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General photos of the Rainbow 6 Invitational arena at the Place Bell in Montreal, Canada.

Monster Gaming Weekly

Feb 182019

It was an action-packed two weeks with Dota 2 tournaments and qualifiers, Street Fighter V holding a premier event in Japan, and our Rainbow 6 teams competing for 2 million dollars in Montreal. Our teams and players showcased their skills around the world and there will be much more to come in the near future.

EVO Japan 2019


The most prestigious fighting game tournament returned to the land of the rising sun. Fukuoka, Japan played host for the 2nd ever EVO Japan and we had representatives from around the globe taking part in the SFV competition.


From Europe, the regular Gfinity participants Mister Crimson and Layo fought valiantly and while they didn’t take home the trophy, they had some bracket busting moments. Mister Crimson took out TrashBox, the famous online birdie player who has held the #1 spot online for nearly as long as anyone can remember and Layo, who pushed multi game aficionado Dogura to the absolute limit, earned himself a perfect game to take a set for himself. Mister Crimson and Layo finished in 33rd and 65th respectively in an incredibly competitive field. 

Evil Geniuses’ Ricki Ortiz, the American superstar who needs no introduction, arrived at EVO Japan looking to start 2019 with a bang. Ricki cruised through her pool until falling to Yujix, a well-known multi-character specialist from Japan who ran Chun-Li and then arguably one of the most successful SFV players, Tokido. The set with Tokido was extremely close going to the final game where a few minor adjustments could have seen Ricki eliminate the powerhouse but in the end, Tokido maintained composure and closed the set 2-1, as Ricki cemented her efforts just outside the top 32. 


Perhaps unsurprisingly the Japanese players on Team Liquid made the biggest splash on their home turf. Takeuchi, who essentially launched his career off his 2nd place finish at EVO Japan last year, did his best to run it back but fell just outside top 8 with a respectable 13th place finish falling to Powel (3rd) and Punk (4th). 


The star of the Monster family was Liquid`Nemo who after a disappointing finish at Capcom Cup last December, was looking to stand out at EVO Japan. He started his march to winners side top 8 by cruising through his bracket beating ENVY|Mister Crimson and Combo Breaker 2018 Champion, NL. In the end, Nemo went out at 5th, losing only to the EVO Japan Winner Momochi and runner-up, Fuudo. Nobody wants to lose, but losing to #1 and #2 is just about as ‘good’ a loss as one can have.


WePlay Valentine Madness 


WePlay Valentine Madness stood out from other tournament’s so far this year as this event had 12 invites and didn’t have a group stage. It was a double elimination bracket with 8 teams in the first round of the upper bracket and 4 teams seeded into the second round of the upper bracket.


Not surprisingly, Na’Vi and Alliance were two of the teams seeded round 2. Na’Vi’s first opponent was Vega Squadron and it only took two quick games for Na’Vi to advance with MagicaL being the stand out player in the series for his play on Razor. Meanwhile Alliance also had an all-too-easy matchup against The Real Deal, winning their series in less than an hour of game-time. Unfortunately, the brackets were not in our favor as these wins meant that Alliance and Na’Vi would face each other in the upper bracket semifinals.

This ended up being a hotly contested series, arguably the most exciting of the tournament, with Alliance winning the first game and then Na’Vi making a comeback in the next two. Na’Vi once again persevered on the back of their cores, Crystallize and MagicaL. Na’Vi even went for a wild last-pick carry Bounty Hunter for Crystallize (who ended up with a ludicrous 13-2-14 scoreline, dealing even more damage than MagicaL’s Medusa).


Next, we saw a tough winner’s finals with Na’Vi matching up against PPD’s NiP. Unfortunately, NiP were on a hot streak and were able to take down Na’Vi, sending them to the lower bracket. We then saw Alliance face off against Pavaga Gaming. Alliance was utterly dominating in this series, stomping Pavaga in 20 minutes in game one. This put them up against Gambit Esports in the next round, where they lost the series in a tragic 70-minute slugfest in game three. Sadly, a similar fate would befall Na’Vi in the loser’s finals against Gambit, being taken down in another 3-game series. This tournament showed a strong performance from Na’Vi and Alliance though, finishing top-4 with so many Major-qualified teams is nothing to scoff at.


DreamLeague Major Qualifiers


The honor of the next Major belongs to DreamLeague Season 11 (in Stockholm, as always), and its qualifiers have just come to a conclusion. We saw strong performances from most of the Monster family, even securing first place in many regions. In North America we saw Evil Geniuises qualify first, only taking a surprise loss from EternalEnvy’s Flying Penguins. Despite what could have been an unsettling loss, EG steeled themselves and beat Forward Gaming 2-1 in the playoffs to secure their qualification. Across the Pacific in China we saw PSG.LGD take a similar path to EG, only losing one match of group play on their way to qualification. 


Taking a turn South to the SEA region, we saw Fnatic easily earn the first spot. They only lost a single game during their run, a rather lopsided game against Mineski in the Winner’s Finals. It was the kind of loss that you rarely come across, where nothing went right for Fnatic and it seemed to be completely out of their hands. Despite such a tough loss, Fnatic pulled themselves together and crushed Mineski in an even more one-sided manner during the next game, holding 3 Mineski players to 0 kills.


In Europe we once again saw a strong showing from Liquid. They did take a match loss to Secret in the playoffs, forcing them to go through the Lower Bracket to qualify (which was quite easy, Kaban and Vega Squadron aren’t exactly up to par when it comes to Liquid). We’ll see them at full strength at the coming Major, just make sure to keep your fingers crossed. Unfortunately, squad Alliance won’t be at the Major, despite strong showings elsewhere.



Meanwhile in the CIS region we saw a truly heroic performance from Na’Vi. They placed third in their group after losing to Gambit and The Pango. Do not worry though for this would not be the end, for Na’Vi this was just the beginning. Starting from the first round of the Losers’ Bracket, Na’Vi proceeded to make the miracle run to qualify for the Major. They only lost one game in the process and managed to take down both The Pango and Gambit as well, making the victory even sweeter.


Rainbow 6 - Six Invitational


In the world of Rainbow Six: Siege, the biggest tournament of the year, the Six Invitational, just wrapped up. The competition this time was incredibly fierce, with many matches going the full distance and would-be champions falling far before their time. Our teams in attendance this time were Fnatic, Team Liquid, and Evil Geniuses. With a format that knocks half of the teams out in the group stage, then puts them into a single elimination bracket, the group stage ends up being absolutely vital as there are no second chances.


Thankfully we ended up having a strong group performance. Fnatic was able to take first place in their group, defeating Team Reciprocity and FaZe Clan. While Fnatic went 2-1 in both of those matches, they proved their tenacity and mental fortitude under pressure. In their match against FaZe they steamrolled to two of their wins while their one loss went to a nail biting 15 rounds. In Group D we saw Evil Geniuses also come out in first place with a 2-0 score. They had the easiest time of all our teams during the group stage with a 2-0 scoreline in each of their matches. Liquid had the roughest time of the groups, sneaking through with a second place finish behind G2 Esports. Liquid lost their opening match to Mock-it, but were able to bounce back and defeat Mantis FPS in the loser’s match before finally coming back and taking revenge on Mock-it to survive the group stage.


While all three of our teams progressed into the playoffs, they did not fare so well there once they arrived. Fnatic, Liquid, and EG ended up falling in the quarterfinals with many of their games being very close despite the strength of their opponents. Liquid took eventual finalist Team Empire to a third game and EG nearly took down Reciprocity 2-0 after obliterating them on the first map. While each of them would have been hoping to place higher, it’s still a strong showing that means we have much to look forward to as they prepare for the rest of 2019.