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.
- European Open Clash
- GSA League 2020
- Spain Nationals Season 2
- PG Nationals Summer 2020
- Elsewhere in R6
- Must Watch Games of the Next Week
European Open Clash - Virtus Pro Wins Charity Tournament
The last week saw the final three knockout stages of the European Open Clash play out, with eight of the 10 teams in the upcoming European League (EUL) all in the top-eight. IziDream (now Tempra Esports) and Team Secret, on the other hand, had been knocked out by Team Empire and Virtus.pro, respectively, in the round-of-16.
The first quarter-finals game was between the two titanic European rivals of G2 Esports and Team Empire. While a charity tournament, fans were still excited to see their favourite teams take each other on prior to the EUL getting underway, and Empire got the ball rolling with a close 7-5 win on the first map. G2 struck back on the second -- although just by a hair with an 8-7 scoreline -- before closing out the win with a 7-4 map three.
Virtus.pro then took down a Team BDS playing with Team Orbit's Tom "Mootiii" Duquennoy filling in as their fifth player. The brand-new roster of Rogue, now playing with Leon "LeonGids" Giddens and Eugene "karzheka" Petrishin (then only substitutes for Valentin "risze" Liradelfo and Théophile "Hicks" Dupont), then took down Team Vitality in a 2-1 victory that saw a surprising Caveira ban from Rogue on the second map.
Chaos Esports then fell to Natus Vincere, with Na'Vi also following the other 2-1 victories in making a comeback victory happen. The first semi-final then saw yet another tantalising matchup between the two so-called "super-teams" of Rogue and G2 Esports, with Rogue pushing forward to also follow the trend and take a 2-1 victory and make it to the grand final.
Virtus.pro, on the other hand, were not in a mood to delay things. Eager to show off their new organisation, Na'Vi was then dispatched in two straight maps as well to set up a final against Rogue. There, while the teams were not playing with full strategies on employ, viewers were treated to an exciting spectacle that saw Rogue take the first map 7-5. However, the VP players were insistent on taking charity honours for their new organisation, culminating in an 8-6 map on the final map.
Overall, the tournament also saw a total of €6700 raised for Doctors Without Border against COVID-19 and whet appetites for the upcoming European League, set to start on the 22nd of June.
GSA League 2020 - G2 And DIVIZION Lead
DIVIZON won the first game of the week with an impressive display on Kafe, as after swapping sides with only two defensive rounds won, the German roster surprised everyone by winning all their attacks. This was crucial, as they got to maintain their perfect score and put some pressure on G2's shoulders, as they were obligated to win in order to keep their first place.
However, Ocelote’s organization had to wait. The next game of the day featured the Swiss team of mYinsanity, which faced Team Secret. Once again, the map played was Kafe. The European League side didn’t have any trouble winning the game, as they successfully won five of their six defences, closing things off with two rounds in attack. This left Team Secret in fourth place and mYinsanity in eighth, with zero points and only seven rounds won out of 35.
Now it was G2’s time to shine. The Berlin-based roster won the match with a 7-2 scorline against FACT Gaming, with this being FACT’s first loss in the tournament. G2, for their part, did not shy away from their “casual style” as they used operators that we don’t really see in a competitive environment, such as Frost. After winning five defences, G2 didn’t have too many difficulties to finish the game, as they won the match to presumably send out Border for the time being.
After three weeks deep in the competition, the spotlight was on Rogue after they had only won only one of their first three games. Once again they were the favourites to win, as they faced Turtle eSport, a roster that had lost every match played and had only won five rounds out of 26. Unfortunately for Rogue, a victory was not meant to be. Turtle eSport showed great strength on defence as they won a surprising four rounds during the first half.
The situation got worse for Rogue, as Turtle eSport managed to win two of their first three attacks. Now, on match point, Turtle executed a well coordinated rush that left Hicks in a 4v1 situation after only a minute into the round. The French player got to kill two of his rivals with Smoke’s SMG-11, but was killed when trying to retake the side as Turtle won 7-3.
This was also risze and Hicks’ last game for Rogue, as the European organisation had decided to sign LeonGids and karzheka in their place. While the Belgian has stepped down from the roster, Hicks is still part of the team as their substitute. Read more about the changes here.
The new roster, for its part, had a good run in the European Clash tournament, losing in the Grand Final against Virtus.pro.
On Thursday, June the 11th, we’ll finally see these players in the GSA League as they will be facing mYinsanity. Meanwhile, the European League sides of G2 Esports and Team Secret will be facing WarKidz and Turtle eSports, respectively. The last game of the day will be an important one, too, as the main German Challenger League contenders, DIVIZON and FACT Gaming, who sit in second and third place respectively, will be facing each other.
Spain Nationals S2 - Heretics’ Draw Tightens The Table
As the competition gets closer and closer to the end of the season, this past week we saw Team Heretics, Movistar Riders, and Vodafone Giants securing their tickets to the final phase.
The first team to do so was Movistar Riders, as they faced Wygers, which nowadays fill one of the two relegation places. The match was played on the new Oregon, a map that was included in the Spain Nationals map pool on the 26th of May and one that we saw being played two days later, as the Riders and Giants played in the recently reworked map, with Riders winning against the Spanish roster of Giants Gaming (7-4).
This time wasn’t much different, as the Riders secured a point after winning their sixth defensive round. Wygers put up a great fight while defending, with xP4TTO’s eight kills in the second half crucial for Wygers. However, this wasn’t enough, as Movistar Riders earned the three points after winning the ninth round.
The following match, played between Wizards and Electrify, was probably the most anticipated one of the week as it was a crucial game at the bottom of the table. Although the viewers would have expected this game to be a close one, Electrify won against Wizards by a 7-0 margin. This score gets even more impressive when we see that it was played on Villa and Electrify started from the attacking side.
This is the third 7-0 of the league, the second that Wizards conceded, and the sixth Wizards match in the previous seven game-weeks that finished before the tenth round.
The third game of the week was a special one, as we finally got to see Cream Real Betis playing on Kafe, with AION as their opponents. The roster, coached by bytommy, showed had very creative strategies involving Amaru, something that we had already saw on Consulate. Cream is also well known in Spain for their strategies with Clash and this was another of the reasons why the viewers wanted to see them playing on the Russian map, but AION had banned this operator.
Nevertheless, Cream surprised everyone with their Amaru - Ying combo. As AION clearly expected them to use the Peruvian operator, who is still in a weak spot as she hasn’t been buffed -- but will after the release of Operation Steel Wave -- Cream’s strategies didn’t go as planned, but were enough to get them three offensive rounds, which gave them the three points.
On Thursday, Heretics kicked things off against Flamengo Stars on Consulate, and although the viewers expected the Heretics to win the match, the Brazilian roster was the one that controlled the game. The first half ended 4-2 in favour of Flamengo, an impressive feat as Heretics conceded four rounds on defense for the first time in the competition.
However, Team Heretics woke up just in time and won four of their six attacks, emulating Flamengo’s performance. The last round, played in the Lobby/Press Room finished with Heretics planting the defuser and leaving Couto alone. Although he made it to a 1v1 situation, he did not have enough time to stop the defuser. Nevertheless, the Brazilian player was crowned player of the week as he finished the match with 18 kills and only 6 deaths.
Just like the first match of the game-week, the last one was played in Oregon and, once again, the map ended with a score of 7-2 in favour of Vodafone Giants. Their opponents, TSO, put up a great fight while attacking but didn’t win any defensive rounds in a disappointing performance.
Team Heretics and Vodafone Giants will next be facing each other in what’s one of the most expected matches of the season. Heretics are the current leaders of the tournament, with 31 points, while Giants have 29. The match will be played this Thursday at 20:15 CET and you can watch it on the Spanish Twitch channel.
With only five weeks left, we now have Team Heretics (31), Movistar Riders (30), and Giants Gaming (29) confirmed for the Finals, while Cream could guarantee its spot against Flamengo Stars if they get to win against the Brazilian roster. Meanwhile, it seems that the rest of the spots will only be confirmed during the final weeks of the competition, as there are only seven points between fifth and tenth place.
PG Nationals Summer 2020 - Mkers Guarantees Top Spot
Over the last week and a half, four play days were played in the Italian national league as the teams aimed to lock in their playoff spot early. One of the biggest games came a week ago, between the undefeated Mkers and Notorious Legion in seventh, in which Mkers was kept to their third draw of the season on Villa.
The game started off as you'd expect on the map with Mkers, the defenders, going ahead after winning all three of their initial defences before losing twice on the Aviator/Games Room site. After ending 4-2, this then repeated for NL, with them starting off strong and losing on their third site twice to end in a 6-6 draw.
Despite this setback, Mkers confidently won their other three games, 7-3 over Cyberground, 7-0 over Mad Wizards, and 7-3 over Samsung Morning Stars in second, to guarantee first place in the league for yet another season.
This latter game was the most anticipated game of the season following their draw in the first half, making it seem like SMS was the team to finally take down the champions. Due to this, Mkers had clearly prepared for the game significantly, as they seemed much more confident on Clubhouse than their opponents and, after a 3-3 half, ran away with it to a 7-3 win on their attacks.
Samsung themselves also fell to GoSkilla, as GSK mounted a climb from fifth up to second with four back-to-back wins. After taking the opening round, SMS then went on to completely lose all control of the map, as both Sasha and NoAir bboth achieved a two kill-death ratio for GSK.
These results now put Mkers comfortably in first, GoSkilla and SMS within two points of each other in second and third, and IGP two points below them, with just a single play week left. Next week, fifth-placed Mad Wizards plays two extremely hard games against GSK and IGP as they aim to break into a playoff spot, with them needing to win both and requiring IGP to lose to Cyberground in order to finish fourth.
At the bottom of the table, meanwhile, nothing has changed since week three, with Nortorious Legion in seventh and Outplayed in eighth, with the latter playing both Mkers and SMS in their final week.
Elsewhere in R6 - Japan Nationals, BNL League, Six Masters, and MNEB Nationals
Check out our separate article for full coverage of the Season 1 Finals of the Japan Nationals here and be sure to see the full coverage of this week's Benelux League and Six Masters games in their solo articles as we approach their Finals in a few weeks time.
The Hungarian Nationals this week, on the other hand, saw Salamander finally clinch first place in the league and book themselves a spot in the Finals with a 7-5 win over seventh-placed Illés Akadémia Spirit. They will be joined in the Finals by the winner of the "King of the Hill" format playoffs stage, which will include teams positioned second through to sixth. While the first four have been confirmed, the battle for sixth is still raging between Nevermore Gaming and Illés, with the two set to face off next week.
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:
- Wildcard Gaming vs Ōkami in the Six Masters on Thursday at 11:00CEST
- Chaos Esports Club vs GiFu eSports in the Nordic Championship on Thursday at 18:00CEST
- Invicta Gaming vs Izako Boars in the Polish Masters on Thursday at 19:00CEST
- DIVIZON vs FACT Gaming in the GSA League on Thursday at 22:00CEST
- Mad Wizards vs GoSkilla in the PG Nationals on Monday at 21:00CEST