Europe - LowLandLions roars for the final time
One week into the Stage 2 of the European League, it was now the turn of its Challenger League. Just one day after the UKIN side of Cowana Gaming earned its spot, the CL was back in Europe. This season was a highly anticipated one, as nine of the twelve teams have qualified through their national tournaments instead of qualifying through Open Qualifiers, which was the method used before this edition.
This is thus the chance for rosters like Team Heretics or Izako Boars to represent countries like Spain and Poland, regions that we haven’t seen in Challenger League nor Pro League for years.
This will also be the edition that will determine if the new qualifying system is as good as some people think, as there has been a lot of controversy around the skill of some of these rosters.
Now divided in two groups of six teams each, the European Challenger League will offer the rosters the chance to play for a spot in the playoffs, which will determine the two teams that will face the two lowest orgs in the European League to earn their place.
The announcement regarding Echo’s ban from competitive play was made one day after the EU games were played. Nevertheless, some of the teams had a “gentleman's agreement" to not use the glitched operator.
Probably the most skilled group, Group A's teams could all make it to the next level. In fact, all these week’s matches saw the twelve rounds being played, as LowLandLions faced Granit Gaming in their last match for the Dutch organization.
This was also the only game that ended with a win, a 7-5, as LLL took advantage of winning three offensive rounds on Kafe. The game also saw Panix and ASTRO debut on the now ex-LowLandLions roster.
Team Fedora and WInstrike featured next, with a draw in Clubhouse. Both teams have undergone changes lately, as Team Fedora played with a totally different squad compared to the roster that was seen in the last edition of the GSA League, having caused problems to teams like G2 Esports, Rogue, and Team Secret. Winstrike's changes were lighter, though, as the only difference in their roster was rush playing in now-Virtus.pro player m1loN’s place.
The action in Group A ended with the first appearance for a Spanish team in Challenge League since Reborn in Season 7, more than two years ago. Despite the Spanish team showing great strength on Consulate, their issues at closing out rounds made the difference and the game ended in a draw.
This first week has taught us so many things, and one of them was the difference between the two groups. If the Group A is unpredictable, Group B is the opposite of that. While in Group A the teams needed the whole game to decide the result of the match -- 36 rounds played in total -- Group B only saw 24.
The first game featured one of the favourites, PENTA, against Izako Bears, Poland’s representative. The French lineup ended the first half with five out of six rounds in their pockets, something that was expected to happen as they started on defence on Theme Park. However, on attack, PENTA had no problems at all and closed the game with a 7-2.
It was then Cowana’s turn to face Orgless. The ex-Sector One squad only won one of their six attacks on Oregon, which left the UKIN side in a very comfortable place. The game ended two rounds later, as Cowana won 7-2.
The next and last game of the day was probably one of the most one-sided matches in Rainbow Six history, as MnM Gaming won 7-0 against beKind. The game was played on Clubhouse and despite none of the hard breachers banned including Ace, MnM won their six defences. What's more, two beKind players had completely impactless games save for their deaths, with KOSTs and ratings of dead-zero.
This once again kicked off the controversy around beKind, as the French roster was invited to the Challenger League after its performance during the first leg of the 6 French League, where they just won one match in seven games.
North America - Schedule Finally Announced
Despite no games being played this week, Ubisoft finally announced the schedule for both North American Challenger Leagues.
The league boasts a great amount of ex-Pro League players, such as the ex-Evil Geniuses players of Yung and Spades, the ex-eUnited players of Callout, Forrest, and XecreatioN, or the ex-Rise Nation players of England and Beastly, among others.
The stream will kick off at 12PM ET on the Rainbow6NA Twitch channel, so be sure to not miss any of the action.
Brazil - First loss for Falkol
Following the Brasileirão’s system of Best-of-Two matches with one, two, or three points depending on if the game ends in a draw, a partial win, or a complete win respectively, we have the Brasilian Série B.
Currently lead by the favourites of Falkol, who employ the services of ex-Black Dragons player GdNN1, the standings are nonetheless extremely close. There are only three points between first and the fifth place and this is mainly thanks to Falkol's first loss this season.
In a very close series, the team of Isurus Gaming won 2-0 against their Falkol, with Isurus also having an ex-Black Dragon player on the roster in the form of rdz. The games were played on Oregon and Consulate and ended 7-5 and 7-4, respectively.
Despite the loss, a win against the bottom team of ARMY5 and draws from their direct contenders, NT Esports and Royal Republic, Falkol stayed in first place at the end of the second game week. However, it’s now clear that there is opposition and everyone could take the first place, which gives the team a chance to promote to the Brasileirão.
Down at the bottom of the table, we still have the likes of Team Singularity and Guidance Gaming. The former were one of the favorites to fight for the first place before their previous roster disbanded, as four of their five players joined Brasileirão teams.
After four games, Singularity has drawn three and lost one, with Carnage Gaming getting a walkover win over them. Guidance Gaming, the squad lead by the ex-Pro League player of VelveT, is in an even worse position as they have lost two and tied two.
Mexico - Overknight leads after win against Ignis
After three games Overknight is the main leader of the competition, closely followed by Ignis and ESTORM.
The most important match of the week was Overknight’s duel against Ignis, who were the leaders just before this game. Two map wins by 7-5 meant that Overknight would surpass their rivals in the table, giving them their first loss of the season.
However, one day later, Overknight dropped a map against the ninth placed team of Kingdom Gaming. ESTORM's two total wins put them in joint-second place, while Team Aze's first win of the season made them jump to fourth place.
Few outside of Mexico knows that Team Aze is the first Challenger League team in LATAM that flew a European player to play for its roster -- namely Flama, the ex-Wizards, and Arctic Gaming IGL -- from teams that had competed in the Spain Nationals.
Sudamérica Série B - Maycam Leads After Three Game Days
To conclude this week’s summary, we have the Sudamérica Série B. Despite Maycam’s roster being currently at the top, their players are closely followed by Goat Gaming and RusherX Gaming. There are only three points between the leaders and the fourth placed team of LDM, only because Maycam won them by 2-0 in two very close maps.
LDM’s next game will be against RusherX, currently third. RusherX is an exception to all the Sudamérica rosters, as it is the only Colombian roster in the two main competitions of the region. However, next week’s most important game will be between the leaders of Maycam and the second-placed team of Goat Gaming, a match that could make a difference at the end of the season.
For continued coverage of the global Challenger Leagues, check back here at SiegeGG and follow us on Twitter.