The hype was palpable -- a home crowd for the two Brazilian teams, and memorable moments for all. Rainbow Six fans from all over packed the Jeunesse Arena to cheer on for their favorite teams, whether they bled blue for Evil Geniuses, were part of the #G2ARMY, or those that chose to #FaZeUp. This your wrap-up for all of the events that happened on day 1 of the Season 8 Finals.
Maps: Oregon (7-5), Clubhouse (2-6), Bank (6-3)
FaZe: Astro, cameram4n, HSnamuringa, yoona, mav
Mock-it: KS, BakaBryan, Korey, Ripz, Vale
The mood was electric, with Rio welcoming the hometown players of FaZe with open arms, and this matchup would start off on a very hyped note. Mock-It’s reputation as the ‘Underdogs of Europe’ would prove to be well deserved, with the roster having clawed tooth and nail to be where they are after swapping players and organizations. Following the pickups of Lukas ‘Korey’ Zwingmann and Bryan ‘BakaBryan’ Tester – the Europeans would enjoy some dominance in EU with a notable tie against G2 and Team Secret. However – FaZe’s reputation as LATAM's elite has been well earned, and demonstrated much-needed improvement after a disappointing Paris Major. Since the loss of gohaN and the acquisition of paiN Gaming’s Yoona, FaZe grabbed first seed and represented LATAM as the torchbearers, seeking to repeat what Team Liquid achieved last season.
Map One: Oregon
The match started with incredible plays and fast action from both teams, with Korey notably gaining six kills over the first three rounds -- all claimed by Mock-it’s play on attack. A 3k from Mav would deliver FaZe’s first victory on round four, received very well by a loud ovation from the hometown crowd. Round five’s defense from FaZe would be a very aggressive one, but a well-timed plant and play by BakaBryan on Capitao would provide the impact frags that secured Mock-it a 4-1 lead at the halftime. At the role swap, Mock-it forced the match point on their first round as defense, but a four round win streak would keep FaZe in the balance. FaZe eventually forced overtime with Yoona’s crucial support role on Finka, plays by Mav and cameram4n, and a round ten ace from Astro – all backed by the adulation of Rio. The overtime swayed in the favor of FaZe, and they continued their dominance, to win the overtime and reverse sweep Mock-it.
Map Two: Clubhouse
The pressure grew for Mock-it as they headed into FaZe’s map pick after a loss on Oregon. However, this happened to be the map that they had not only tied G2 Esports on, but the map that secured them second seed in the EU Pro League. Mock-it picked up a 4-1 lead heading into the second half with a show of utter dominance on defense. After the role swap, the story was quite the same despite FaZe claiming round six. It was then followed by Mock-it’s win on round seven to force match point, and this time Mock-it secured the map victory with the 6-2 win.
Map Three: Bank
The standoff would finally be broken on Bank, a map that Mock-it has only played once in the past six months at Dreamhack Valencia. Then, it had ended in a 1-6 loss against Rogue. A back-and-forth first half in Rio ended with FaZe gaining a 3-2 lead after an intense 1v1 between BakaBryan on low ammunition and cameram4n. FaZe then picked up round six, showing reckless dominance on Bank on their first round as defense. However, the end of round eight would shift the match point advantage in FaZe’s favor, leading 5-3. It would be FaZe to seal the deal and capture the win on round 9, securing their spot in the semi-finals.
Maps: Consulate (4-6), Oregon (6-3), Coastline (6-4)
Rogue: Slashug, Easilyy, Ecl9pse, Shuttle, Supr
NORA-Rengo: Wokka, Merieux, JJ, Papilia, Reycyil
From the legendary rematch from Season 7, the familiar faces of Rogue and NORA-Rengo went head to head once again. Rogue once again were North America's second seed, after picking up Seth ‘supr’ Hoffman and firmly gelling with Aaron ‘Shuttle’ Dugger following the loss of Bryan and geoometrics. NORA-Rengo however, has been dominant in Japan with a 12-0-2 record and a victory over APAC 2nd seed Fnatic at the APAC LAN Finals back in October. The last time the two matched up, Rogue had ousted Nora 2-1, Rio would set the stage for a cerebral revisit of Season 7.
Map One: Consulate
Like in Season 7, the two had their first encounter on Consulate -- a map that Rogue had won 6-4 back then. With Rogue on attack and Nora on defense, and despite an exceptional performance by Shuttle, NORA-Rengo held out to gain the advantage heading into the halftime swap. It was clear that the APAC 1st seed was playing mind games, using Rogue’s own aggression to their advantage. NR looked good until round six, however an accidental teamkill onto Wokka from ReyCyil gifted round seven to Rogue. Evening out the scoreline, Rogue took round eight after winning the post-plant against a tenacious JJ and ReyCyil, and got to match point after round nine. However, it would be a jaw-clenching encounter in the garage, with numerous trades to close out map one in Rogue’s favor and to repeat the map record from Season 7.
Map Two: Oregon
After Rogue’s win on Consulate, they would hit a barrier in the form of Oregon, a map that they have notoriously been less than stellar on. NR picked up on this, and surgically dismantled Rogue, getting key entry frags to lead 3-1 before round five. However, the halftime saw Rogue just trailing behind at 3-2. Following the role swap, NORA-Rengo would force match point after round seven, but it would be a heroic save by easilyy in round eight to keep Nora from hitting the sixth round win. NR's win would not be held off any longer than round nine, however, giving the Japanese their first map in the series.
Map Three: Coastline
One map for Rogue, one map for NORA-Rengo. This songbird hummed a tune all too familiar, as if to harken back to Season 7’s matchup. Coastline had been the second map that both teams had played in their previous encounter -- with NR winning 5-1. This time, Rogue established a comfortable cushion by taking the first three rounds The North Americans plowed through NR’s defense with Shuttle leading the charge with 6 kills over the course of all three rounds. After the halftime, round six saw NORA-Rengo erase the 3 round deficit from the first half, keeping the match poised at 3-3 heading into round seven. A momentary back-and-forth would only preface Nora claiming match point in round nine after incredible plays from Merieux. After crucial frags from Papilia to turn the tide against Rogue, NORA-Rengo took the win and made history to become the first team APAC to progress to the semi-finals in any international event
Maps: Border (6-3), Oregon (6-4), Villa (Not played)
EG: Canadian, Yung, nvK, Necrox, Geoometrics
Fnatic: Acez, Dizzle, Lusty, NeophyteR, RizRaz
The titans of North America were set to take on the APAC 2nd seed for this matchup, with both roads to Rio having been different for each team. EG continued their status as the best NA team after a crucial victory against SK Gaming punched their ticket to Rio, however, Fnatic were fighting for something different. Originally expected to participate with their captain, Magnet, it was reported that Magnet could not make Rio due to a surgery, sending a punch to the gut with the loss of the heart and soul of the team.
Map One: Border
The matchup began on Border, and showed the skill of each team after a back-and-forth until halftime, with a strong showing from players like Geoo and Rizraz. Fnatic were able to show that they were able to stand strong even without Magnet, and bring the fight to the titans of North America. Against all odds, though, Fnatic sat pretty on match point at the end of round eight with a 5-3 lead. EG would be left shell-shocked, though, as Fnatic closed out the game with a 6-3 finish and delivered a much-needed win for APAC following NORA-Rengo’s 2-1 win against Rogue. RizRaz and Lusty were the players to note at the end of this match, with both players showing a rating above 1.2, and at least a 0.80 KOST.
Map Two: Oregon
Every North American team knew the golden rule to never take EG to Oregon. Out of a total of 4 matches played on Oregon in the past three months, EG had won three and tied one. Furthermore, Fnatic had historically been considered middle-of-the-road on the map. It mattered little, though, as form flew out of the window, with Dizzle grabbing a 3k in the first round alone. The dominance would continue through to the halftime, where round five gave EG their first victory. It would be the powerful combination of Smoke and Echo bans to shift the map meta in the favor of the attackers, and soon EG climbed back up to a 4-4 score, giving hope that the titanic team had woken up. Round nine would put the match point, the game victory, just within arms’ reach of Fnatic after an incredible clutch from Acez, though, as it seemed EG slipped back into their slumber. It would be the final round -- where an incredible play from Acez once again led Fnatic to a keynote victory to become the second-ever APAC team to head to the semi-finals hot on the heels of NORA-Rengo.
Maps: Consulate (7-5), Bank (6-4), Clubhouse (Not played)
G2: Fabian, Pengu, Goga, jOONAS, Kantoraketti
Immortals: Novys, oNe, Cyb3r, PX, Yuuk
The final matchup of the day saw the #1 seed from EU go up against the #2 seed from LATAM. G2 have been on the lookout for a third Pro League title for over a year now, having last won in Season 5, and having lost to Team Liquid in the Season 7 Grand Final. Historically, though, LATAM teams have been the only ones able to defeat the post-Year 2 G2 Esports, and Immortals definitely pushed G2 hard.
Map One: Consulate
Since the Paris Major and G2’s complete show of dominance versus Evil Geniuses (after hiding strats on Consulate), the first map was once again on the Europeans' familiar stomping grounds. G2 started off brightly, taking the first two rounds, but Immortals then soaked up the home crowd's adulation and managed to steal both rounds three and four. The halftime swap put Immortals onto defense, in the lead 3-2, with the Brazilians surprising many -- including, it seemed, G2. The back-and-forth continued on, but every two steps forward by Immortals were matched by the EU squad. Immortals got up to match point after round nine, but G2 was able to keep up and take the matchup to overtime. The map eventually up in G2’s favor, with Pengu’s stellar 1.30 Rating, 2.0 K/D, and 0.83 KOST, keeping the team on course for another title.
Map Two: Bank
Bank appeared once more in the night -- only the second time this LAN -- with it being the pcik of G2 Esports. The first two rounds once again went to G2, but confident plays from cyb3r saw him snag a 3k and propel his team to a round three win to bask in applause from the home crowd. After the halftime, Immortals was once again 3-2 up -- the same position they were in during the previous map -- but it would be G2’s solid plays on defense that would be their undoing, and locked the European Rainbow Six titans in for another semi-final appearance.
Tune in tomorrow for the conclusion of Season 8 of the Rainbow Six Pro League on twitch.tv/Rainbow6, featuring the semifinals and grand final matchups, as well as the world premiere of Operation Wind Bastion.