Six Invitational is the pinnacle event for Rainbow Six Siege that all professional players dream of winning. The event comprises 16 of the world’s best rosters competing for the glory of becoming World Champions. Not to mention this years record breaking prize pool ($1 Million USD + Revenue) which will sit as the largest in Rainbow Six Siege history. Teams from APAC, Europe and the Americas represent the talent from all over the world looking to leave their mark.
Talking about APAC specifically, the Six Invitational serves as a rare opportunity to showcase their talent on the world stage. The region is also widely viewed as a wildcard opponent heading into international events because teams from Europe and the Americas are not sure what to expect. With the inability to practice against regions far away and the limited viewership of APAC Pro League games overseas, it can be appreciated why this is the case. For 2019, APAC is fortunate to have three strong contenders with the likes of FNATIC, Mantis, and Nora Rengo.
FNATIC smash their way into Playoffs!
FNATIC’s journey began with a showdown against North American powerhouse, Team Reciprocity, the former Cloud 9 roster. FNATIC vs Team Reciprocity marked the first occasion these two teams have competed against each other. Before the match, FNATIC Captain Magnet had Tweeted, “Been wanting to play the boys from rest a peace tea @TeamReciprocity for a long time now. Can’t wait to kick off Invitational #FNCWIN”.
Well FNATIC indeed kicked off the Invitational in style with a massive 2-1 win over Team Reciprocity. Between these two teams, we saw the closest round difference out of all teams for the first day of the group stage. Over the series, 38 rounds were played out of a possible 45! The closest of which was the first map, Consulate, which saw the teams play overtime that resulted in an 8-6 win for Team Reciprocity.
The faces of FNATIC looked devasted after losing the first map, even more so after a four round in a row comeback contributed heavily by new player Virtue! However, FNATIC surprised many viewers by performing the reverse sweep. The next two maps Club House and Villa proved to be a lot stronger for FNATIC taking both 7-5.
Moving onto FNATIC’s next match, it was FaZe Clan who they would need to overcome to book themselves a spot in the playoffs. With the added momentum and hype of beating Team Reciprocity, FNATIC looked very confident after winning 7-3 on first map Border. FNATIC had control over the direction of the game until we saw FaZe get the edge on Bank. Crucially we saw Bank go into overtime with both teams demonstrating that they could play the map well. FaZe looked as if they had made the momentum shift as they celebrated their 8-7 victory on Bank. For a series decider, we headed to Club House and it was witnessed how defence sided the map can be. FNATIC achieved an incredible 6 round wins which meant a flawless first half and match point up for grabs.
FaZe started their defence well and showed early signs of having the potential to do a reverse sweep but FNATIC managed to break the FaZe defence effort on the third attempt. With a 7-2 win on Club House, the FNATIC team raised to their feet and celebrated their series win against FaZe. FNATIC had done it! They had defied the odds and proved why APAC deserves to be at the Six Invitational.
Mantis head home after a valiant effort
All the odds were against Mantis heading into their matchup against the reigning world champions. The first map, Club House, was picked by Mantis and the map proved to be strong for the team. On Club House, we saw Mantis get narrowly defeated 6-8 against the most successful team of all time.
G2 Esports picked Coastline and it proved to be a more convincing matchup for their side. For both teams, the attacking side was where they had won the majority of their rounds. G2 notably winning five rounds with their strong attacking play style. Goga and Kantoraketti led the charge overall but special mention to EnvyTaylor who achieved 24 kills over both maps. Overall, Mantis had earnt a lot of respect in the Rainbow Six community for their performance in this series.
For their next series, the viewers were treated to a competitive match of Mantis vs Team Liquid. Both teams headed a strong attack on the first map (Bank) but Team Liquid was able to finish on top with a 7-5 victory. Club House was picked by Mantis to be the next map, this map happened to be the closest with an 8-6 scoreline. Mantis was able to win this map with strong performances by EnvyTaylor and h3dy who had put on a show for the viewers. Notably, nesk from Team Liquid being another top performer over the maps played.
It went over to Border for a nail biter decider with both teams facing elimination the pressure was on! Team Liquid opted to stick to what they know banning Montagne for the third map in a row. Echo was the other operator interestingly banned every map with both teams alternating bans on him. On attack, Team Liquid showed their class winning a majority of their rounds with clean executions. Mantis suffered their worst defeat of the Invitational on Border 3-7 but can hold their heads up high as they are eliminated from the tournament.
Nora Rengo win guarantees APAC Semifinal appearance
The team from Japan and the APAC rival of FNATIC, Nora Rengo, were matched against PENTA for the opening of Group D. Heading into this match PENTA were believed to be the stronger side after their recent international success at Dreamhack Winter. The first map, Oregon, was picked by PENTA to start the series off. A strong attack saw PENTA secure majority of their rounds which ultimately led to them winning the first map.
With PENTA at a map advantage, it was becoming more likely that they had the form everyone was expecting. Then suddenly it all changed in an absolute 7-2 slaughter on Bank. Nora Rengo on the attack managed to win five rounds with Wokka dominating the PENTA side with class. This momentum continued onto the decider map, Border, with a 7-3 win by Nora Rengo. Overall Wokka had 35 kills and was a pivotal asset to Nora Rengo’s success.
Nora Rengo would now have to take on Evil Geniuses who are the top seed from North America. After an impressive performance by Wokka against PENTA, the star player from Nora Rengo was not able to replicate his strength against the North Americans. Instead, it was only Ramu that could give Nora Rengo a glimmer of hope against a dominating Evil Geniuses side. It is not long before Nora Rengo fall 2-7 on Consulate and things start to look grim for the Japanese side. Oregon presents a fresh start but it is also Evil Geniuses pick but Nora Rengo was able to put up a stronger fight as the final score is 5-7. Credit to the Canadian (Captain of Evil Geniuses) for being the overall top player of his side.
A loss against Evil Geniuses means a rematch against PENTA for Nora Rengo. More pressure on either team than last time around as this will serve as the last chance to qualify for playoffs. For round two between these teams, PENTA decided they want to revisit Oregon as they had won there last time around. Nora Rengo was defeated yet again on Oregon, this time 5-7, an improvement from last time.
The teams then played on Coastline for the first time and the unfamiliar territory for both teams shifted the momentum back over to Nora Rengo. The score was a close 7-5 and that means we were treated to yet another decider on Border between these two teams. Nora Rengo started the first half with an almost flawless attack getting themselves five rounds on the board in quick succession. The Japanese side had all of the confidence needed to secure the two rounds needed to close out the win!
Don’t sleep on APAC!
If there is anything for the world to learn from this, it is to never underestimate the APAC region in Rainbow Six Siege! FNATIC and Nora Rengo will play each other on the main stage in the Quarterfinals which will guarantee an APAC team top 4 in the world. Six Invitational 2019 has been the most successful event for APAC yet, the fans have been treated to some incredible shocks and surprises. Hopefully, this is just the beginning!
You can catch FNATIC vs Nora Rengo LIVE Saturday 16 Feb 2:00 am AEDT on https://www.twitch.tv/rainbow6