Though the start of the esports year has been a little bit quiet for fans of Siege, Ubisoft are here to save the day with a $3m event to really get the fans excited. Held in Montreal, the annual Six Invitational is the jewel in Ubi’s crown and one of the richest in any game, comfortably outstripping even the CS:GO Majors. With the world’s best already on site, everything is in place for a fantastic competition, and the storylines are stacked to ensure every result comes with juicy context.
The event essentially begins today, with sixteen of the world’s best teams set to battle it out in a group stage that will evolve into a playoff bracket once the wheat has been separated from the chaff, and it’s the spiciest in the history of the game. We’ve got returning champions that couldn’t qualify, a Russian machine with a spanner in the works, and a round one grudge match between one of the greatest aimers in the world and the world’s greatest player. This is going to be good…
A year is a long time in esports, and it says a lot about the state of Siege that the reigning 2019 champions were only able to make it to this event thanks to a wildcard, charitably handed down by Ubisoft after G2 had entirely failed in qualification. The team that started as the pacemakers for the competitive scene have been overtaken, and while their reputation is still respectable there are only so many failures the fans can endure before they lose the faith – as G2’s CS:GO team also found out.
After failing to qualify through the regular season, OGA Pit, several other EU events and a primary school sports day where they were narrowly beaten out by an 8-year old that definitely looked at least eleven, their reward of a wildcard came with a caveat, as G2 shared a group with BDS, and Shaiiko. This is a game that comes with some spice. The short version of the backstory between the aforementioned aim god and G2’s Pengu goes something like this: G2 got Shaiiko banned by saying he cheated, he maintains he doesn’t, now he’s back and he’s angry.
That’s only round one for G2 too, with the last two Pro League Champions in the top half of the draw, and it may well be that by the end of the week we are talking about Na’Vi or Team Empire as the new supreme rulers of the land. After their incredibly impressive win at Pro League Season 10 finals, which came with a cloud over them, Na’Vi will want to show that was no fluke, and they belong with the big boys, rather than the one-hit wonders from NA or SA.
The majority of the Na’Vi team hail from Britain too, meaning we have a rare situation where the Isles could actually have an impact on an esports event outside of just being talent. With Team Empire the archetypal Russian machine and G2 a blend of European Siege elite, you’d think the potential winners have been covered, but this is Siege and there are killers around every corner, sometimes just straight shooting you through the wall.
To pick a few more names out of the hat would be doing a disservice to those we can’t mention specifically, but word counts are a thing and we know your time is precious. It would be criminal to ignore Team Liquid and the insane talent on their roster, or the fact that the world’s best were saying Liquid were nigh unbeatable a few months ago, so keep an eye on Brazil’s finest if you get the chance.
The last team we want to highlight have one of the shorter trips out, with Spacestation Gaming our final group in the spotlight. The addition of NA legend Canadian might not have increased the firepower, but with the talent on their team that was never a problem, and they now have one of the few NA talents that knows what finals feel like to hopefully add the tactical cherry onto the top of their frag-heavy cake and make them NA’s biggest threat, a tag they probably shared with the Beaulo-powered TSM.
Whoever wins is going to take home $1m between them, and with the way Siege has evolved potentially also the title of best team in the world too. The big boys have been struggling for too long, and the time is right for a new clan of kings to rise and take the throne, with every team hungry to prove they can beat anyone. It’s not to be missed, so tune and enjoy all the action over the next seven days.