Virtus.pro, Wolves, and G2 secure their second consecutive qualification for the Six Major this year, while BDS is a surprise addition to the Atlanta edition. Read on to learn more about the teams' qualifications.
The Russians had a reasonably smooth group stage. With a day off on the first day of the tournament, the team prepared for their playday, fully aware of the ease they would have in the group stage compared to Region B. After all, none of the teams in their group participated in the Six Major Copenhagen, and the teams that competed in the Six Invitational 2023, like Team Secret and KOI, have undergone significant changes in their lineups compared to the one that took them to the main tournament this year. Despite this, the team encountered trouble against Into the Breach, who defeated the Russians 8-6 on Clubhouse, the same map where Virtus.pro staged a remarkable comeback against KOI, winning 8-6 after trailing 6-1.
In the playoffs, the team needed just one victory to secure their place in the Six Major Atlanta, and they achieved this by defeating Wolves once again in a tightly contested Clubhouse match. With their spot in the second phase of the main tournament secured, Virtus.pro faced Team BDS in the regional tournament's title match. It secured another significant victory, ending the year with both regional titles.
Expectations for the Blast R6 Major Atlanta
In Copenhagen, Virtus.pro had a promising start but gradually declined and was eliminated in the second stage of the competition. In their debut, they secured an important win against Ninjas in Pyjamas (Brazil) and followed it up with a clean victory in a continental matchup against Wolves. This put them in a situation where they only needed to win one more game to reach the Top 8 of the stage. However, things went differently for the team. They suffered defeats against FaZe Clan (Brazil), G2 (EU), and MNM (EU), resulting in their elimination despite a favorable position in the competition. Like in the previous season, Virtus.pro enters the competition with high expectations and needs to overcome its past issues.
Despite these challenges, the Russian team boasts a historically experienced R6 squad, which can help prevent a repeat of past problems. Their strong structural organization for the game is also an asset. Expectations for this season are high, with the team aiming to reach the Top 4 globally.
The team found themselves in a very challenging group, with three qualifiers for the Six Major Copenhagen and Heroic, who had been their downfall in the first stage of the regional tournament. In fact, this defeat led to the French team's elimination in the group stage. A 7-3 loss to Heroic left BDS in a problematic position to reverse the round differential, and even though they won their last match against Virtus.pro 7-1, the French team only managed to tie the round differential with Heroic and lost out on the second tiebreaker criterion, rounds won (23 for Heroic, 22 for BDS). So, the group was far from easy for BDS.
In their stage 2 debut, the team lost to G2 but then went on a perfect streak with three victories without overtime, securing the top spot in the group. In the playoffs, the team won a close match against MNM, thus ensuring their spot in the second phase of the Six Major Atlanta, their hope for qualifying for the Six Invitational in Brazil. Despite finishing in second place, BDS was highly dominant this season, as they were the second team with the most victories by up to a 5-round difference: 7-2 against Heroic, 7-1 on the second map against MNM, and 7-1 on the second map against Virtus.pro.
Expectations for Atlanta
BDS missed the last Major, but during the offseason, they became champions of the most important tournament, Gamers8. Furthermore, the team retains the core that won the Jönköping tournament and reached the top 8 of the Six Invitational 2023.
The team arrives with a strong performance and quality obligation, especially with their standout player, Shaiiko, who is in excellent form. Expectations are high that the French will contend for the title in Atlanta.
Despite finishing third and having to go through the first phase of the Six Major Atlanta, the Wolves had an impressive campaign in the European League, gaining applause from fans and the attention of future opponents. They secured the second spot in their group based on the round differential, showing excellent preparation for the competition, with their only loss being against Team BDS, their local rivals due to both teams having French bases.
In the playoffs, the team faced the sensation of the European season, Into the Breach. They narrowly won in maps, 2-1, but it was sufficient to place them in a situation where one more victory would secure their spot at the Six Major Atlanta. However, they faltered in their first attempt, losing to Virtus.pro. In their second attempt against MNM, they secured a comfortable victory and stamped their passport for the next edition of the Six Major. If BDS was the second team with the most victories by up to 5 rounds, the Wolves claimed the first spot: 7-2 against Heroic, 7-2 in the first map against Into the Breach, 7-1 in the third map against Into the Breach, and 7-2 in the second map against MNM. This is a team that demands a lot of attention from their opponents.
Expectations for Atlanta
In Copenhagen, the Wolves didn't have the best of performances. Despite a hard-fought victory against M80 with a score of 8-7, the team experienced two matches of considerable domination, a 7-1 loss to Virtus.pro, and a 7-0 victory over the American team Spacestation. The team's mental fortitude could be a concern, and they are tactically similar to many teams in other regions, making them relatively evenly matched in the competition.
The expectation is that the team secures their qualification for the second phase of the Six Major. While they have the tactical capabilities to reach the world's top 8, the anticipation is that they may struggle once more to qualify for the playoffs.
The team had a solid start to the stage, with a resounding BO1 victory over Team BDS. Shortly afterward, in a match that was longer than it should have been, they defeated Heroic 8-7. However, this is where everything went downhill for the international team. The following week, the team faced the Wolves and experienced their first negative result. Fortunately, there was no other match that week, providing them time to prepare for the crucial match against MNM. Despite the preparation, the team lost 7-4 and was eliminated in the competition's group stage.
In the Last Chance Qualifier, G2 made a remarkable comeback. In their first match against the Russian-based team Dunlimited, they secured a crucial victory with 7-3 and 7-2 scores. In the semifinals, they faced MNM, the team that had ousted them from the playoffs, and achieved an excellent 7-1 victory in the first map, followed by a balanced second map. They won 2-0 in the grand final against the tournament sensation Into the Breach. With a flawless qualification, G2 heads to the Six Major with a bit more confidence.
Expectations for Atlanta
In Copenhagen, the team started with a loss to Spacestation. Still, it secured three significant victories against MNM, Team Liquid, and Virtus.pro, earning a spot in the Top 8 of the competition. However, they were defeated in their first rematch against Team Liquid.
The G2 team has excellent mental composure, can handle pressure, and adapts during matches and the competition. However, they often give the impression of hovering between a splendid performance and an unexpected elimination. The expectation is that the team qualifies for the tournament's second phase and contends for the 3/2 result, which would secure a spot in the Top 8 of the competition.