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Year 6 Esports Changes: SI21 to take place in May, New Pro Formats & Schedule

With the pro-tier leagues kicking off in a months time, here's everything we've learned about the changes coming to R6S Esports for Year 6.

Year 6 Esports Changes: SI21 to take place in May, New Pro Formats & Schedule

As we see every February, today's yearly reveal panel unveiled what we can expect in R6 esports over the next 12 months. Here's a rundown on everything shown:

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International Events

Global Majors will be returning in 2021, and the sixth Six Invitational will take place in 2022 in Montreal, Canada.

The 2021 Six Invitational, meanwhile, will take place in May to replace the Six Major event. The Major's prize pool and the SI22 Points will be distributed based on on their online regional standing, while the 20 teams qualified for SI21 will attend the May tournament to fight for the $3 million prize pool.

Europe

Firstly, each stage will have seven play weeks with one game for each team per week. This climaxes with a super weekend to end the tournament.

Furthermore, draws will be removed, with overtime added back. Now, a standard win and loss will give three and zero points, while wins and losses in overtime will give two and one points, respectively. The format will stay as a Best-of-One (Bo1), however.

The Challenger League will also see changes to its qualifiers with the nine national league winners and the two top teams from 2020 (MnM Gaming and Chaos EC) joining five teams from the qualifiers to create a 16-team league. These teams then play in a Best-of-Three (Bo3) double-elimination bracket formatted league.

Asia-Pacific

APAC North and South has been mixed to create two eight-team leagues. Both of these leagues will be round-robin Bo1s with no draws.

APAC North will consist of eight teams from Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia (SEA), while APAC South will have both Oceanic and SEA teams. It is currently unconfirmed which teams will be in which region, however.

The South Asia Nationals will continue as usual, with weekly qualifiers to a playoff each Stage. 

At the end of each stage, the winners of the APAC North and South leagues will qualify automatically to the Six Major, alongside the top two teams from the APAC Finals LAN event. These APAC Finals will invite teams placed second to fourth in North and South, as well as the top two teams in South Asia. 

North America

The NAL will take place in a LAN environment in Las Vegas, starting next month, but the talent will remain at home and not in the studio.

The NAL format, meanwhile, has been switched to a Bo1 round-robin format with the same points system seen in Europe; three points for a win, two for a win in overtime, one for a loss in overtime, and zero for a standard loss. 

The schedule will also be spread across nine play days, with one game per week, followed by a super weekend in Week 8. This maximises the number of games played and ensures every team plays every single week.

The league will kick off on March 24th.

The new NAL schedule.

Next, while the Canadian Division has been disbanded as previously announced, the organisations of Mirage and Altiora will join beastcoast and XSET in the NAL for 2021. They join SSG, TSM, DZ, OxG, DG, and the Soniqs to create a 10-team league.

As reported by Dot Esports, the XSET lineup will be the RentFree core of Tomas, Filthy, Drip, Creators, and Butterzz. The core of this roster won the 2020 Challenger League, while Creators played on Tempo Storm in the NAL and Butterzz played on The Last Dance.

Finally, the US and CA Challenger Leagues have been merged into a single NACL tournament.

Latin America

The BR6 Season will kick off on March 20th, with play days on Saturdays and Sundays. Each play day will see four Bo1 games scored with the same system seen in NA and Europe. Each BR6 Stage will end with a super-week seeing an extra play day on Friday be added. 

The Challenger League format will also change, with five monthly tournaments providing points to determine the top teams for the end-of-year CL tournament. 

The Mexican and South American Leagues will copy much of the same format, but will have eight teams in their leagues rather than 10, and the SUC will have games on Thursdays and Fridays rather than the weekend. 

Notably, however, the above graphic doesn't list Infinity Esports or Estral Esports, the latter being the winner of both stages, both Regional Majors, and the 2020 national title for Mexico.

Each stage will end with the Elite Six LATAM LAN, which invites the top six Brazilian teams and the top two teams in Mexico and South America to make up a 10-team event. The top four teams in this tournament progress to the Six Major as LATAM's representatives.

The teams which don't qualify for the Elite Six LAN will join the Top-12 teams from the Open Cups to compete in the National leagues, a new tournament for 2021. This will be a single-elimination Bo1 format tournament with play days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 

The yearly LATAM schedule.

The end-of-year transfer period will open tomorrow and the new-look pro-tier leagues will return on March 19th. Until then keep an eye out for any further news surrounding R6 Esports here at SiegeGG.