Having kicked off on the 13th of March and running until the 18th of September, the new Rainbow Six Japan League is the biggest domestic tournament across all of competitive Siege, with its ¥32 million (US$308,000) prize pool.
Not only is the prize pool be a sizeable amount in the Japan League, but each team will also have up to each of its six players and coaches (combined) be guaranteed up to ¥21 million (US$202,000) in salary for the competitive year.
Read on to find out what went down in the second week of play from the best in Japan.
The first game of the weekend saw the streaking Sengoku Gaming, led by the lethal former Nora-Rengo duo of Ryuki "Ramu" Matsuoka and Yuta "ReyCyil" Inoue, take on a Team Northeption on a high from having beaten GUTS Gaming last week.
Team Northeption kicked things off strongly, taking the first two rounds on defense on Clubhouse. However, ReyCyil on the Montagne surprisingly secured a triple kill of his own in the third round as part of a 1v1 clutch, with his team eventually finishing the first half 3-3.
Then, despite SpeakEqsy's best efforts, Sengoku Gaming turned on the style, only dropping one round en-route to a 7-4 map victory.
Things were slightly closer on Oregon. While Sengoku Gaming started with a 1-0 lead, they had to scramble to finish the half at 3-3 after Northeption had put together three attacks in a row. After the role swap, Sengoku finally regained the lead, putting two attacks together, but Northeption quickly equalised the score at 5-5. Nevertheless, febar and Ramu stood tall, pulling off two triple-kills to win things out, with Ramu securing a strong 1v1 clutch in the final round.
FAV Gaming came into this game with some caution, given how well Crest Gaming had performed in Week 1, but it was perhaps too much caution on their part. Going into Clubhouse, FAV found two attacking victories at the start. But, just as Crest struck back, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck Japan, sending No2's room and the broadcast studio shaking and causing a temporary suspension of the match.
With the players and staff soon confirmed safe, the game resumed. Crest capitalised on FAV's caution, hardly being ones to look into a gift horse's mouth, reeling off six more round wins in a row to take the first map 7-2.
Stunned, FAV took the map break to collect themselves and came back with a vengeance. Feeling Crest out, they took the first round and conceded the next two, but were rock-solid through the rest. Turning the tables, they put six rounds in a row on the board to take a 7-2 win themselves and push proceedings to the third map.
A game that had been a tale of two halves turned a lot more interesting on the third map, Kafe, though it hardly seemed that way at first. Despite FAV drawing first blood there on attack, it was Crest that took the next five defenses consecutively.
However, FAV was far from done. The dual Thatcher-Ace bans seemed to swing the pendulum firmly in the defenders' favour, with FAV then taking a ridiculous six rounds in a row to take the map 7-5 and completely an incredible map and series comeback.
The next day, as the previous day's aftershocks figuratively and literally receded, EVA:e took on far more illustrious opponents Cyclops athlete gaming.
Overall, the match was of little excitement, however. While EVA:e did trade two rounds in Rounds 3 and 4 on attack on Kafe, they were the only two rounds that they would get. Cyclops would take two rounds prior and five rounds after, securing the map at 7-2.
Oregon, after, was looking to be a clean shutout from Cyclops. Starting on attack, the 2020 Japanese champions took a flawless first half and put themselves on match point and series point. However, EVA:e managed to save their blushes, securing one round on their own attack before Cyclops finished the job and took the map 7-1.
Finally, Cyclops' fellow APAC North team of GUTS Gaming, having been upset 1-2 by Team Northeption last week, took on REJECT, who had demolished EVA:e on Day 1.
Despite the perceived strengths of both teams, REJECT would have likely felt GUTS to be vulnerable and started with a first-round defensive victory on Clubhouse. GUTS, however, struck back and took the early lead, finishing their attacking half at 4-2. Following that, REJECT could only deny their top-flight opponents for a single round more, with Cyclops closing out the map 7-3.
The second map of Oregon then started off explosively, with the final minute seeing everything happen, including Lily clutching a 1v1 for GUTS. Their opponents of REJECT were simply outclassed, only able to secure one round in their attacking half. Their defensive half also started gingerly, with Shift securing a 1v2 clutch, but three more rounds made it four in a row as REJECT drew level with GUTS.
Unfortunately for them, the APAC North experience came in handy, as GUTS arrested their slide, securing the final two rounds needed, avoiding overtime, and taking the map 7-5.
This weekend, tune in at Rainbow6JP once again at 1 PM JST (UTC+9) for more games, with the APAC North preview between Cyclops athlete gaming and GUTS Gaming certainly one to watch. Also being played will be Team Northeption vs Crest Gaming Lst on Sunday, with that match possibly having three maps to offer.