Rainbow Six

Rainbow Six Siege Invitational group stage preview and predictions

Six Invitational groups have finally been drawn for the biggest tournament in Rainbow Six Siege esports. ESL made the team list official with reigning back-to-back Six Invitational champions G2 esports announced as the final team for Montreal. Here’s my predictions on who will top each of the four groups.

Group A: Team Empire, DarkZero, FaZe, Fnatic

Predicted Top Two: Team Empire and Fnatic

Group A Rainbow Six Siege Invitational Team Empire and Fnatic

Group A is the “group of death” for this year’s Invitational, period. All four teams are at the top of their region so far in Pro League S11. Picking who should move on is almost impossible, but I’ve narrowed it down to Team Empire and Fnatic.

Don’t count out FaZe or DarkZero just yet. Both are talented teams that have proven why they’re on top. However, FaZe had some so-so showings on LAN through most of 2019. It makes me wonder if Rafael “mav” Freitas and the Brazilians have lost their edge offline. Hopefully they’ll pull together when the time comes in Montreal.

DarkZero can be a bit unpredictable offline. They claimed big scalps from FaZe Clan and Aerowolf before losing to NaVi in the Season 10 finals. However, disappointing finishes at Dreamhack Montreal and US Nationals make me wonder which DarkZero will show up. Still, DarkZero is full of R6 veterans like captain Kyle “Mint” Lander and Matthew “Hotancold” Stevens who have seen a LAN or two.

Patrick "MentalistC" Fan at Rainbow Six Siege S9 APAC Finals
Patrick “MentalistC” Fan of Fnatic at Rainbow Six Siege S9 APAC Finals playing for Aerowolf. Source: Liquipedia

Team Empire has stumbled online in the few months since capturing  the Raleigh Major title. However, Eugene “karzheka” Petrishin and his team are workhorses, winning every offline event in 2019 they attended except for the  Invitational. When it’s winning time, count on Team Empire to do just that.

Fnatic may be a head scratcher to some, but I think they could go the distance this year. The Australian roster has found two gems in Patrick “MentalistC” Fan and Tex “Tex” Thompson. If Jake “Virtue” Grannan can keep up his stellar performances online when they reach Montreal, watch out.

Group B: NaVi, Rogue, TSM, Spacestation Gaming

Predicted Top Two: SSG and TSM

Group B Rainbow Six Siege Invitational Team SoloMid and Spacestation Gaming

After looking so-so in Season 10 and at DH Montreal, SSG has been on a tear. They dominated at the US Nationals and the Invitational qualifiers, taking out teams like Evil Geniuses, DarkZero and Luminosity. If Javier “Thinkingnade” DeAndre Escamilla can keep SSG on track, they’ll break out of Six Invitational groups with ease.

Jason "Beaulo" Doty of Team SoloMid at the Raleigh Major 2019
Jason “Beaulo” Doty of Team SoloMid at the Raleigh Major 2019. Source: TSM

The Team SoloMid hype train has no brakes. The NA squad has massive fragging power, with everyone capable of coming in clutch. If Bryan “Merc” Wrzek, Emilio “Geoometrics” Leynez Cuevas and fan-fave Jason “Beaulo” Doty can stay hot come February, watch out Montreal.

While Rogue looked strong in Season 10 online, they fell at the finals to Aerowolf. However, Rogue has stayed competitive online, pulling off draws against Team Empire and BDS Esport. They’ll need to pull out all the stops to take on North America’s finest.

NaVi looked strong at the Season 10 finals, taking down a peak DarkZero squad easily. However, NaVi sits last in EUPL with games against G2, BDS and Empire left. NaVi will need to dig in and prove that Season 10 wasn’t a fluke.

Group C: Giants, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Team Liquid, MIBR

Predicted Top Two: Giants and Team Liquid

Group B Rainbow Six Siege Invitational Team Liquid and Giants Gaming

This group is going to be a heart breaker for Latin American R6 fans, with MIBR, NiP and Team Liquid all fighting for LatAm supremacy alongside APAC’s Giants Gaming.

Team Liquid is my best guess as who makes it out alive from the Brazilian teams. Ninjas in Pyjamas looked dominant online in S10, but faltered at the finals to Reciprocity. MIBR played well in qualifiers, but haven’t looked strong on LAN outside of third at OGA Pit S3. I think Thiago “xS3xyCake” Reisith and Team Liquid look stronger overall with a win at OGA Pit S3 and a silver at DH Montreal in late 2019.

Thiago xS3xyCake Reis of Team Liquid Rainbow Six Siege at Dreamhack Montreal
Thiago “xS3xyCake” Reis of Team Liquid  at Dreamhack Montreal. Source: Liquipedia

Giants Gaming (ex-Aerowolf) is my dark horse for Group C. The team has been a consistent force in the APAC region and could pull off a Nora-Rengo-esque cinderella run. They looked strong in the APAC Season 10 finals and took down Giants Gaming (now Rogue) before losing to a stronger DarkZero. I have big hopes for the Indonesian squad getting out of the Six Invitational groups.

Group D: Reciprocity, Wildcard, BDS, G2

Predicted Top Two: BDS Esport and G2 Esports

Group D Rainbow Six Siege Invitational G2 esports and BDS Esport

The controversial BDS Esport stormed through the EU qualifiers, taking down Vitality, Chaos and Team Secret. BDS also grabbed third at DH Montreal but disappointed at OGA Pit S3. After a slow start in S11, I think stand-in Bryan “Elemzje” Tebessi and the Frenchmen still have what it takes to get out of Group D.

After a so-so mid 2019, Team Reciprocity came back to life for Season 10 of NAPL. Big LAN wins off of Luminosity, TSM and NiP made REC look in good form. However, with a rough start to S11, we’ll see if Canadian Davide “FoxA” Bucci and Reciprocity can go far on home soil.

While Wildcard Gaming (ex-0RGL3SS) had strong showings at both the Six Masters 2019 and at the S10 APAC finals, the team fell early at the S10 global finals.  With veteran players in Tien “EmoRin” Lam and Daniel “NeophyteR” An, expect a potential upset from the Aussies in Montreal.

G2 Esports Rainbow Six Siege Captain Fabian Hallsten
G2 Esports captain Fabian Hallsten at DH Winter 2018. Source: Liquipedia

I’m a huge sucker for story lines. I’d love to believe G2 can bounce back after a soft qualifiers run and become back-to-back-to-back Invitational champs. It will be the perfect shush to those who questioned why G2 made it over other teams. Niclas “Pengu” Mouritzen, Fabian “Fabian” Hallsten and Juhani “Kantoraketti” Toivonen are legends in the pro R6 scene and should never be underestimated. I expect them to go the distance again this year.

Have your own list of teams that you think will make it out of Six Invitational groups this year? Leave your guesses in the comments below and stay tuned to SQUAD as we bring you more content leading up to the 2020 Six Invitational.

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Matthew Murray

Matthew Murray is a Canadian writer, journalist and public relations specialist. PC gamer, fan of FPS and RPGs. Follower of several esports titles including Rainbow 6, Overwatch and CS:GO. Every software or game he touches will magically have inexplicable issues somehow.
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