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Empire and BDS fight for EUL Finals trophy, Secret to defend EUL spot against HellRaisers

The European League Grand Final and Relegation will take place this weekend.

The 2021 European League season will be closing this weekend, followed by a year of BDS Esport’s dominance, the falling of G2 Esports, and the progressive improvement of Team Empire. 

Following last weekend’s results, the Grand Final will see BDS Esport and Team Empire facing off in a match where the French are the favorites to take it all. However, before the big action kicks off, G2 Esports and Natus Vincere will play in a game that no one wants to take part in, the third-place match. 

This weekend will also see Team Secret and HellRaisers playing for the remaining 2022 European League spot, as MnM Gaming defeated the Russians in last Sunday’s Challenger League Grand Final. 

The European League Finals bracket (Image by R6esportsEU)

BDS Esport vs Team Empire

Everything points out towards a BDS victory this weekend. Consistency, a better map pool, and having finished the third stage without conceding any loss back the team’s title credentials. 

Meanwhile, despite Team Empire’s great progression throughout the season, the squad was a flop in Sweden. Although it’s true that they were in the group of death, alongside DWG KIA, Spacestation Gaming, and FURIA Esports, the Russians were one of the flops of the tournament.

However, Team Empire is always a hard nut to crack. The team had a great game against Natus Vincere in the semi-finals played earlier this month, as the Russians defeated the UKIN side by 2-0 after two very one-sided maps (7-1, 7-3). Such results can’t be ignored. 

What could be a huge differential in the upcoming match between BDS and Empire is the map pool. The Russians are well-known for having a very short map pool, which was even shortened after Consulate was dropped from the list — Bank was introduced in its place, a map that Empire already used to ban prior to its rework. 

Danil “JoyStiCK” Gabov had a chat with the European League host Ghassan “Milosh” Finge following the game’s conclusion, where he highlighted this fact.

He said: “We were struggling in our map pool, both in the Russian Major League and in the Sweden Major, we have to choose between Oregon, Bank, Chalet, and Villa, and now we are preparing for the Six Invitational, with our second goal being the EUL.”

Although the team is aware of this problem, it is also one that takes time to solve. Empire’s player Danila “dan” Dontsov also talked about this in our pre-Sweden Major interview. 
Considering that the Grand Final match is a BO5 series, having a strong map pool usually makes the difference between a first and a second-place finish. 

G2 Esports vs Natus Vincere

It's a hard week for the G2 Esports fan base. The roster started the week on the wrong foot as they were knocked off the second SI 2022 online qualifier, which means that the team will miss out on a Six Invitational for the first time since G2 Esports joined the scene back in 2018.

Not having them in the upcoming Six Invitational is a hard pill to swallow due to the team’s importance in the game, as the legacy of this organization might have blinded the fans and the viewers’ eyes by giving the players unreachable hights, considering how the year has been for the season. Despite still having one match to be played, it really feels like the team’s season is over. 

It just feels like when an F1 driver loses the championship in the penultimate track, the last race always feels empty, especially when players already tease a possible “el plan” for the upcoming season. 

But not yet. The team will play against Natus Vincere on Saturday, a match that will be the Grand Final’s opening act. 

This match has various storylines. First of all, despite G2 Esports playing at the GSA League, it feels like a UKIN derby, where Ben “CTZN” McMillan and Jordan “Kayak” Morley will face their British opponents over Natus Vincere. 

Secondly, this will be another chapter in CTZN’s matches against his ex-team. The British squad comes from producing the best individual performance at a BO3 match after registering 55 kills, 46 of them coming in the first two maps. 

Although this match might not make a difference for many of the viewers, it does for the players, as there is a difference of 5,000€ between finishing in third and finishing in fourth. 

Team Secret vs HellRaisers

Last but not least, we have the relegation match between the European League side of Team Secret and the Challenger League grand-finalist, HellRaisers. 

Both teams have competed in the SI 2022 open qualifiers, where Secret arose as the winners of the first one. Meanwhile, the Russians couldn’t replicate their opponents’ result in the second qualifier, as they were knocked out of it after falling against Mkers. 

After a season where Secret has been flirting with the auto-relegation spot for the whole year, it is now or never for the team. Despite them being favorites over HellRaisers, the Russians defeated Team Empire at the RML Grand Final, just before falling to MnM Gaming in an pretty evened Challenger League Grand Final. 

What is the UEL Finals schedule?

The action will take place this weekend, with the matches being played as it follows:

Saturday

  • Team Secret vs HellRaisers at 2 pm CET

Sunday

  • G2 Esports vs Natus Vincere at 1 pm CET
  • BDS Esport vs Team Empire at 4 pm CET

The matches will be played in the Rainbow Six Siege’s official esports broadcasts on Twitch (Rainbow6) and YouTube (Rainbow Six Esports).

For more information on the broadcast, you can check our article on the European League Finals and Challenger League