Image via Ubisoft
The group stage of SI 2022 is just around the corner, and there’s going to be a ton of Rainbow Six Siege to keep your eyes on. Here are six group stage games that are going to be appointment viewing for hardcore fans and first-time fans alike.
Team Liquid vs. Spacestation (Feb. 9, 15:00 UTC)
This battle of regional titans that have yet to gain international success with their upgraded rosters could be a bellwether match for how each region’s teams will play for the rest of the tournament. We currently live in the LATAM era of Rainbow Six Siege, a quick Liquid 2-0 would likely mean that nothing’s going to change. However, a Spacestation victory here could be a strong sign for North America moving further into the tournament.
Beyond the implications, this is just a fun matchup. There’s a lot of Rainbow Six Siege history here: Liquid’s Luccas “Paluh” Molina and André “nesk” Oliveira are two of the greatest R6 players of all time, Paluh was the SiegeGG SI 2021 MVP. Spacestation’s Nathanial “Rampy” Duvall was the 2020 SiegeGG SI 2020 MVP, Matthew “Hotancold” Stevens is the NAL MVP. There’s a ton of firepower here, enough to make this must-see Siege.
NiP vs. Team Empire (Feb 9, 12:00 UTC)
This clash of styles will show us where the biggest X-factor in the tournament, Team Empire, is at heading into the group stage. It’ll also show us how NiP plays against a team that can potentially go shot for shot with them. Both of these teams are aggressive, but in different fashions. Empire still has some vestige of the “here’s what we’re doing, try and stop us” playstyle that made them famous in 2019. NiP still has a very aggressive dual-roam style that leads to explosive plays.
Again, this is an extremely fun matchup: “explosive” is the best word to describe both of these teams, and this match will certainly be a show. Empire has a lot to prove coming into this match, and NiP is looking to show that they’re still on top. Day two has some great matchups, and this is one of them.
Team oNe vs. DWG KIA (Feb. 8, 12:00 UTC)
Karl “Alem4o” Zarth vs. Sanghoon “yass” Yoo. Need we discuss this further?
Both of these teams are some of the best in the world, and Team oNe specifically will be looking to prove that their early exit from the Sweden Major was a fluke against a team that nearly made the finals of the event. Indeed, DWG KIA was one kill away from punching their ticket to the finals, and are looking like one of the best teams in the world coming into this event. Both of these teams are two of the top eight teams in the world no matter what way you slice it.
This is by far and away the best match of day one. Both of these teams have nothing to prove during the group stage, but this could decide who takes home the first-round bye when the stage is all said and done.
TSM FTX vs BDS (Feb. 10, 15:00 UTC)
TSM FTX had to qualify for this event through the NA Qualifier, and are looking to prove that they’re still a great international team. BDS has never beaten TSM FTX in both rosters' history and is one of the odds-on favorites to win the group.
However, they aren’t a favorite to win the event. BDS has a lot to prove heading into this event, mostly because they’ve never even made an international grand final in the history of this rosters’ success. A quick 2-0 over TSM FTX here could show that BDS is here to win, not just to make a deep run.
On the flip side, TSM FTX has had better years. A solid victory over BDS would show that their regional results are a fluke and that they’ve rebounded from their poor, yet Bryan “Merc” Wrzek-less Mexico Major performance. This is the bellwether game for this group.
MiBR vs NAVI (Feb. 11, 9:00 UTC)
This day’s kickoff game is going to be an absolute banger. Recently, NAVI and MiBR have had some public struggles, and one will have to beat the other to make it out of a tough group with a good seed. What’s more, with Oxygen, DWG KIA, and Team oNe in their group … this might be a fight to see who has to go home and who keeps their tournament life alive.
Both of these teams are perfectly capable of being a threat in this group, even though there are a ton of great teams here in Group D. However when it comes down to it, these two teams are most likely going to be picked to finish low in this group, fairly or not. Time will tell whether this match is a fight for tournament survival, or something else.
Beyond that, it’s going to be a good one. MiBR is a very talented team, and so is NAVI. They match up well against each other, and this will be a fun matchup beyond implications.
Team Liquid vs FaZe Clan (Feb. 11, 15:00 UTC)
Red vs. blue, FaZe Clan vs Team Liquid. While it’s settled in recent months, this matchup used to be one of the Brazilian scene’s biggest rivalries.
Beyond history, FaZe Clan is looking to prove that they can repeat and break the cycle of Brazilian Major victors falling short in their next title run. Team Liquid are attending their first big international event with their brand-new roster, and have a history of making deep playoff runs
The rivalry makes this game interesting, the fact that it could be for No. 1 in this group makes it even more enticing. Both teams are likely to be still in the running to win their group at this point, and this matchup could be a de facto championship match.
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