaths) and Worthy (nine kills to four deaths) led them to a clear victory on the map as many had expected. This map win allows Ferox to climb to keep up with the teams above them as they now sit within three-point of fourth place and face sixth-placed LFO next week.
Elsewhere, as well as Wildcard trouncing Kanga 14-2 leading to Wayneman to leave the Kanga roster, the fifth and sixth-placed teams of the Pittsburgh Knights and LFO held each other to a draw in a 5-7, 7-2 scoreline in which Hayward stood out with 22 kills to 13 deaths.
Finally, we saw the third and fourth-placed teams of SiNister and Ōkami face off on Villa and Kafe. Both of these maps were pretty attacker sided despite Villa's defensive advantage leading both teams to adopt a very aggressive playstyle leading Nikoh and Cutie to lead their teams with +8 and +7 kill differentials. Despite two separate 1vX wins by Cutie on map one, a 1vX by vincere on round 10 eventually made the difference as they took the map 7-5 before SiNister then lost the following map 5-7 as the simply were outfragged by ItBeStyle.
With these results the only real change to the standings sees Wildcard gain three points at the top and Kanga fall three more points behind with the six other teams each gaining three points each.
GSA Nationals 2020 - Two Losses Running for Rogue
After an excellent first game week with the exciting match between G2 Esports and Team Secret, none of the European League teams faced each other this previous week. This meant that all G2, Secret, and Rogue were the clear favourites in their respective matchups.
The first match of the week had no top-flight presence, as DIVIZON and mYinsanity fought for the three points. The game was pretty tight until it was time for the Swiss side to attack. There, DIVIZON did not find any opposition at all as they won their three defences, which meant that after two games, mYinsanity still has not won a single round on attack.
Rogue was then the first European League team to play on the night. Their rivals, FACT Gaming, were the provisional leaders as they had won their first match 7-0 (against Turtle e-Sports), but viewers were expecting Rogue to get its first win in the tournament. However, it was not meant to be. Rogue started things off well, winning their first three attacks, with the second being the tightest one as risze was left alone covering the defuser in an uncomfortable 1v2 situation.
The match got a lot more intense after that round, however, as FACT started an unbelievable comeback. Although all the rounds were very close in terms of manpower, FACT managed to slow Rogue’s offences and managed to draw just before swapping sides. This great momentum continued for three more rounds, as FACT planted the defuser in two of them, which meant that Rogue went from winning 3-0 to being down 3-6.
The European League side managed to survive the first match point, but FACT did not give their opponents any more chances and successfully won the following round, as Hicks was left in a 1v2 post plant situation, taking the map 7-4.
The following two matches didn’t spring any surprises, as Team Secret got its first win in the GSA after winning 7-4 against WarKidz. Meanwhile, G2 Esports did not have any problems in beating Turtle e-Sports 7-3 as well, all the while using a large number of operators, such as Caveira and Kapkan on defence or Glaz and Blitz on attack.
Benelux League - Sector One Smashes Epsilon
Over in the Benelux league, the result that made everyone sit up and take notice was Epsilon Esports' demolition at the hands of Sector One.
Playing on Clubhouse, and starting off on the defensive side, Epsilon would have felt comfortable given the opportunity to carve out a significant lead. However, it was not to be. BaasheD and Duco secured a double-kill each to kickstart the attack and helped their team pile on in the next round, with SE7EN exploiting a lack of awareness from Epsilon to secure a double-kill of his own.
Epsilon Esports finally answered back on the fourth round, but that was all that they would get for the half -- and the game. Duco led the charge for his team on the way to a 7-1 victory, not allowing any room for Epsilon Esports to breathe, eventually finishing with an incredibly impressive 2.29 rating thanks to an average of two kills per round and +13 kill-death split.
With Defusekids also crushing Epsilon 7-2 the day before, combined with mCon esports pulling off a similar 7-1 dismantling of Mouseplayz, Epsilon dropped to fourth-place while mCon took their place in third after a 2-7 loss to El Whiz Wranglers.
Sector One will be somewhat disappointed by the week, however, after a chance to stay within four points of league leaders Defusekids, and to shake off mCon esports' challenge, was missed the day prior to their Epsilon victory.
Playing against the sixth-placed UX Gaming, on Clubhouse as well, Sector One were given the early advantage after starting on defense. Two swift collapses by UX on the attack set the tone, however, that Sector One could not afford to be sloppy. The third round nearly went to UX as well, with the defuser being planted, but MXKX managed to pull it back for his team after a tense clutch.
Losing the fourth round, it seemed that Sector One was on its way to a loss but a flawless defence kickstarted the road to a 3-3 first-half recovery. Sector One then finally took the lead on their first attacking round, but three robust defenses from UX -- and their two resulting match points -- meant that it once again looked like Sector One was heading to a loss. However, a spirited attack followed by a 2v4 clutch meant that they would hang on to secure at least a point.
As such, while Sector One stayed in second place with 19 points, it left mCon esports just two points behind them in third. Elsewhere, 7-2 wins against Epsilon and El Whiz Wranglers kept Defusekids in comfortable first, while UX leapfrogged Team XY to go fifth.
Spain Nationals - Heretics Takes Control, Riders vs Giants Postponed
Wizards 7-5 Flamengo Stars
In what was the biggest surprise of the week, Wizards won their first match since Week 4 -- this time against Flamengo Stars. The rookie roster managed to win four of its six attacks, which proved to be key. On the other hand, the Brazilian roster kept using Fuze in their attacks so the hard breachers could easily open the Armory hatch when attacking the basement, but was not as successful.
After winning the eleventh round, where Wizards was left in a 3v5 situation after a C4 double kill by Uve, Flamengo could not complete the comeback and dropped valuable points. For Wizards, this was only their second win of the season, with the other also having come on Clubhouse.
Team Heretics 7-3 Team SinOrg
After their previous performances, where both teams had beaten their rivals by a score of 7-0, Team Heretics and Team SinOrg faced each other on Consulate. After a strong start by the Heretics as they finished the first half with a 4-2 advantage, TSO followed their opponent’s pace with a successful defence in CEO by killing chOi, who was planting in a 1v2 situation. However, that was it for the org-less roster.
After losing two defences in Garage -- with the defenders in a positive 4v2 situation in the second -- and one in CEO, TSO’s resistance ended in a 3-7 manner.
Cream Real Betis 7-4 Electrify Esports
The last match of the day featured Cream Real Betis and Electrify Esports. Cream started things off by winning the first two attacks, managing to plant the defuser in both. After losing the third round, Cream got to plant again, this time in Lobby after using Amaru to climb up the Lobby hatch. Wispy, with the Peruvian operator, was covering the plant from Cafeteria in a very good situation for Cream, but Javixu managed to get the upper hand and left Welshy free to defuse, just before the attackers knew about it.
After the half ended in a 3-3, Cream took control of the match after winning three rounds in a row, mainly thanks to a great usage of the Valkyrie cameras. Although Electrify survived the first match point, Cream won the game 7-4.
Wygers 7-1 AION e-Sports
Finally, the last match of the game-week featured Wygers and AION. Everyone expected this match to be a close one, as both sides were playing to avoid the relegation zone. There were lots of question marks around both rosters, so a win would have been certain to boost their confidence. However, the match saw Wygers take a quick win, as AION planted in five of their six attacks but failed to protect the defuser on four occasions. This gave Wygers a 5-1 lead before swapping sides, where they won the following two attacks and took the map 7-1.
The last game of the week was supposed to be one of the most anticipated matches of the season, with Movistar Riders and Vodafone Giants set to face each other, but the game was postponed after one of the Giants players fell ill.
Elsewhere in R6 - EU Clash Qualifiers, DBNO and MNEB
The EU Open Clash charity tournament qualifies came to an end this week with POLSKA GUROM, ToZeDrop and AVEZ joining XPG Invicta, Movistar Riders and Team Unique form the first qualifier and the 10 EU League teams in the main tournament next weekend where they'll face off to help raise money for Doctors Without Borders. This weekend's qualifiers saw two particularly big upsets as the two Polish teams of POLSKA GUROM and AVEZ knocked out the two Challenger League teams of Defusekids and PENTA making them both teams to watch this weekend.
The DBNO tournament ran by CSS also saw some upsets as the reigning World Champions of SSG lost 7-5, 7-4 against Tempo Storm who were playing with their new Italian player of Sloppy. This puts Tempo in the grand-final against either SSG or eUnited with these two games both to be played tonight. So far this tournament has raised a total of $7,509 for the charity "Modest Needs" with one playday still to come.
Finally, we have the Hungarian national event which this week saw Budapest Five follow up their draw against Salamander with a defeat against seventh-placed Illés Akadémia Spirit. At the top of the table Salamander's lead has been decreased to just three points as they didn't play this week with their catchup game coming in two weeks time.
Must Watch Games of the Next Week
Keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for coverage of all ongoing leagues during the ongoing off-season. For now, these are the five must-watch games of the next week around the world:
- Spacestation Gaming vs eUnited in the DBNO Charity tournament tomorrow at 2:00CEST
- Samsung Morning Stars vs Cyberground Gaming in the PG Nationals on Tuesday at 20:00CEST
- Wildcard Gaming vs Ōkami in the Six Masters on Wednesday at 11:00CEST
- FACT Gaming vs Team Secret in the GSA Nationals on Thursday at 22:00CEST
- The European Open Clash Playoffs on Saturday starting at 14:00CEST