The first major tournament in a new era of Rainbow Six esports is set to begin with the Rainbow Six European Open Clash starting this weekend. 16 of Europe’s finest are set to face off in one of Faceit’s first major events in the scene. Here’s a look at who could break free and take EU’s first big title.
What is the Rainbow Six European Clash?
The Rainbow Six European Open Clash was announced by Ubisoft in mid-May. It’s the second event hosted by Faceit for Rainbow Six, with the first being the smaller Spring into Siege community cups throughout April.
The event is in support of Doctors Without Borders, with €50,000 being donated to the charity on behalf of the winning team. Fans will have the chance to get involved during the tournament, and donate to the international charity as well. The Rainbow Six European Open Clash playoffs will take place on May 30 and 31 and June 6. The semi and grand finals matchups will take place on June 7.
The 10 teams who qualified for the brand new European League were invited to participate in the charity event. The remaining six spots were decided through two community cups. Polish team Invicta Gaming were the winners of the first qualifier, with Spain’s Movistar Riders and Russian squad Team Unique both making it into the Clash. Polish teams POLSKA GUROM and AVEZ, along with France’s ToZeDrop, all fought through to qualify for the online event as well.
The six qualifying teams join the ten invited rosters to round out what’s shaping up to be a pretty exciting bracket.
This weekend – #R6EUClash Playoffs!
Tune in on Saturday and Sunday, at 2pm CEST.
— Rainbow Six Esports EU (@R6esportsEU) May 29, 2020
Rainbow Six European Open Clash predictions
The opening round of the Clash will be difficult to predict. Several teams in the event have been competing in national tournaments. Meanwhile teams like Na’Vi and Chaos have not played official matches since the end of Pro League. With that in mind, here’s who I believe will make it into the quarter finals out of the round of 16:
G2 Esports > ToZeDrop
Team Empire > IziDream
Rogue > Invicta Gaming
Vitality > Team Unique
Chaos > AVEZ
Na’Vi > POLSKA GUROM
Virtus.pro > Team Secret
BDS > Movistar Riders
While the pro teams are heavy favorites in the opening rounds, qualifier teams could still make some unexpected waves this weekend. In particular, I think Movistar Riders v.s. BDS Esport may be an upset to look out for. BDS looked shaky in the latter half of Pro League Season 11 and could lose if they’re not careful.
Movistar Riders have spent the past month proving themselves as one of the better teams in the Spanish Nationals. BDS certainly has more experience against top tier scenes, but anything can happen in an online league. I believe the French team will pull through in the end, but don’t expect the Spaniards to give it up easily.
IziDream will be an important team to watch this weekend. The French squad is coming into the tournament with a hot start to the year, and has quickly become a fan favorite in the Rainbow Six Siege community. IziDream successfully beat out teams like Penta, DefuseKids and the previous Team Secret roster to win the final EU Challenger League season, and earn their spot in the brand new European League.
The team will have a lot to prove going into this new format of pro R6. This event will be a fantastic opportunity for the Frenchmen to show that they can hang with the big dogs of Europe. They’ll have to work fast, too. IziDream kick off their run going up against the Russian war machine, Team Empire. If the French squad can get past Empire, they’ll most likely face off against a G2 squad full of dangerous gunners.
New org, new era
Team Secret have something to prove going into this tournament too. The German squad will want to impress having just signed with a new org. Team Secret picked up OrgLess after their previous roster failed to qualify for Ubisoft’s new pro league format. OrgLess made it into the European League with a second place finish to qualify. However, the team has started off their tenure with Secret looking so-so in the German national league.
We couldn't stay away for too long… It's no Secret that we love @Rainbow6Game's amazing gameplay and esports community.
Introducing our new #SecretR6 roster:
— Team Secret (@teamsecret) May 13, 2020
That said, VP have the exact same reason for winning. The ex-forZe lineup just dominated the Russian Major League Season 4, their first event under the Virtus.pro banner. The Russians will look to keep the good times rolling for their new org going into the clash. I expect them to take down Team Secret in the opening round of the event with ease. It’s a new beginning for both teams going into the European League era, with Team Secret on the outside looking in.
Overall, I predict Na’Vi to be a dark horse team going into the Clash. They started EU PL S11 off slow, but rallied hard in the latter half. They took big wins off of G2, Rogue, and forZe, but did end their season with a loss against a struggling Chaos. They’ll have to overcome Chaos in the quarterfinals to get to the semis.
Na’Vi has relatively softer opening rounds compared to the other invited teams. Whether that will help them gain some traction or make them overly confident remains to be seen. Na’Vi hasn’t competed in an official match since mid April, while other teams are fresh off national league games. However, keep an eye on the Euro mix team heading into the clash. I predict they may surprise everyone.
First steps to the European League
The Rainbow Six European Open Clash will be the first major event leading up to the brand new European League. This will probably be the best look at how the EU scene is shaping up so far. Opening matches start at 8 a.m. EST this Saturday and Sunday, so get up a little early for a taste of European R6 action.
Stay tuned to SQUAD for more previews, recaps and Rainbow Six Siege coverage.