So.... Its been a few weeks since my last blog post. Obviously I was working alongside G2 out in Montreal at Six Invitational. I'm just noting down a few thoughts, some pictures and an overview of the whole tournament from my own perspective. Note that obviously these views are from my own perspective only and don't necessarily represent anyone elses.
In my opinion. The seeding for the whole tournament was wrong. G2 were the 16th seeded team and in any normal seeding scenario, its seed 1 vs seed 16 and so on. I would have bracketed the seeding completely differently in my opinion with a few rules to ensure things such as a region can only have 2 teams in a group max. Group C having 3 LATAM teams really was boring as hell and in my opinion if Liquid play any international teams rather than teams from their own region, they would have done far far better.
Moving on to the format. I'm seriously undecided on the World Championship tournament having double elimination. To be the best you shouldn't lose. SSG rightfully won as they didn't lose a single fixture. Had NiP won the tournament having lost to TSM, it actually wouldn't have sat nicely with me. On the contrary I also accept that teams can have off days and therefore you truly see who is the best over the tournament. I'm just not sure, you shouldn't have the ability to lose two BO3s over the whole tournament and call yourself world champions.
I'm also not sold on this Bo5 with 1 map advantage. I don't feel like that is good from a viewer standpoint or even from a competitive standpoint. SSG drew the final 2-2 but won because of their advantage, now I have no problem with them winning it, they were the best team in the tournament and in my mind the most strategically solid team on the planet (3 support staff >), I would have just liked to see them "win" the final. In my opinion if we had a map 5, they won that anyway. IF we are forced to double elim and rewarding the winners I would like to see a B03 played, if the upper bracket team win the BO3, they win. If the lower bracket team win, they then go through to a full BO5. OR I would like to see a BO7 and no double elim. I really don't know, it just felt like SSG would have done the equivalent of Penta vs EG in 2018 but they actually only drew the final instead.
Finally, I didn't like that 6 teams made the main stage, 8 should have been there. Now I obviously have a bias that if 8 teams had got there, G2 would have played main stage. I would still have this opinion regardless. I don't think only seeing 6 games on the main stage offered good value to the average spectator who might have flown half way across the world. There were 34 matches in the 2020 SI, the live stage showed only 17.6% of them. In my opinion, the Tuesday games at the hotel (2 upper bracket + 2 lower bracket) could have been held on the Thursday, then carried on with 2 games each on the Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This would have meant that 8 teams played stage and the spectators got more value and more live siege. If this was the case next year, there could be an increase in ticket prices to cover costs - im sure everyone would pay it happily. This trip for anyone thats not in NA already is probably already costing over $1,000 per person, therefore the spectator experience should match the cost that a lot of people face.
The hotel was amazing, I have nothing to compare to but when we first arrived on 4th Feb it felt like we was in a Siege wonderland. There was a huge board up and a presenter desk, covered in siege. Obviously nothing passes without issue and there were some operational issues that ESL/Ubisoft sorted as quickly as they arose, so huge shout out to them. The food and facilities at the hotel all excellent, healthy choices all over the place and if you did fancy a sugar rush there were genuinely like 12 cakes you could choose from each meal time.
Place Bell was fantastic, again huge shout out to the people behind that event. My only real gripe with the whole thing was the merch store. Now I fully accept that if you don't want to queue then don't queue but the store was absolutely tiny and basically sold out on the first day. The only way that I got any merch was to miss the opening ceremony (and most of the first game), which I didn't do. So I ended up forfeiting merchandise. Next year I'd like to see them make it much bigger with much much more stock and allow basically everyone to get the merch they want, rather than the people who were happy waiting 3 hours on the first day.
Oh and the test areas, now I'm reaching here but please use better than 60hz monitors, I know its only a free play area and cost and what not but having 144hz would make that so much better.
Finally, codes - I don't know if Ubisoft like the Twitter giveaways or whatever but the fact that there were people posting giveaways and selling codes on the first day (with pictures of 25 cards with codes on) and that some people missed out is absurd. Im not talking about the elite codes, I'm talking about the general codes where you got twitch drops + attendee charms. Would it be that hard to get a system in place to give everyone a token upon first day entry and that token is then exchangeable for 1 code ? The guys on the information desk were handing them out like candy before running out of them on day 2 - it actually made it really hard to get information from the information desk too...
Today's post is sponsored by ORITY GG
ORITY GG kindly provided me with one of their signature backpacks to use during the Six Invitational whilst I was at LAN. ORITY is a brand offering authentic esports products for enthusiasts all over the globe. ORITY was founded in 2018 by a team originating from esports professionals, and experienced backpack developers.
Ority make backpacks designed for esports professionals. Their backpack is big, designed to fit in Keyboard, Mouse, Mousemat, Headset plus more. I'm happy to say that I used my backpack for the whole SI event and it never let me down at all, comfortably packing in all of my items. The backpack has padding and protection so its easy to carry and protects all of your peripherals. The inlays are modular so you can take them out when you want to use it as a regular backpack.
Finally the Ority backpacks are designed for travel, which means that it fits in hand luggage of planes. They are fully modular and even customizable, allowing you to change the colour of your backpack, should you wish.
If you're interested, you can purchase yours here
I don't take sponsors that I don't believe in, therefore if you see a sponsored post, it means that I have tried and genuinely believe that the product I'm advertising would add value to my readers
SSG rightfully deserved to win, they have 3 support staff in Lycan, Sov and EkuL. As I mentioned earlier they are probably the best team in the world strategically, regardless of if they won or not. They did win and they are of course the best team in the world, nobody can dispute that.
Their mentality as a team was also the most impressive I've seen, not to throw any shade or comparisons but whenever they were not playing, scrimming or doing vod sessions, they were out in the player lounge watching every match as a group - getting a feel for how other teams did it. I'm genuinely very pleased for them, all that hard work and they got there. #
I selfishly would have loved to have gone against them with G2, to test strategy and test ourselves vs a team that has a large map pool and understands the game better than anyone else.
Not just G2, but every other team than SSG lost Six Invitational 2020. I'll start with us.
We had a few reasons to be proud of our efforts at SI and a few reasons why we're obviously quite disappointed also. Firstly we were playing with a sub, SirBob. SB's stats obviously showed a low rating, but by my view he actually did remarkably well. The composure he brings to our team is incredible and was much needed. Secondly as the invited team, we had no expectations, we were the underdog and shouldn't have been at the tournament, so we turned up, had some fun and we feel like getting out of groups was a good achievement for a team that shouldn't be at the tournament.
On the contrary though, Fabian & Pengu had won this tournament the previous two years, with Kanto also having won it last year. This team is a team of exceptional players who were absolutely capable of winning SI and therefore from that point of view, you could say that it was disappointing. We feel like we beat ourselves in the two games we lost, rather than necessarily being outclassed. Although nothing taken away from Fnatic and NiP - they countered us very well and were there to take full advantage of us struggling.
Other teams were of course happy to be at SI and were wanting to take any lesson they could whilst some others had major disappointments and even leaving after two days of group stages. There are lots of lessons to be learned and of course there will be roster changes that ensue, both in NA, EU and potentially further.
So what about Year 5?
Year 5 looks absolutely incredible, its undeniable. There will be separate blog posts analysing the changes to the game and the changes to the esports philosophy that Ubisoft are wanting to move to.
The reworks, the focuses and the fact that we're getting 1 operator per season rather than 2 really shows the intentions here, one thing I really wasn't a fan of is that there is one crippling problem that effects every player that is Plat 1 and above. Cheaters.
Cheaters are by far the biggest problem high level players face. Although high level players are a small percentage over overall player base, they're also the most vocal and the ones that showcase the game to the largest audience. The top 4 streamers in Rainbow 6 are 2 current pro's (Pengu & Beaulo), 1 former pro (KG) and one very skilled and high ranked individual (Macie Jay). Cheaters are a huge problem once you hit Plat 1 and above, on average I'd guesstimate that you play a closet cheater maybe 1 in every 3 games and a full spinbotting cheater maybe 1 in 10?
The panels were the perfect time for Ubisoft to address the cheater situation and lets be honest, they didn't say a single word about it. Not one word. I know for a fact that they're not going to lay their hands down and state everything they're going to do with regards to cheaters, but they didn't even acknowledge the situation.
Something as simple as "We are aware of the ongoing situation with cheaters and although we can't disclose how we will combat this, there will be action taken" would have gone really far, but they didn't even acknowledge it.
Here is a small collection of photo's from my time in Montreal, including some behind the scenes if you want to call it that.