The top team in each of the Asia-Pacific sub-regions will meet this Saturday in Sydney, Australia, to fight their way to join NORA-Rengo and Fnatic as APAC’s representatives at the 2019 Six Invitational next month.
Last weekend, each sub-region held an open qualifier in which any team could fight their way to a spot at this APAC LAN with these four teams eventually selected:
Japan - FAV Gaming
Roster: ShiN, Afro, OdeNMiso, Taipon, Raiser and Tatsukin (Analyst)
Previously known as eiNs, the last time we saw this roster at an international LAN was at the 2018 Six Invitational. Now, after a brief loan to NORA-Rengo for the Six Major Paris, with their team captain of Shinji "ShiN" Funai back on the lineup, and the roster is back to their best and ready to represent Japan on the international stage.
At the 2018 Six Invitational, eiNs took down eRa Eternity and almost defeated ENCE eSports in a hugely surprising showing after their 10-2 loss at the Season 6 Quarterfinals to Team FONTT. However, only two members of this roster remain after the rest left to join Sengoku Gaming Extasy for Season 7. The remaining players of ShiN and Kaito “OdeNMiso” Yonezu now lead the new roster with a brand-new organisation into the APAC LAN with the hopes of joining their fellow Japanese team of NORA-Rengo in Montreal next month.
South Korea - mantisFPS
Roster: EnvyTaylor, Neilyo, SweetBlack, h3dy, Nova and OniChan (Coach)
MantisFPS has previously represented Korea on the biggest stage on two occasions -- the Season 6 Finals, where they were beaten by PENTA (now known as G2 Esports) in the quarterfinals, and the Paris Major, where they defeated the then second-seeded LATAM team of Immortals while known as Element Mystic. This makes them the joint-third most successful team in the whole of APAC, just behind NORA-Rengo and Fnatic despite their relative lack of recognition.
Now, after finishing with the first and only 14-0-0 win-draw-loss record in Pro League history during Season 8, mantisFPS has proved themselves to be the dominant force in the South Korean sub-region. They will now aim to prove this again on an international scale this weekend after their failure against Xavier Esports last season.
Australia and New Zealand - 0RGL3SS
Roster: syliX, EmoRin, Derpeh, Ethan, JoeyG, and Fluxx (Coach)
Best known as Athletico Esports, this roster made the first notable roster change of 2019 when they left their longtime organisation to add to a number of huge changes in the ANZ scene over the last few months. Athletico has always been seen as the #2 to #3 team in the ANZ sub-region, however, they really started pushing to the top during the later parts of Season 8 of the Pro League when they beat Fnatic 2-0 in the playoffs to finish as #1 team in ANZ. Here were drawn on NORA-Rengo’s side of the bracket at APAC LAN but, unfortunately, fell in a very tight game against Aerowolf in the quarterfinals before the two had a chance to meet.
They did, however, meet up at the Six Masters, where Athletico managed to take a map away from the Japanese giants just a few weeks before the latter finished joint-third in the world at the Season 8 Pro League Finals. This shows an incredible level of promise, and while they trialled the ex-Dark Sided player of Fletcher "Fletch" Hickling in the online qualifiers, they will not be playing with him at this LAN.
Southeast Asia - Aerowolf
Roster: Lunarmetal, Ysaera, HysteRiX, Array, and MentalistC
As perpetual runners-up in the APAC region, Aerowolf has now attended all six APAC LANs but has only attended one inter-regional competition -- the 2017 Six Invitational when known as Team Envy. Despite taking the eventual runners-up to map three at this tournament, Envy went out in the first round and has failed to make the main stage since, making SEA the least successful sub-region in APAC.
They now enter this event as the runners-up in SEA after the open qualifier winners, Xavier Esports, failed to get visas in time for the event. However, they will still be seen as one of the top contenders now that their longtime substitute Patrick “MentalistC” Fan has finally come of age and can join the active roster. With the two top teams in APAC, Fnatic and NORA-Rengo, not present at this LAN and a number of the remaining teams have had very recent roster changes this is perhaps their best chance yet to finally break the curse and win an APAC LAN and take them to the largest tournament in R6 history.
The games are scheduled to start on Saturday at 10AM AEDT (Midnight CET/6PM EST on Friday) with the initial matchups of Aerowolf vs FAV Gaming and mantisFPS vs 0RGL3SS taking place back-to-back. They will be followed by the Grand Final to decide which team will travel to the over $1 million 2019 Six Invitational next month.
Unlike previous APAC Major LANs, this is a simple single elimination tournament with best-of-3 matches throughout -- this change from a double elimination bracket and a Bo5 final is likely due to the last minute nature of the event due to the month-long delay in the Pro League and Open Qualifiers.
You can watch the event on the Rainbow6 Twitch account or catch the results right here at SiegeGG!