The third and final day of the Group Stage for the Six invitational is said and done, and below you’ll find a breakdown of each match, some highlights, and what to expect on the matches of the first day of the Main Event.
Before we get into it I want to say, that much to my surprise, there were zero production errors! I don’t think the stage was stopped for anything, not a sound issue, or a game bug, or anything at all. So well done, Ubisoft and ESL, keep it up coming into the Main Event and we’ll all be very impressed.
1UP eSports (EU) vs. Evil Geniuses (NA) The map banning phase gave us Club House, Oregon, and Border which is an interesting series of picks. Evil Geniuses are known for their incredible Border gameplay, so it’s odd to think that 1UP didn’t know that or intentionally let that one slip through.
Club House went the way of EG only yielding the first round to 1UP. It looked like EG were still asleep when the game started with Canadian and NVK getting all the work done. Canadian being a proper in-game leader and using intel gathering operators like Pulse to pinpoint the position of the 1UP squad and then sending NVK out like a hitman to collect the kills. 1UP just kept losing important operators way too early like Smoke on their defense or Glaz on the attack being the first ones to die in a round. Meanwhile, the remaining members of EG picked up later in the game and things only got more and more difficult for 1UP until the map closed with an EG victory.
Oregon was a completely different story and you can tell 1UP had worked this map to death in their practice. Hungry got insane kills and positioning with Ying and her, often overlooked, Six12 shotgun. PARAA was also able to pull off spectacular positioning, not necessarily getting those impact kills, but deliberately draining the time the attackers had to work with just by being a general pest. Evil Geniuses didn’t even win a single round on Oregon, leaving the map 5-0 in favor of 1UP.
It would all come down to Border. Yes, Border is basically “home turf” for EG, but this EG squad is playing down from their normal skill level, and they just took a demoralizing 0-5 loss on the last map. Not to mention, Border is a hell of a map for some Six12 plays by a powerful Ying like Hungry. So it really could have gone either way, and for a good while there, it did. Both teams looked competent and confident, but ultimately, you just can’t take EG to Border and expect to get a win. Evil Geniuses closed this one off 5-2 and sent 1UP eSports packing.
Team Liquid (LATAM) vs. Mindfreak (APAC) First off, it is super exciting that an APAC team got this far. I know I had said that APAC couldn’t be as competitive as the NA and EU in the Day One Round-Up and I’m glad to be proven wrong. Mindfreak have earned their place here, but Team Liquid still looked like favorites to win. Whoever heard of an APAC team beating a LATAM team after all?
Mindfreak takes the first two rounds easily. Team Liquid showing they still haven’t changed strategies from placing all the weight on Nesk’s shoulders. You can tell once Nesk goes down, the rest of Team Liquid follows shortly, and Nesk was the first death in the round on multiple occasions. Team Liquid did seem to wake up and pushed things back to 3v3 in no small part to the Blitz play by S3xyCake and a hard failed dive by Mindfreak which seemed to be a result of a bad objective read (who takes Blackbeard to Garage?). Chalet ends up going 5-3 in favor of Mindfreak, an outcome nobody had expected.
Kafe was an incredibly fair match with Liquid managing to barely avoid overtime. Mindfreak gave up a lot of early rounds, but managed to tilt momentum in their favor towards the end. Liquid, not having the same problem closing out match point rounds that their countrymen in Black Dragons have, did manage to tuck this one away and send it to the decider map, Consulate.
This Liquid team running on Consulate seemed less like a pro-team and more like a ranked rush team, which is really weird because it kept working. Like they hit the sprint key and never looked back. Like “not having a strategy” was their strategy. And to reiterate, it was working. Mindfreak was completely…well mind freaked, they just didn’t seem to be able to slow Liquid down, and Liquid didn’t see any reason to turn their brains on now when they simply weren’t using them.
Unfortunately for the Brazilian team, something got to them mentally. Mindfreak didn’t change much of their approach, but the run and gun stopped working for Liquid. At 3-3 both teams were staring down Elimination in two mere rounds. Nesk managed to lose a round by tripping in a hole in the ground falling from the 2nd floor objective to the 1st with only a few seconds left in the round. After being given an easy round, Mindfreak got another win and secured a spot for an APAC region team in an international finals for Siege for the first time.
YeaH Gaming! (LATAM) vs. Supremacy (EU) This match was a complete Robot War from start to finish. What I mean by this is so many rounds were won by the Yokai drone of the Echo operator and the attacking drones of course played their part.
Club House is the opening map, and the Yokai on Supremacy keeps YeaH Gaming! from getting the defuse plant giving Supremacy their first round. The same strategy is employed to win them their third round on their next bat at defense. Somehow, YeaH Gaming! wasn’t picking up on stopping that Yokai. The right shame of it all being that Yoonas was running amazing as a Blitz and the whole effort was wasted just the sonic burst of that one little drone. Eventually, YG solved their Yokai/Echo problem by just sprinting into objective and shooting him in the face, giving YeaH Gaming! the win.
On Bank, YG became complete agents of chaos and Supremacy were the pinnacle of focus. It was like if Supremacy couldn’t get the objective down, they’d try to get frags, but if YeaH! couldn’t get the frags, they’d settle for the objective. The whole map was super close, and ended up 6-4 in favor of Supremacy to push it into the third map of Consulate.
Consulate was just what Supremacy needed. Despite Biboo, one of the stronger Supremacy players, dying early practically every round, YeaH could not manage to get a single round win against this elite Supremacy team. People always say “don’t bring PENTA to Consulate” but Supremacy might actually be the team to beat here.
ENCE (EU) vs. eiNs (APAC) Ok, pretend I didn’t say all that about how APAC can’t compete. It was a mistake, and eiNs is here to prove it. ENCE are the defending champions of Y2S3 playoffs, and hope that eiNs would pull out a miracle was low, but there was hope. All the way until that Chalet map…
Border was our opener for the last match of the day and eiNs was in proper form. It’s worth mentioning we got to see a lot of them sporting Black Dragons charms as a sign of respect. eiNs has been running scrims with Black Dragons so it’s cool to see them give a shout out to their LATAM friends. As for gameplay, this Border map looked like it could have been a straight 5-0 for eiNs there for the first few rounds. Eventually ENCE managed to wake up and get something done, but the hole was too deep and eiNs took the win. There was hope…
…and then Chalet happened. ENCE looked like their proper champion-selves on this map, mostly Kanto, who looked like he could have played alone against that eiNs line-up and won. eiNs got utterly slapped here with two players on their roster being unable to manage a single kill. It’s hard to say if it was entirely ENCE returning to form, or eiNs throwing the match. Maybe it was a little of both.
Morale plays a huge part in any competition. If you don’t believe you can win, you won’t. It’s hard to imagine eiNs had a short enough memory going into Consulate after that 0-5 showing on Chalet. Now maybe, just maybe, eiNs simply doesn’t know how to play Chalet. The Consulate match did feel much closer, there were even trades, firefights that could have gone either way. It’s weird to say, but this APAC team looked like an even match for our reigning seasonal champion team ENCE. If they had managed to bring it closer on Chalet and the morale hadn’t been so damaged. If they had maybe been more careful with their map bans and not let slip a Chalet they’re unprepared for. If all the work wasn’t on Aroer1na… it’s easy to ponder the “ifs” and imagine a reality where eiNs beats ENCE here to get into the Main Event. But not this year.
Main Event Finals
Of the 16 teams who started the tournament, only eight remain. Here’s what we can expect going into Day One of the Main Event.
PENTA (EU) vs. ENCE (EU) PENTA should take this, but it shouldn’t be easy. PENTA are relatively fresh coming into this day having only had to actually play a game against Evil Geniuses (Vitality doesn’t count). ENCE has been having the fight of their lives just to keep their heads above water. Add to this that the current PENTA roster is sporting Sha77e, an ex-ENCE member who was present with them when they won the Y2S3 finals, and who can likely point out their mannerisms and tactics, and you’ve got a recipe for a surefire PENTA win.
Black Dragons (LATAM) vs. Mindfreak (APAC) It’s super weird to say, but it’s a hard call. Four days ago you tell me BD is facing any APAC region team and I’d tell you they’re walking away with ten straight rounds won. But in this tournament we’ve seen a Black Dragons team who struggle to close the game. Like they hit match point and become their own biggest obstacles. Mindfreak is an uncompromising team, if nothing else, so if whatever Black Dragons does is working and they change it in the clutch, Mindfreak will make sure they pay the price. To jinx everything and pick a winner, I’m going to say Black Dragons. I think Mindfreak is still punching above their weight class and they’re going to be out of stream.
FAZE Clan (LATAM) vs. Evil Geniuses (NA) Evil Geniuses are the reigning Invitational champions, and here they are, climbing out of the Losers Bracket looking for a repeat chance. FAZE, however, are favorites to win this whole thing, and their gameplay shows it. This one could go either way, and it will definitely be one of the more interesting matches played that day. If I had to pick, I’m giving it to FAZE Clan. I think they’ll take this to the end.
Rogue (NA) vs. Supremacy (EU) I feel like I haven’t mentioned that Supremacy is a transplant team from the old days of the Xbox pro league. So here I am, mentioning it. They’re one of the older teams here along with PENTA and ENCE, but they’re not usually regarded as such because they had to switch platforms to PC and then play catch-up with the players already rooted there. But it really feels like Supremacy have finally found their groove and could take this all the way. Rogue is playing with a weaker roster than they ought to be and Supremacy has been having a eal strong showing. The running theme is that Supremacy will forfeit a couple rounds and make a few mistakes to recalculate later. If Rogue can stay fluid, they might secure the win. On second thought, the Rogue roster lacking a core player in King George could end up being a strength for them. If Supremacy is relying on old videos of Rogue matches, and the shake-up by lacking King George is significant enough, Supremacy might be flying blind. I’m going to give the win here to Rogue, but it’s bound to be a close one, and I wouldn’t count on them going all the way.
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