The Rainbow Six Siege: Six Invitational is the world championships of Rainbow Six held in Montreal, Canada over 6 days (13-18th Feb). It is the culmination of twelve months of pure grind, passion and determination resulting in the chance to showcase your abilities to the world. 16 teams battle it out for a share of $500,000 and the chance to grab the elusive title of World Champions.
The event has an initial group-stage (4 groups, 4 teams per group) where the top two from each group will progress to the main event (16-18th Feb).
Two teams from APAC qualified for the Six Invitational in the form of Japanese team eiNs and our Aussie brothers, Mindfreak. So how did they get on?
Rogue (NA) | Loss | 0-2
Room Factory (EU) | Win | 2-1
Team Liquid (LATAM) | Win | 2-1
Having qualified via the Open Oceanic Qualifier and taking out the three best APAC teams at LAN to earn their spot in Montreal, Mindfreak faced a tough group. Team Liquid were easily favourites to progress in the group as one of Latin America’s superpowers, and Rogue were widely expected to take second spot.
Mindfreak started off with a tough match against NA favourities, Rogue. A worrisome first map saw them fall 1-5 on Oregon in a game where they looked lost and stunned by the fragging power and teamwork of Rogue. They came back fighting in the second map, Consulate but lost out 3-5 to a team that was much stronger on the day.
Needing a win to stay in the tournament, they bounced back well the following day against Room Factory, taking a dominant 2-1 win. Match point, 4-1 on the first map, Mindfreak capitulated and fell to a 6-5 loss. They then went on to win 5-0 on Consulate, and 5-0 on Consulate climaxing with a thoroughly dominant display.
Then came Team Liquid. Brazillian super team, newly signed to the gargantuan organisation, Mindfreak would be forgiven for losing out to this brilliant team. After all, this is APAC we are talking about, a region that was mocked and ridiculed on social media after being given a Pro-League. Win and they are into the main event, the bright lights and the big stage, lose and they would watch from the sidelines. Mindfreak came out flying, they took the first map Chalet, 5-3. Liquid weren’t going to make it easy for Mindfreak and convincingly took the second map, Kafe, 5-3.
It looked ominous for Mindfreak as Liquid took the first two rounds of the deciding map, Consulate, convincingly. It was notoriously a Liquid favoured map given the history of the team and their aggressive playstyle. Mindfreak battled back to make it 2-2 before taking the lead and eventually putting themselves onto match point at 4-3 thanks to a beautiful 1v3 clutch by Acez. They failed to close it out there, and they went to OT. Two brilliant rounds in overtime and gave Mindfreak the win! They had beaten all the odds to take down Liquid and advance to the Quarter-Finals and the Main Event.
FaZe Clan (LATAM)
eRa Eternity (NA)
The first Japanese team to play in the Pro-League, eiNs took out the first APAC LAN and booked their spot in Brazil for the Year 2 Season 3 finals in November. It was the first appearance for APAC in Pro-League and the competition was too strong for them, ultimately being first-rounded. However, they had already booked the first of two APAC spots at Invitational by winning the first APAC LAN.
At Invitational they were handed a group that nobody expected them to get through. They had FaZe Clan, another Brazillian super-power widely regarded as one of the best teams in the world and also the team that knocked them out of the Season 3 Pro League Finals in Brazil Then, ENCE, the winners of the last Pro-League finals in Brazil and finally eRa, the North American qualification winners. For a team with little experience like eiNs it was an insanely tough task.
In their first match against FaZe, eiNs fell to a very strong team in FaZe, 5-1 and 5-0 on Consulate and Oregon. Their failure to win more than one round was a familiar sight and many expected a similar result against eRa.
Following the first ever win for an APAC team a few hours prior (Mindfreak’s win vs Room Factory), eiNs had a lot to live up to. They started in the same fashion as so often before, falling 1-5 in the first map, Oregon. Then something changed, feeling inspired by Mindfreak’s win perhaps, eiNs battled back. They fought hard and took the second map, Consulate, 5-3. Could they really do this? They could. The deciding map, Border was a devastating 5-2 loss for eRa. eiNs had totally outplayed and out-fragged them. eiNs had become the second APAC team to win a match at the Six Invitational and in turn, set themselves up for a mouth-watering clash with current Pro-League champions, ENCE.
eiNs started brilliantly against ENCE, tking the frist map on Border, 5-3. ENCE using their experience and as veterans, having attended every single Pro-League finals, they showed up. ENCE dominated the second map of Chalet, 5-0 and killing the eiNs momentum. Eventually, it wasn’t meant to be as eiNs fell 3-5 on Consulate to lose the series 1-2.
It was surely bittersweet for eiNs who, while they exceeded expectations will surely feel as though they could have beaten ENCE and made the Quarter-Finals.
eiNs bow out having impressed and justified the APAC spots in Pro-League and have a lot to work on before resuming the next season in a few months!
You can catch Mindfreak playing their Quarter-Final match tomorrow on twitch.tv/rainbow6. The coverage starts at 2AM AEDT.