This weekend saw the conclusion of the Six Major Raleigh 2019, the second major Rainbow Six tournament of 2019, with Team Empire emerging as the winner. Sixteen teams went head to head in a double elimination bracket between 12 and 14 August, which left the top two from each group going up against each other in the Playoffs.
Team Empire and G2 Esports had some really impressive runs from the group stages. They were placed in Groups A and B respectively, and both topped their group by a reasonable margin. Empire kicked off their group stages going up against Team SoloMid (TSM), and actually lost their first game on Kafe Dostoyevsky 5-7. Empire ended up rallying together through and closed the series off 2-1, winning games on Clubhouse and then Border.
Empire’s second match saw them take MIBR in a 2-0 clean sweep, beating them on Bank and Clubhouse. These two wins was enough to put Empire at the top of the group, which meant that TSM had to beat nR and MIBR to take the second spot in the group. Team Empire finished with a score of 33-17, an impressive round difference of +16.
G2 Esports didn’t want to be outdone though and showed that +18 is a far better map difference. G2 hurried their first game along beating CYCLOPS in their first match, winning 7-1 on Villa and 7-3 on Kafe. Following that, they took down Team Secret 7-3, 7-3 on Coastline and Clubhouse. Team Secret finished 2nd in the group and progressed into the playoff stages.
Along with those four teams from Group A and B, Spacestation Gaming and Giants Gaming came through from Group C, and forZe and FaZe Clan came through from Group D to make up the full list of playoff teams. In the quarter final stages, forZe, G2 and Team Secret took down their opponents in 2-0 clean sweeps, while Empire had to battle away at FaZe Clan, managing to beat them 2-1.
Proving that everyone was there to play, Team Empire then had another closely contested semi-final, as they went up against Team Secret, beating them 2-1 too. G2 Esports progressed to the finals by taking down forZe 2-0.
As the best-of-five finals approached, Empire had a good start to their final match by winning 7-5 on Border. G2 then had a fantastic reply on Kafe, winning 8-6, taking the match into overtime. Empire’s determination shone through in the third map and allowed them to win on Clubhouse, beating G2 7-5, which then seemed to shatter the spirits of the team, allowing Empire to win the final 3-1, with the final map, Coastline, ending 7-3 in Empire’s favor.
Team Empire walked away as the winner of the Major, taking home a prize purse of $200,000, with second place, G2 Esports, grabbing $80,000 for themselves. If you have a look at the match history for the Russian outfit, Team Empire, it’s not really a surprise how they performed so well. They have been taking first place in many recent competitions including the Pro League Season 9 Finals, the Russian Major League and the ESL Euro Cup in 2018. They lost out to G2 Esports in the Six Invitational 2019 at the beginning of the year, where G2 took them down in a 3-0 clean sweep. So I guess you could say that the teams are now even.