While NA, LATAM, and APAC saw a number of big name matches and surprise results, it simply doesn’t compare to the craziness seen in Europe this week with results and standings that seem completely backwards compared to last Season:
Europe - G2 Looking Weak?
While it is only four playdays in G2 has now won just a single game in four with two defeats in the last week - the same number of online defeats they had in the two years prior - in an extremely rare sign of weakness shown by the rock of G2. This weak showing is primarily due to a complete collapse on the attack with them winning just 2/17 attack rounds in the last three matchups compared to 11/16 defensive rounds. This difference allowed both PENTA and ENCE to run up impressive defensive leads (5-1 and 6-0) on the fairly even maps of Oregon and Consulate before mounting a partial comeback after the side swaps.
This is simply not the G2 we have come to expect over the last five seasons and, whether this is just a small hiccup on their way to the Six Invitationals or not, their Pro League matches only get harder from here as their three remaining games are against the three top teams in the leaderboard - Empire, Chaos and LeStream.
The other matchups also consisted of a large number of surprise results as well as it became simply too hard to predict what was going to happen in each matchup. Chaos, a team which was playing extremely well organised to a degree they were being compared to old-style G2 by the casters, found their first defeat to PENTA in what was their first victory of the Season while Team Secret followed up their victory over G2 with two defeats this week. The one constant in EU has been Empire who remain undefeated but still were taken to the edge against a bottom of the table Mock-it side.
The European region has been a real rollercoaster over the last two weeks which has led to, as it currently stands, the four EU teams attending the Invitationals sitting at the very bottom of the leaderboard which doesn’t bode well for EU hopes at the tournament no matter how you look at it:
North America - Record Breaking Rampy
Spacestation had both an impressive and disappointing week as they found draws to both Reciprocity and DarkZero. Both these games were in winnable situations for SSG especially with Rampy’s astonishing 22 kills on Sunday however they failed to get the extra round needed on both occasions leading to a gain of just 2/6 points in their two matchups. Nevertheless, a draw against DarkZero shows they are a top contender in North America especially considering DarkZero’s victory over Rogue the previous day.
On the other hand, Rogue had a fairly disappointing week after losses against two of their main competitors -- DZ and EG. These are results which may come back to bite them as they sit six points off the top after just three games, however, unlike their main competitors, they have already played many of their harder games meaning they should be able to rack up the points over the next two weeks.
Finally, we have Rise Nation who now sits as the only team in North America with zero points after they won just two rounds in as many games this week. This is certainly a drop-off from the fairly impressive run they had in the second half showing that the loss of VertcL was a hard blow to the squad.
These results now leave North America in a familiar position with Evil Geniuses once again leading the pack but with Reciprocity and DarkZero on their tails ahead of Rogue we may also have a tight competition in NA as well as EU:
Latin America - Unlucky FaZe
The big matchup of the week between the titans of rosters and orgs as well as a grudge match for gohaN -- Team Liquid vs FaZe Clan -- ended in the most disappointing way possible as three complete disconnections in six rounds by FaZe meant they were forced to forfeit the match in a technical 0-7 defeat, not the result anyone would’ve wanted. This now means that following FaZe’s defeat to NiP on the opening playday they are starting to fall behind their fellow top-4 teams of Liquid, NiP and Immortals.
The other big matchup this week was between NiP and Immortals which looked to be going completely in IMT’s favour but, just like the G2 vs PENTA matchup the following day, NiP recovered from a 1-5 attacking half to win 5/6 rounds in a row on defence on Border finishing the game in a tie. However with a victory over Liquid on week 1 and now this tie they are continuing to prove that they deserve to be grouped with the traditional LATAM leaders as they give them close matches for the second season in a row.
This now leaves the four teams who will attend the Invitationals in the top four Pro League standings and within four points while the bottom four Pro League teams are also within four points of each other, a league divide I suspect will continue throughout the Season:
Asia-Pacific - JP and ANZ Contenders?
While the opening three playdays of the APAC sub-region’s Pro League saw very few big name matches we did see a number of surprise results as the two leading Japanese teams of Nora-Rengo and FAV Gaming both suffered draws in their opening matchups. Nora-Rengo came back from behind on Coastline against Father’s back while FAV and ReV were evenly contested throughout on Consulate giving both these team’s their first points off the Season in games they likely wouldn’t have expected to get anything out of. This could be a sign of a lessening skill gap within the APAC sub-region or, with FAV preparing for last weekend’s APAC LAN and NR preparing for the upcoming Six Invitationals, it’s possible they were simply caught off guard by these two squads.
More surprise results were found in the ANZ region also as the recently re-formed Dark Sided roster dropped a 4-7 defeat on Villa against the beautifully named Gentlemen in Underwear roster which was previously known as TABOO. Meanwhile, the newly picked up player of Loona, the only female R6 Pro League player in the World, carried Avant Gaming to a victory over 0RGL3SS, the ex-Athletico roster, on Villa 5-7. Both these results were somewhat unexpected and show that, just like the rest of the R6 World, Season 9 has brought new challengers in the ANZ region who ready to contest for a top 2 finish.
And so that’s my roundup of the second super week of Season 9 as we saw competition heat up in all four regions with more than a few shock results. Keep an eye out on SiegeGG for more Pro League updates and results as we get closer to the Six invitationals!