NOTE: Some details in this article, specifically regarding dates and the showmatch are either outdated or unconfirmed. Furthermore, Wildcard Gaming will not be in attendance. For updated dates and schedule, refer here.
Due to the ongoing pandemic and its associated travel restrictions and lockdowns, Rainbow Six hasn't seen an international event since the 2020 Six Invitational, where Spacestation Gaming went home with the title.
Now, a year later, the 20 best teams are set to meet once again in the most anticipated tournament to date.
With full details concerning the tournament's format, location, and date now unveiled, here's what's happening next month at the 2021 Six Invitational.
A total of 20 teams will be in attendance; the Top 16 by Six Invitational points and four regional qualifier winners.
- BDS Esport -- Shaiiko, Renshiro, RaFaLe, Elemzje, BriD, and eaglemees (analyst)
- TSM -- Achieved, Merc, Beaulo, Geometrics, Chala, Pojoman (coach), and Daeda (analyst)
- Giants Gaming -- Lunarmetal, Ysaera, HysteRiX, SpeakEasy, jrdn, Histoire (substitute), and GiG (coach)
- Cloud9 -- EnvyTaylor, Static, Nova, Harp3r, SyAIL, RechoTZ (head coach), and OniChan (assistant coach)
- Ninjas in Pyjamas -- Kamikaze, Psycho, julio, Muzi, and pino
- DarkZero Esports -- Mint, HotanCold, Hyper, Skys, Ecl9pse, BC (coach) and Grant (analyst)
- Team Liquid -- Nesk, xS3xyCake, psk1, Paluh, HSnamuringa and Silence (coach)
- Spacestation Gaming -- Thinkingnade, Rampy, Bosco, Fultz, Canadian, Lycan (head coach), Sov (assistant coach) and EkuL (analyst)
- Team oNe eSports -- reduct, Faallz, LuKid, Rappz, FelipoX, Budega (coach), and Vivas (analyst)
- Wildcard Gaming -- EmoRin, Diesel, Gio, Pat, Vincere, Fluxx, and syliX (two coaches)
- Virtus.pro -- wTg, Rask, Shockwave, p4sh4, m1loN, Toda (coach), and Andreezy (analyst)
- Team Empire -- ShepparD, JoyStiCK, Scyther, Dan, Always, and RayzerGM (coach)
- FaZe Clan -- Astro, yoona, ion, live, KDS, and Ramalho (coach)
- Oxygen Esports -- FoxA, LaXInG, VertcL, Slashug, B1ologic, HOP3Z (coach), and Redeemer (coach)
- G2 Esports -- Pengu, Kantoraketti, UUNO, CTZN, Virtue, Shas (coach), and Sua (analyst)
- MIBR -- Cyb3r, soulz1, Bullet1, MKing, cameram4n, and Guille (coach)
Regional Qualifier Winners:
- CYCLOPS athlete gaming -- Anitun, SuzuC, gatorada, BlackRay, Ayagator, and Fuji3 (coach)
- Mkers -- Lollo, Gemini, Scatto, Aqui, Sasha, and Torok (coach)
- Altiora -- Spiritz, Sonar, Euphoria, Eskaa, P3NGU1N, and Okward1HP (coach)
- FURIA Esports -- Bersa, LENDA, h1ghs, Novys, Miracle, Twister (coach), and TchubZ (coach)
Combined, these total six LATAM teams, five EU and NA teams, and just four APAC teams.
These 20 teams will be split into two groups of 10 in the following way:
- Group A: BDS, C9, Liquid, DZ, oNe, Empire, FaZe, G2, CAG, and FURIA
- Group B: TSM, Giants, NiP, SSG, Wildcard, V.p, OxG, MIBR, Altiora, and Mkers
This split is done using seeds determined by the SI Points, meaning there is no need for a seeding show as prior years have seen.
Most notably, this does mean that four out of the 10 teams in Group A are Latin American, while four out of five North American teams are in Group B.
The group stage will see each team play every other team in their group once in a Best-of-One (Bo1) round-robin format, much like the APAC North and European League (EUL) formats.
After the initial group stage, the top eight teams will progress to the Upper Bracket of the playoffs, while the next eight teams will go straight to the Lower Bracket and the bottom four will be eliminated.
These playoffs will all be Best-of-Three (Bo3) with a Best-of-Five (Bo5) Grand Final.
This creates an approximately 111-game event, including 90 Bo1s and one Bo5, designed to maximise the number of matchups for the first international event in a year.
The tournament will take place from February 9th to the 21st, in three weeks' time, with the following schedule:
- Feb 9-14th -- Group Stage
- Feb 17-21st -- Playoffs
All these games will be taking place in Paris, France, where the main European and APAC studio is located.
In order to allow this to happen, the players will undergo a seven-day quarantine prior to the event, present a negative PCR test before flying to France and retain a strict separation between teams. This is to create a bubble environment where players are tested regularly, wear masks at almost all times, and leave the bubble within 48 hours after they are eliminated.
Thus, to keep safety levels high, the event has been organised with the help of the French government to stop the spread of COVID-19 across the teams during the event.
Also of note is that only six people per team are allowed to travel to the event for obvious reasons, meaning many co-coaches, analysts, and managers will be unable to attend.
A $50,000 charity showmatch will also take place, with the following teams:
Big Brain Maestro Mains -- MacieJay, FastAnne, Kitty, CoconutBruh, and CrossArchon
All Aim Ash Mains -- BikiniBodhi, Snedger, Jericho, NarcholepticNugget, and Sasslyn
Particularly of note about this match is the ESL logo on the above graphics, implying that they will be involved in the game. Since the Pro League ended last year, ESL has run just the APAC region's competitions, while FACEIT has run NA and EU, making this an odd choice.
The Six Invitational prize pool is once again capped at $3 million this year, with sales of the recent battlepass adding to the prize purse. Should it hit the $3 million figre as expected, this leads to the following prize pool breakdown:
- 1st Place: $1,000,000
- 2nd Place: $450,000
- 3rd Place: $240,000
- 4th Place: $170,100
- 5th - 6th Places: $135,000
- 7th - 8th Places: $102,600
- 9th - 12th Places: $75,000
- 13th - 16th Places: $60,000
- 17th – 20th Places: $30,000
Finally, viewers have the chance to get 13 exclusive charms, a number of R6 Esports Packs, and a VIP Tachanka bundle by watching the streams over the two weeks:
- 4 Charms -- Watch any enabled R6 stream for three hours between January 21-23rd, 24-26th, 27-29th, and 30-31st for a unique charm for each period
- 4 Charms -- Watch any partnered R6 stream for four hours between February 1-2nd, 3-4th, 5-6th, and 7-8th for a unique charm for each period
- 1 Esports Pack -- Every eight hours of partnered R6 streams watched between February 6-8th, 9-14th, and 17-20th, as well as every two and a half hours watched on the 21st.
- 4 SI Charms -- Watch the SI21 tournament for a unique charm drop on February 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th
- SI VIP Charm and Bundle -- An exclusive SI charm and Tachanka bundle will also be dropping randomly on the 21st
As expressly stated in the announcement blog, viewers do not need to enter anything in chat to be eligible for the charms.
Tune in three weeks time for the action to kick-off as the fifth annual World Championship takes place and we finally see how the four regions stack up after a long year.