As the Rainbow 6 Siege Invitational comes to a close, Esports News UK's Craig Robinson puts together a post-tournament roundup live from Montreal.
While we reported on the UK angles out there, including an interview with Penta's UK coach and more to be published, it would be a shame not to cover the thrills and spills of such an exciting finals.
On that note, Craig Robinson looks at the live quarter-finals and beyond at the 2018 RB6 Siege Invitational, and shares his thoughts on how the final went and what it can mean for the future of the esport.
Finals: Penta Sports 3 - 2 Evil Geniuses
Maps: Club House 5-3 to EG, Oregon 6-5 to EG, Kafe 5-3 to Penta, Bank 5-2 to Penta, Coastline 6-4 to Penta
In terms of storyline, the final day couldn't have gone any better. Penta and EG were last year's finalists, where EG ended up taking the trophy and crowing themselves the Year 1 winners.
Throughout the event, it has been the mission of EG to remain the top team of the Invitational tournaments, and take their consecutive trophy.
On the other hand, Penta have been on the rise in Season 4, after facing some turmoil via Semi-final elimination in Season 3. The most decorated team in Siege history had a strong climb up the tournament elimination stages and rose to meet EG in an epic final rematch.
'One of the best competitive series we've ever seen'
By Craig Robinson
The final day of the Rainbow 6 Invitational was probably one of the best competitive series I have watched.
EG was off to a flying start with the fragging power of Canadian and BC. They had some great defensive holds and were getting the key frags onto Penta's breachers and support units etc. They even successfully denied a garage breach with the Bandit battery up against the thermite wall.
Oregon was a much closer series, where the map ended in overtime 6-5 in favour of EG. Penta was originally 2-0 down but pushed back to 2-2, where the teams then consistently took and lost rounds. Although, the game did look bleak in the 10th round. Penta were down to 1-2 situation with EG having planted the bomb, Pengu knew it was time as he clutched the round forcing overtime. Despite their efforts, EG took the overtime round and sat on match point of the series.
Penta clearly had started to shake off their nerves, had their mid-series break and threw the greatest curveball in Rainbow 6 Siege to date.
The 3rd map was on Kafe, and Penta really showed up here. EG started off the map 2-0, but Penta followed up their assault with 4 straight round victories, with consistent takedowns onto their roamers, breachers and emp operators.
The final round of the map for Penta was very calculated. Careful droning for great intel, clever use of the montage to control the numerous jump paths for rotation, and a great showing from Fabian to get the site picks was all they needed for their first map.
"Penta clearly had started to shake off their nerves, had their mid-series break and threw the greatest curveball in Rainbow 6 Siege to date."
On Bank, EG held their typical control of the first few rounds but began to slip away for a strong 5-2 Penta victory. Saying that, Canadian was a pivotal player for EG during this series. He had a great a 4k onto the 3rd round, and a stall in the final few seconds to deny a plant to grant EG the lead.
The final map was Coastline. And just like how Penta managed to control themselves, EG found a way to not slither away and die. The final map was into extended overtime and was a truly exciting finish. BC came into the series once again with a great opening 3k with Buck.
Penta took their first attack on cinema room almost cleanly, but Necrox nearly got the vigil clutch with the Bose and the SMG-12 3k. Penta then took the game to 4-1 in quick succession, however, EG did the same. A nice hold and site retake got EG back in the game, which then EG used to propel themselves into quick rounds and a clean round to force overtime.
The final 2 rounds were filled with clutch moments, great stalls, site retakes and general hype-filled moments, where Penta took the map 6-4 - and the series. It really was one to remember.
My quick thoughts on the Six Invitational overall
With the series being that hard for both teams in the final, the close maps, strong maps, great plays and clutches felt so exciting. The storyline, the prize and viewer count says a lot about how this series went and what those buzz moments felt like as a spectator.
According to ESC watch, the tournament had 321,000 concurrent viewers in the final. I bet that the people watching the tournament, especially that series, will come back for more.
Clearly, they saw that series, the hard thought comebacks, the teams showing how there are no stomps, and how the intensity of the rounds accumulated to that viewer count. Hopefully, now people get to see what Siege is all about.
— Matt Andrews #SixInvitational @Rainbow6Game (@MattAndrewsTV) February 18, 2018
I'd also like to throw in a quick comment on the amazing stage set up. The player portraits, animation changes to show kills in the round, the player portrait going down on death, and the circular panel at the top were impressive. The panel showed different aspects of the game, like preparation, the bomb planted and multi-kills which helped to maintain that atmosphere of hype, curiosity and intensity.
Siege has been receiving huge growth since operation health in Year 2 Season 2. With the success of the esport so far, that great tournament, and the new exciting RB6 plans for Year 3, my guess is Rainbow 6 Siege as a game and an esport will continue to ride the momentum that has seen its game and viewer count grow higher.
Other 2018 Invitational results
Quarter Finals: Penta Sport 2 - 0 ENCE esports
Maps: Oregon 5-2 t0 Penta, Consulate t0 Penta
Black Dragons 2 - 0 MindFreak
Maps: Consulate 5-1 to BD, Oregon 5-0 to BD
Faze 1 - 2 EG
Maps: Club House 5-3 to EG, Bank 5-1 to Faze, Skyscraper 5-3 to EG
Supremacy 1 - 2 Rogue
Maps: Coastline 5-1 to Supremacy, Kafe 5-1 to Rogue, Border 5-3 to Rogue
Penta Sports 2 - 0 Black Dragons
Maps: Bank 5-1 to Penta, Border 5-3 to Penta
EG 2 - 1 Rogue
Maps: Kafe 5-3 to Rogue, Club House 5-4 to EG, Consulate 5-3 to EG
Ubisoft covered Esports News UK's travel and accomodation to the Invitational finals
Image source: ESL Twitter