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Operation Commanding Force's arrival will mark the start of Rainbow Six Siege's Year 8. With BLAST taking over Siege's esports scene, understanding how the leagues will work is crucial.
Today is the turn of the South East Asia and the South Asia leagues, with the former set to begin today and the latter having kicked off already.
South East Asia League
The South East Asia League will kick off on Mar. 12 and will run until Apr. 2. The eight teams in the league will face off to finish among the top three, who will be invited to the Last Chance Qualifiers. There, the two best teams will qualify for the BLAST Major Copenhagen.
Elevate and Dire Wolves may be the favorites to finish in the top three. Both teams have plenty of experience in international competitions, which could make a difference.
While the Taiwanese roster hasn't gone through changes since their last match in Montreal, Canada, the situation is different with Elevate. Paramin "sprOnigiri" Suwanwattana's departure led to the organization dropping the roster entirely -- and signing Roosters instead. Despite the new team, though, this is also very experienced.
Reinaldo "Tolji" Gilbert, Razaan "Ape" Adiprakasa, and Richard "Rixx" Nixon, all former Gaimin Gladiators players, have joined HealthcareOG, and the former Invictus Gaming player Matin "SpeakEasy" Yunos. Moreover, the Pakistani player "BarcodeOP" is also part of the team.
Sadly, despite Elevate's best efforts, its former roster has been replaced in the league by Varianx. This was apparently a BLAST decision, as implied by a Reddit comment by the Elevate CEO, with the former Elevate roster not disbanding but still being barred from participating without an organization.
However, all eyes will be on Bleed Esports. With three Chinese members in Patrick "MentalistC" Fan, Wu "Reeps96" Weichen, and the coach Zhang "BruceZz" Jinghe, this is the first top-flight roster with a Chinese majority.
Another team that will surely be competing to be at the top of the standings is FURY. The Thai roster showed great progress by qualifying for the Jönköping Major. Following Chayapat "HealthcareOG" Boonyamanop's departure to Elevate, the team has signed "Kritj".
BarcodeOP will not be the only Pakistani player in the league, though, as Wasted Potential will have "Vexiion" in the starting squad. The team will be led by the Malaysian player Hafiz "ShibeNuts" Yahaya, who played for Tyde in APAC South 2022 Stage 3. Gaimin Gladiators' former substitute Farhan "Hermosa" Adinepa is also part of the team.
The South Asia League will be completed with the Thai squads of Devil Dog and Champion, as we will see the top-flight returns of Pakkapon "Pxkie" Pongyeetho, who won the South East Asia PL Season 11 with QConfirm, and Prin "Roldinii" Boonnart, who competed for Xavier Esports and QConfirm.
South Asia League
The South Asia League began on Mar. 11 and will finish on Apr. 1. The best team in the competition will qualify for the Last Chance Qualifiers, where two BLAST Major Copenhagen spots will be in play.
Just like the SEA League, the South Asia League will have eight teams. It all points toward a two-horse race for first place between Monkey Hunters, Rush B, and Shaheens, as all three squads are built by some of the best players in the league.
Monkey Hunters recently competed in the South Asia Nationals 2022, where they won the championship after defeating MercenarieZ by a score of 3-1. The roster also participated at the ROG Masters Asia-Pacific 2022, where they lost to Gaimin Gladiators and PANTHERA by 0-2 scores.
After the team's performances at the end of the 2022 season, Monkey Hunters were picked up by Take Charge Esports to compete at the APAC SI 2023 Closed Qualifiers. However, the roster couldn't make it to the second round of the bracket after losing against FURY.
Meanwhile, Rush B's best results in Siege came throughout 2020 and 2021 under the MercenarieZ banner, where they won the Six November 2020 Major and qualified for the three APAC League Playoffs of 2021. Since then, they have faced multiple top-flight teams, including Fnatic in July 2021 and CYCLOPS athlete gaming in October 2021.
MercenarieZ's 2022 season is full of second-place finishes due to the team's lack of success against their archenemies Monkey Hunters.
Format and Schedule
In the South East Asia League, the games will run from Mar. 12 to Apr. 2 in a round-robin league. All of the matches at this stage will be BO1. The best three teams will qualify for the Major Asia Last Chance Qualifier. The remaining five will drop to the South East Asia Open in the Qualifier Playoffs.
Meanwhile, the South Asia League will run from Mar. 11 to Apr. 1 and the tournament will follow a round-robin format. All of the matches will be BO1. Only the best team will qualify for the Major Asia Last Chance Qualifier. The remaining seven teams will drop to the South Asia Open in the Qualifier Playoffs.
Both competitions will use the same point system: three points for a regulation win, two for an overtime win, one for an overtime loss, and zero for a regulation loss.
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