The race for Major qualification remains wide open for most EUL Teams.

18:00, 13 Oct 2020

On the seventh match day of the Rainbow Six European League, the standings have been turned upside down. The favourites lost out and the underdogs have started to claw back from the bottom of the league. With just two days to go, the race for Major qualification is still wide open and almost every team will have a shot at getting into the Top 4.

Just a week ago, BDS and Secret were leading the pack with a considerable margin. Now, Secret are in prime position to be overtaken by the likes of Virtus.pro (VP) or G2 Esports. This is due to their match-up with VP, in which they only achieved a draw. At one point, Peter “pacbull” Bull and his mates were leading on a 5-2 scoreline, but somehow failed to convert that into a match victory. Pavel "p4sh4" Kosenko absolutely crushed them on the defence and carried VP to a 6-6 tie, which added one point to the league score of both teams. Secret’s loss to Natus Vincere is now coming back to haunt them, as G2 and VP have the opportunity to surpass them in the standings. But there’s a silver lining for them in the form of BDS. Both G2 and VP still have to face the French super team, which will likely set them back a few points. 

But that will only work if the BDS from the first few weeks shows up. In the last few play days, they have taken a turn for the worse. First, they only managed to secure a 6-6 draw versus Vitality. Now, they have suffered a defeat at the hands of Natus Vincere, who had ironically taken down Secret on the exact same scoreline precisely seven days before. While it is unlikely to see them lose both of their upcoming matches, they’re not safely tucked in first place just yet. In theory, they could still be thrown out of the Top 4 if G2, VP, Secret and Vitality all win their remaining encounters.

Because of their combined performance during both stages, Chaos will be auto-relegated from the league after the completion of Stage 2. The bracket is in such a weird state that they - despite currently sitting in second-to-last place - could still make it to the Major. The only team without a shot at anything is Rogue, who have lost each and every one of their matches. This is obviously a huge shock to the team that completed Stage 1 in first place. Granted, they had to work without Maurice “AceeZ” Erkelenz for the majority of their games, but now that he’s back, they’re still just as broken as they were before. 

WHAT IS THE LIKELIEST MAJOR CONSTELLATION?

While the remaining matches give VP and G2 an opportunity to really mess with the Major winners of BDS, they also need to factor in that they might just as well lose their encounters with the Frenchmen. So the two teams might only have three more points to work with, which means that, with the exception of Rogue, all other teams below them are still in contention for the Major. If we assume that BDS succeed versus VP and G2, they’re safely slotted in first place. Fortunately for pacbull and his colleagues at Secret, they have already had their battles with the top teams. They should manage to easily dispatch Tempra and Empire, which would put them in second place of Stage 2. The rest of the Top 4 is as open to competition as ever. While G2 have a two point lead over VP, this could change with just one match win. With Empire and Tempra being under fire by Secret, this only really leaves Vitality and Natus Vincere as legitimate Major contenders outside the current Top 4. The two in particular have shown great upset potential, which opens the Major prospects up to attacks from the bottom of the league. 

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Image via ESL

If Chaos were to still make it to the Top 4, this would be one of the greatest underdog stories of modern Siege history. But for that to happen, they require more than just a great performance out of their players. G2 and VP would both have to choke spectacularly, which makes a Chaos appearance at the November Major highly unlikely. 

Taking into account the overall performance of the teams and their outings in the last couple of matches, BDS, VP, and G2 Esports are best set up to reprise their Major attendance, with Secret coming in as the replacement for Rogue. This is probably best for the league overall, as Secret have shown great potential throughout the season. While Rogue definitely stole the show in Stage 1, they faltered as soon as they were put under pressure in the Major. So Secret might be able to shake the old formation up a little and compete with BDS for first place. In any case, the November Major is already shaping up to be a tense affair. BDS have shown weakness in recent days and it is the job of G2 and VP to now exploit this as much as possible. 

Images via Ubisoft | ESL

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