A crazy set of matches has led the EU bracket in a direction almost noone would've predicted - the Pro League teams of Secret, ENCE and Chaos all were knocked out early by lower seeded competition leaving Team Empire and LeStream in the Winners' Finals for a spot at the Invitationals.
Through the lower bracket the big story was clearly ForZe - following more than a few accusations of nefarious tactics on their part, a team of unknown Russian players knocked out both Secret and Supremacy before losing 1-14 against Team Vitality in a truly amazing lower bracket run. This now leaves Vitality in an excellent position to win a trip to Montreal as they are already in the top 3 with the top 2 given the spots.
These final two games will be played on Sunday evening, presumably on the main rainbow6 Twitch account:
Original Article - The European region will have two qualification spots rather than just the default one thanks to G2 Esports qualifying for the Invitationals twice - once by winning the last Major in Paris and once by making the Season 8 Finals in Rio. As they clearly can’t attend twice their second spot is instead offered to the runners-up in this Open tournament.
We have already seen a week of qualifiers in which the top eight performing teams were invited to compete with the three remaining Season 9 Challenger League teams and the five Pro League teams who have yet to earn a spot at the Invitationals. These teams will compete in the following bracket:
Pro League Teams
Chaos Esports Club: Secretly, REDGROOVE, Renuilz, Kripps, Vitoline and Syred (their coach)
LeStream Esports: UUNO, Hicks, risze, Alphama, AceeZ and Crapelle (their coach)
Team Secret: meepeY, Lacky, LeonGids, sTiZze, Elemzje and Helbee (their coach)
ENCE eSports: Willkey, Bounssi, Gomfi, SHA77E, SlebbeN and Sua (their coach)
Team Empire: Shockwave, ShepparD, JoyStiCk, karzheka, Scyther and RayzerGM (their coach)
With two spots up for grabs in EU, these five teams will all be very confident with their chances of booking their trip to Montreal and each with fairly good reason. With G2, Mock-it and PENTA already attending the event Secret and LeStream would be the logical favourites to take these two spots if we were to look at last Season’s standings which for Secret’s case was only supported last week when they did the impossible and defeated G2, even if it was just in a Bo1. LeStream, on the other hand, has made a number of changes in their roster from last season and has had two very different playdays so far in Pro League with a 7-1 victory over PENTA and a 7-2 defeat to ENCE. This shows that the roster has not fully meshed together yet - understandable considering that none of the players are communicating in their native language - which will have to be improved upon quick if they wish to win these qualifiers.
Ready to take advantage of these weaknesses are the three wildcard teams which no-one quite knows what to expect of yet. Chaos and Empire both sit as the only undefeated teams in EU Pro League with victories over Mock-it and Secret for Chaos and PENTA and ENCE for Empire showing that they have quite a big bite compared to previous Seasons.
Previously the core of Empire did qualify for the last Invitationals via the Open brackets while known as ROOM FACTORY and were a single Bo5 away from qualifying for the Paris Major before they fell to i don’t know (now known as Team Secret) in the qualifier finals. Meanwhile, three members of the Chaos roster have made it to a Major previously as Secretly and Renuilz played at the 2017 Invitationals alongside pannari, sno0ken and ShooTeX on EURONICS Gaming while REDGROOVE was on ROOM FACTORY at the 2018 Invitationals. Most recently, Chaos’s hopes of making the Paris Major ended when the current Empire roster shut them down 6-3, 6-4 in the loser’s bracket of the open qualifiers. In total, this creates quite a history between Empire and Chaos at Majors which is likely to continue on today as they sit extremely near to each other in the bracket.
The final Pro League team in contention is ENCE eSports which has quite a record at previous Majors - the core attended the 2017 Invitationals while known as GiFu finishing joint third as well as the 2018 Six Invitationals where they finished joint fifth. Now with the reigning champion of the last Invitationals, Ville "SHA77E" Palola, returning to ENCE for these qualifiers they will be eager to make a mark at the third annual Invites after failing to make the Paris Major last year.
Challenger League Teams
PACT: Derius, Magic, Deep, Saves and Kendrew
Supremacy: KSiiX, DjuZ, Tactics, Alive and Mrofficer88 (their analyst)
Team Vitality: Spark, BriD, BiBoo, sNKy, rxwd and Lyloun (their analyst)
With two of these rosters being recently demoted from the Pro League at the end of Season 8 many of these names would be familiar to many people however these lineups do pose two big questions: 1) can this newly improved Vitality roster compete with the Pro League teams? and 2) who is Supremacy’s new 5th? With Vitality, LeStream, Secret and Supremacy all in the same half of the bracket these questions should be answered very quickly.
PACT meanwhile come in as the constant runners-up of Challenger League with the Polish majority roster having played in every CL Season since its introduction in Season 4. While consistent, these results must be frustrating as they have been a single game of being Pros on multiple occasions with no success. While their chances are somewhat slim of finishing top 2 in these qualifiers we have had eastern-European underdogs do it before in the form of Team Empire as mentioned previously so there is still hope and, even if they don’t make the cut, this will be invaluable experience against the top level teams.
Open Qualifier Teams
CLICK: Chaoxys, ZephiR, Mr.Kopp. Noera and P4
DeathroW: Lion, Badtrak, Shiinka, SinShinrO, sTr0nG and DraZ (their coach)
forZe: SmashByAsh, Zheka, cawkx, Rask, Shangri and p4sh4 (their coach)
KaYEET: GreenArrowSVK, HanzT, SpeeD34mon, Yukihira and iAmAssassiiin
Movistar Riders: chOi, Yami, Aurel, Jugger, Indra and Daisari (their coach)
oui oui: HvK, M4DMAN, Nib0rt, SETzz and fRYKY
Trust Gaming: Snuf, Leonski, Deapek, Avaiche, Quadzy, oVie and Anthony (their two coaches)
XTreme Video Esport: Liven, Joghurtzz, Falko, Renshiro, Voy and fiskeR (their coach)
These eight teams representing nine nations between them (France, the UK, Spain, Russia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Croatia, the Netherlands and Belgium) represent a mixture of the established regional teams and up-and-coming new teams.
For the first category we have the Trust Gaming, the past Benelux region Champions who are best known for their defeat of the LATAM-giants of Team Liquid at DreamHack Winter 2018, and Movistar Riders, an extremely altered version of the Spanish Masters Champions now consisting of two Spanish, two British and a French player on their starting roster. Both these teams are well-known and have found considerable success in their own regions but have made very limited impact EU-wide; a good showing in these qualifiers could help change that but with opening matches against Team Secret for Movistar Riders and Supremacy for Trust Gaming, this is easier said than done.
Probably the most anticipated of all teams out of these open qualifiers is Xtreme Video Esports which contains most of last Season’s Millenium roster including Liven and Falko. This team is expected to take Challenger League by storm in Season 9 as Team Secret did in Season 7 making their opening match against ENCE eSports probably one of the most anticipated of the first round games.
To recap, the tournament will consist of best-of-three map matches in a double-elimination format with the top two teams qualifying for the Six Invitationals 2019. The games will be streamed primarily by community casters with these channels being confirmed for the first round of games tonight:
Team Secret vs Movistar Riders - BandBEntertainment
ENCE eSports vs XTreme Video Esport - ScokSC2
ForZe vs Team Vitality - LordAlphaTV
PACT vs oui oui - Sternab
DeathroW vs LeStream Esports - farconer
CLICK vs Team Empire - r6adria
Trust Gaming vs Supremacy - hap_r6
Chaos vs KaYEET - prismatier
Keep an eye out here at SiegeGG for more updates and resulst from the Invitational Qualifiers!