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For the first time in over two years, a big R6 tournament is taking place with fans in attendance. Sixteen teams spread across four regions (four from North America, four from Europe, four from Brazil-Latin America and four from Asia Pacific will take part).
The prize pool for the 2021 Major was set at USD 500,000. While no official announcement has been made so far about this year’s pot, it’s likely we will have a similar sum. In addition to winning prize money, teams will vie for circuit points that will go a long way in their quest to qualify for the next Six Invitational.
In the group stages, the 16 teams have been divided into four groups. Teams within the group will play the other three in a double round robin format between May 16-18. Top two from each group – a total of eight – move into the playoffs from May 20-22.
All the playoff games will be best-of-three, with the grand finale set for a best-of-five contest. Without further ado, let’s look at match-ups and team line-ups for Wednesday’s set of matches.
The Charlotte Major is Team BDS’ third entry at a Siege Major. Their first proved to be the most memorable when they made a glorious run to the semi-finals.
It was heartbreaking as it was memorable, with the French outfit missing out on a berth in the grand finale by just one round. Now as they come back to the tournament, this is an opportunity to banish the demons of the past.
Beyond the usual storylines, this is an interesting APAC vs Europe subplot. The odds are with BDS for this one; they secured an entry to the Major after posting an emphatic 7-1 victory over G2 Esports. The one-sided result was a mark of how much BDS have elevated their game over their immediate competitors in Europe.
The win was masterminded by Stéphane “Shaiiko” Lebleu, who surpassed the 100 kills tally in one stage. It was the fifth time in a row that he had achieved that. The crux of the contest will be decided by now Chiefs decide to counter him.
Team BDS’ most recent international outing was, to put it mildly, disappointing. Adrien “RaFaLe” Rutik, one of their key players, couldn’t compete in the first two rounds of the 2022 Invitational. While a reason for his absence wasn’t forthcoming, it was speculated that covid had played a part. By the time he returned, it did little to boost BDS’ chances. In many ways, the Charlotte Major is another opportunity to set things right.
The Chiefs finished third in their group at the Sweden Major. Two of their wins there were against a depleted Oxygen Esports outfit, whose best players were unavailable for different reasons. It needed their coach to be substituted in.
Now, having made new changes to their roster, the Australian outfit is looking for an improved showing having now made it to their second straight Six Major in a row.
The Chiefs have an opportunity to establish their APAC presence further, especially at a time when the region’s representation is striking. The rise of teams from South Korea and the rest of South-East Asia over recent times have limited Oceania’s global presence. This Major offers Chiefs a chance to get back on the Siege Map.
Hot on the heels of their clash against BDS, Chiefs will run into an all-weather outfit in Astralis, the overwhelming favourites for this clash despite having in their ranks a relatively young roster, and despite being relative newbies to the Rainbow Six world.
This is as much a chance for Chiefs to test their squad strength as it is to gain experience amid cut-throat competition.
Bouncinballz, one of the newer players, has big expectations riding on him. He finished as the second-best fragger in APAC South; being able to achieve this distinction while supporting Trent “Worthy” Mitchell-Roseon.
The team’s main Iane player, meanwhile, is “Ethan” Picard who ended with a 0.74 offensive rating, the fourth-lowest in the league. For someone with his level of offensive proficiency, it may have been an aberration.
When the APAC playoffs began, Ethan was back to his chart-topping ways. And he will have a big part to play for the Chiefs in their quest to stand up and compete against the big teams, along with “Boydy” their second new signing, who doesn’t have mind-blowing numbers statistically, but has been key to the roster as he takes over the reigns from Raine “dgtl” Wright.
Astralis are the top-ranked outfit from North America to make it this far. Famed for their CS: Go team that has dominated the scene from 2018-2020, where they won four CS:GO Majors, expectations are riding high on the team’s sprightly show here in a new arena.
At Stage-1 of the NA event, Astralis were the best team in the league phase; here’s an opportunity for them to build on that success in their quest to win their Rainbow Six major.
That is easier said than done, though, because their players hardly have the international exposure even if they may have the quality. So this will be a real challenge, one they will enjoy. Only time will tell whether they can thrive, too.
After a lot of ‘will they’ and ‘won’t they’, it’s now confirmed that W7M will be in participation. Their inclusion in Group C makes it a group of death – where each team seems even on paper, and is likely to make for the most compelling viewing. W7M kicked off their tournament against G2.
W7M’s recent record makes them the strong favourites for this clash. Yes, they lost in the final of the Copa Elite to Team Liquid, but they beat some top teams, like Liquid, FaZe and oNe. They also ran INTZ AND FURIA really close, something other sides couldn’t.
This is a mark of their strengths and abilities – of going toe-to-toe and playing in an uninhibited style. Their two rookies João “Jv92” Vitor and Gabriel “volpz” Fernandes deserve all the plaudits for playing a key role in the team’s transformation in recent times. Volpz ended the BR6 League as the joint-best performer.
G2 has a mixed roster, with top talent from Europe, Asia and Latin America. Is this their way of ensuring North American domination ends? Only time will tell. Their recent signing – Mexico Major champion Karl “Alem4o” Zarth adds more heft to a formidable line-up. So they’re by no means pushovers.
On debut, they finished fourth in Europe, but it could’ve been a lot better had they not been involved in a three-way tie on 16 points with third-placed LFO. G2’s inability to perform on the offensive has been a massive weak link, and while they somewhat made up for the early lapses as the tournament progressed, it was only small consolation.
G2 managed to find success against middling sides like NAVI and Secret, but struggled against the top sides, where they won just two – against BDS and Heroic – out of 12 attacking rounds. Clearly, there’s plenty of work to do.
Ranked ninth in the APAC region, Dire Wolves have the odds against them when they take on OXYGEN. They merged with Team Notorious, who secured promotion to APAC North in 2020. Then they merged with 7th Heaven, who they had beaten for a berth in the APAC North region, but laboured to 10th and 12th in the 12-team league.
Over the past two years, it has been a slow climb back up the trickle slope. In 2021, they improved slowly. This included an appearance at the APAC playoffs but no sooner, they dropped to seven in stage 2. The Taiwanese outfit have had a recent surge though, impressing in Stage 1 in 2022 to make it to the Charlotte Major.
In the qualifying stage for Charlotte 2022, Oxygen were arguably the best team of their group stage. They looked a rejuvenated outfit that finished in the top eight at SI 2022, and look one of the stronger North American teams on the Charlotte Major roster. Oxygen had a solitary loss in the league stage – to Spacestation Gaming – on the fifth payday.
It took a maximum regulation time affair to knock them off. This is their best chance to make an imprint, and are one of their region’s top hopes with a squad full of international veterans and bristling young talent.
While it can’t be denied that every team’s ultimate goal is to do well and win championships, CYCLOPS athlete gaming (CAG) are playing without pressure and want the lack of burden and expectation to work well against them when they open their campaign against favourites FURIA.
Arguably, they were the best APAC team at the Six Invitational in 2021 despite going down 5-7 to Cloud9 to be eliminated from the group stage. But the Japanese side has tasted success against sides like Team Liquid and oNe, before they took down European giants BDS Esports. The string of impressive results bodes well, but how much they can run FURIA far remains to be seen.
FURIA will be competing from the broadcast arena in Mexico after failing to make it through to Charlotte due to administrative issues brought about by covid-19.
Whether that causes a hindrance to their overall plans or spurs them to be on the money that much more will dictate the course they take through the tournament. As such, they’re among the stronger outfits who will be flying the Brazilian flag at the event.
|Rainbow Six Charlotte Major 2022 Information|
|Teams||Astralis, DarkZero, Oxygen, XSET, BDS, G2, Heroic, Wolves, FURIA, Team Liquid, oNe, w7m, Chiefs, CYCLOPS, Dire Wolves, Elevate|
|Location||Charlotte, North Carolina, United States Of America|
|Time||May 18 at 10am ET|
|How to watch||Official Rainbow Six Siege Twitch and Bravo stream|
With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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