It’s all come down to this -- the biggest event of the year. A whole year of waiting with bated breaths since PENTA Sports (now G2 Esports) lifted the Hammer in front of Montreal. With a new year comes a new installment of the Six Invitational. Not some but the best have gone through Pro League struggles, DreamHack competitions, and a week’s worth of online qualifiers to get where they are today. This continues our week-long coverage of the Six Invitational 2019, live from Montreal, Quebec.
Winners’ Match: Fnatic 2 - 1 FaZe Clan
Maps: Border (7-3), Bank (7-8), Clubhouse (7-2)
FaZe: Muringa, Astro, Yoona, mav, cameram4n, and twisterm4n (Analyst)
Fnatic: Magnet, Acez, RizRaz, Lusty, Virtue, and Dizzle (Coach)
After the surprise victory against Team Reciprocity, and FaZe showing up out of nowhere yesterday since their subpar Season 9 performance, this match had a lot riding for either team. If Fnatic won, they would repeat their Quarter-Finals appearance from the previous Invitational, then under Mindfreak. FaZe desired the same representation, the same opportunity to be at the Quarter-Finals and to stake their claim as the torchbearers of LATAM. After superior performances from day one, both teams looked to repeat that experience yesterday.
Map One: Border
Fnatic burst onto FaZe’s map pick, not holding back any aggression after a questionable Ying ban was made against the LATAM powerhouse. The Australian representatives claimed five rounds in a row on their attack, devastating FaZe’s defensive play round after round. FaZe claim the last round of the first half, but Fnatic kept turning up the pressure, and managed to latch onto match point. The following two rounds went to FaZe after Fnatic got a bit too greedy, but Fnatic managed to close the game out on round ten with a 7-3 victory.
Map Two: Bank
On Fnatic’s map pick, the Australians shocked everyone after effortlessly winning three rounds in the first half to give FaZe a mountain to climb. Fnatic’s plays on the first round included a well-played bait of using Gu mines to emulate smoke canisters or a C4 that pushed FaZe off of a potential basement plant. While Fnatic were up with the round count, FaZe quickly brought the game back after equalizing the scoreline. The back-and-forth ensued, as both teams hit a stalemate to throw the second map into the second overtime of the day. The overtime continued with the stalling, as a massive misplay on Fnatic’s end wasted their utility on a basement push, giving FaZe map two.
Map Three: Clubhouse
Once again, just like on the prior two maps, Fnatic burst out with an explosive 6-0 lead on defense that featured another Magnet-delivered interrogation. After the role swap, though, Fnatic seemed to be struggling to close things out at first but recovered well enough later to close things out by a score of 7-2.
Elimination Match: Team Reciprocity 2 - 1 Ninjas In Pyjamas
Maps: Consulate (6-8), Clubhouse (7-0), Border (7-3)
Reciprocity: FoxA, MarkTheShark, LaXInG, Skys, Retro, Robn (Analyst) and HOP3Z (Coach)
NiP: Psycho, Kamikaze, pino, wag, julio and Absurdo (Coach)
After both teams faced shock losses against teams that, on paper, they surely would have believed they should have won against, this match would be the end of the line for one of the two. Reciprocity looked to stay in the game and further North America’s chances of being in the Quarter-Finals while the Ninjas, this is looked for a repeat appearance in the Quarter-Finals yet again -- before joining the timeless organization of NiP, they previously had played in the 2018 iteration’s playoffs under the Brazilian organization of Black Dragons.
Map One: Consulate
On Reciprocity’s map pick, both teams looked strong in the early round with the rounds being traded by each other. However, Reciprocity got themselves to a two-round lead prior to NiP catching up to even the playing field. In the second half, both teams played quite evenly, leading the match into overtime. It would be smart plays from the Brazilians in the end, though, that would outpower Reciprocity and win the map.
Map Two: Clubhouse
To put it short, Reciprocity reclaimed their domain on Clubhouse via this game. With a flawless defense, followed up by a single win on the attacking side- Reciprocity showed that their investment in this map’s preparation was exactly what had been needed, and they reclaimed control of the game.
Map Three: Border
With the momentum from their 7-0 victory on Clubhouse, the decider would go to Border as Reciprocity kept up their domination over NiP. Flawless retakes and coordination to catch the LATAM representatives off their feet for another flawless defense, securing match point. On the defense, NiP clawed back three rounds, but it was just not enough as round ten left julio in a 1v3 post-plant, giving Reciprocity the victory and sending NiP back home.
Winners’ Match: Team Empire 2 - 0 Spacestation Gaming
Maps: Coastline (8-6), Oregon (7-2), Clubhouse (Not played)
SSG: Redeemer, Rampy, Bosco, Chala, ThinkingNade, and Lycan (Coach)
Empire: karzheka, JoyStiCK, Scyther, ShepparD, Shockwave, and RayzerGM (Coach)
In a repeat from the DreamHack Winter 3rd place matchup, the European juggernauts once again faced off against one of the most promising teams in North America. In their prior engagement, Empire had come out victorious over a three-map series, one of which was a definitive 7-2 in the favor of Spacestation. For both teams, this is an opportunity to step into a stage that they have never stepped onto. An opportunity to be at the Quarter-Finals of the Six Invitational 2019.
Map One: Coastline
With Empire’s map pick up first, Spacestation grabbed a two-round lead early but were left behind by Empire’s play as the map carried along towards overtime. Despite their best efforts, Spacestation were not able to grab the win during the overtime and thus fall to Empire, giving the Eastern Europeans an 8-6 victory on the first map.
Map Two: Oregon
Spacestation’s map pick, Oregon, was then their last bastion of hope to make it to the Quarter-Finals without having to play an additional game, but the North Americans were overwhelmed by Empire’s strong play on Oregon. Flanks and surgical attacks to slowly pick at the North American hopefuls. Empire picked up 5 rounds uncontested before SSG finally managed to sneak in two of their own. However, a comeback was not in-season, as once again Empire would take the win home, and mark their first time to make the playoffs in a major.
Elimination Match: Immortals 2 - 1 Rogue
Maps: Oregon (8-7), Bank (3-7), Clubhouse (8-6)
Immortals: Novys, cyb3r, Bullet1, MKing, pX and Mohamed (Manager)
Rogue: Slashug, easilyy, Ecl9pse, Shuttle, VertcL and Ranger (Coach)
After Immortals’ disappointing loss to Empire, the top LATAM team of Season 9 looked to stay in the running as one of the two remaining Latin American teams at the Six Invitational 2019. However, Rogue stood in their way, striving to keep their status as a contestable North American titan alive. Both teams desired the opportunity to face the loser of Spacestation versus Empire, but only one was going to make it through.
Map One: Oregon
On Oregon, despite it being tied up into the second half, Rogue managed to wiggle into having the round advantage, being up 5-4, and then put themselves up on match point. Immortals wouldn’t have any of it,though, and turned the tables to force overtime. Despite Rogue’s best efforts, forcing the game into overtime match point, Immortals came out strong with the victory.
Map Two: Bank
Traditionally being one of LATAM’s stronger maps, Rogue managed to tear through Immortals with a stunning show of power. With five out of six rounds to Rogue’s name on this map, the chances of the North Americans closing out Bank looked very promising. Immortals would gain their first round at the end of the first half, after Rogue didn’t push on site effectively, but it would not be enough. Rogue’s combined efforts and improved troubleshooting to correct their own mistakes of utility allocation kept them alive and pushed the game to the third map.
Map Three: Clubhouse
What started off very much so in the favor of Rogue, quickly deteriorated as the map went on. Even Slashug’s impeccable Ying play wasn’t enough to give Rogue the win, as the game lapsed into overtime once again. In the overtime, a broken and bruised Rogue gave its last shot at staying in this tournament. Immortals, though, powered through,and and kept their dream to make it to the playoffs alive and prepared for a scrap versus Spacestation Gaming.
Winners’ Match: G2 Esports 2 - 0 Mock-it Esports
Maps: Villa (7-3), Coastline (7-3), Oregon (Not played)
G2: Fabian, Pengu, Kantoraketti, Goga, Joonas and Shas[O]Udas (Coach)
Mock-It: KS, Korey, ripz, Vale, Cry1NNN and Lazzo (Coach)
In a rematch from their bouts during the latter half of Season 8 and the first EU match of Season 9, the top two teams in Europe from Season 8 were going head-to-head again. The series of Mock-It versus G2 has always produced interesting outcomes, and this was no exception.After their victory over Liquid, Mock-it desired the chance to make it to the stage rightaway. However, defending Invitational champions G2 knew that spot had their name written on it, and intended to make it stay that way.
Map One: Villa
Given G2’s loss to Team Secret on Villa in the second week of the Pro League, Mock-it could have been forgiven for thinking they could take their esteemed opponents here. Unfortunately, G2 Esports came ready to disabuse any such notions, surging to 5-1 on their defensive half. On the role swap, Mock-it teased a comeback after securing two rounds to make it 5-3, but G2 closed out the series and took their map with a 7-3 victory.
Map Two: Coastline
Well known as the map not to take G2 on, observers had already begun shaking their heads at Mock-it’s audacity at allowing it through the ban phase. After all, G2 Esports was the best team on Coastline in any region in 2018. . Two rounds to G2 later, it seemed that this would be even quicker an affair than Villa but the Germans finally managed to put a number on the board. However, Mock-it’s hopes were dimmed once again.. On match point with a 6-2 scoreline, KS salvaged one last round for Mock-it in a 1v1 with Fabian, but a comeback would not be on the cards. G2 advanced to the playoffs, as Mock-it were forced to play on another day against the victor of the elimination match.
Elimination Match: Team Liquid 2 - 1 mantisFPS
Maps: Bank (7-5), Clubhouse (6-8), Border (7-3)
Liquid: ziG, Paluh, gohaN, xS3xyCake, Nesk and Sensi (Coach)
Mock-It: EnvyTaylor, SweetBlack, h3dy, Nova, Neilyo and SummerRain (Manager)
After showing up to prove everyone wrong in their match against G2, mantisFPS have clearly made a name for themselves as a team with no organizational representation. Managing to force their first map against G2 into overtime, regardless of the outcome was quite the feat for such an underestimated team. Liquid, on the other hand, wanted to avoid an early exit at all costs, as repeating the events of the Paris Major was something they wanted to avoid at all costs.
Map One: Bank
Starting off on Bank, Liquid’s map pick, it was clear that the Brazilians had impeccable control over the map as they were swiftly leading with a 4-1 scoreline. In the second half, Liquid forced match point with a 6-3 lead, and just as it seemed that Mantis would force the game into overtime, Liquid closed out the series with a 7-5 victory.
Map Two: Clubhouse
On Mantis’ map pick, the outcome would be drastically different as Mantis gave Liquid a run for their money. As the Brazilians and the South Koreans traded rounds back and forth, it became very clear that this match was going to overtime. In the overtime, Mantis would repel Liquid’s attack and then follow up with an impressive attack of their own, which Liquid managed to lower the numbers game until they failed at retaking the site, leaving Paluh in a 1v3 that couldn’t be won.
Map Three: Border
The opportunity to stay in the running was on the line, and both teams were alive and kicking. In the first half, teams went back-and-forth and overtime seemed to be certain yet again, but Liquid secured a two-round buffer just at the end of round six. Maintaining the lead, the Brazilians closed out the game with a 7-3 victory. Now, Mock-it awaits Liquid in a massive rematch of the first group stage game.
Winners’ Match: Evil Geniuses 2 - 0 NORA-Rengo
Maps: Consulate (7-2), Oregon (7-5), Bank (Not played)
NORA: Wokka, ReyCyil, Merieux, Ramu, Papilia and kizoku (Coach)
EG: Canadian, nvK, Necrox, geoometrics, Yung and Gotcha (Coach)
In a startling rematch of North America versus APAC, the Evil Geniuses would find themselves up against a new foe. After NR’s strong victory over PENTA on the prior day, they landed into the hands of a hungry Evil Geniuses with both teas looking to head to the playoffs. In this rematch of NA versus APAC, all dials were turned up to 11, but could NR recreate the upset from the Season 8 Finals that Fnatic delivered unto EG?
Map One: Consulate
With a start on Consulate, EG brought all their firepower to bear against NR . With this also being the same map NR had lost to Rogue on during the Season 8 Finals, not a whole lot was expected from the Japanese representatives. EG took the majority of Consulate’s first half, heading into the role swap with a 5-1 lead. One more round would go to NORA, just before EG take the map with a 7-2 victory to motivate them heading into map two.
Map Two: Oregon
Following in the footsteps of LeStream, NORA-Rengo joined their Group D compatriots in allowing EG to go to Oregon -- a mistake almost akin to bringing G2 to Coastline. The Europeans’ 7-2 loss wouldn’t slow down NR’s drive, as they put up a hard fight even into the second half. Both teams traded off rounds to one another, as EG continuously tried to establish a concrete a lead against NR. EG headed into match point with a 6-4 lead in the second half, and while NR secured one more for themselves in an attempt to force overtime, the boys that bleed blue would overcome the challenge and head to the Quarter-Finals once again.
Elimination Match: PENTA 2 - 0 LeStream Esport
Maps: Border (7-4), Clubhouse (7-2), Coastline (Not played)
LSE: Hicks, risze, AceeZ, UUNO, Alphama and Crapelle (Coach)
PENTA: RevaN, ENEMY, Hungry, SirBoss, blas and Jess (Coach)
In the final match of the day, two up-and-coming European teams battled it out in a best-of-three rematch of a prior matchup during Season 9 of the EU Pro League. Then, LeStream (LSE) had crushed PENTA by a score of 7-1. LeStream, while notorious for their hot droning and aggressive playstyle, failed to have enough of an effect against Evil Geniuses yesterday, and also made the mistake of taking EG to Oregon. With PENTA, given their first map win against NORA-Rengo, they couldn’t close it out even on a map where Hungry had access to his lethal wild card, Ying. Both teams look to distinguished who is the better up-and-coming team, and given that they now had more than one map to execute it on, made this match a must-watch.
Map One: Border
Following per-usual routine, LSE banned Ying and left the Montagne to Hungry, but a curious AceeZ picked Frost straight off the bat to spice up the first round. Both teams were neck-and-neck up until PENTA gained a three round buffer well into the second half, putting the team on match point at 6-3. LeStream pushed back on the tenth round, but PENTA closed out the first map with a 7-4 finish.
Map Two: Clubhouse
PENTA rolled along forward, almost unstoppable as they won all six rounds in the first half while on defense thanks to their great holds and retakes, and looked to shut out LeStream before the second half even got underway properly. Despite LeStream’s efforts to get some rounds on the board, PENTA only allowed them to escape with two as the matchup ended with a 7-2 score, and set themselves up for a rematch against NORA-Rengo. LeStream join mantisFPS, Rogue, and Ninjas in Pyjamas as the eliminated teams, left to regroup and figure out where they went wrong.
That was your roundup for the second day of group stage action at the Six Invitational 2019, stay tuned as we bring you more comprehensive news and stats coverage throughout the week, leading up to the Grand Finals on Sunday!