Three new teams secured a spot in the BLAST Six Major Copenhagen, overcoming favorites, but their performance potential was noticed back in 2022. Let's talk about some of those teams.
Taking down Giants
With the end of the Japan League and the following Last Chance Qualifier, we now have the three Japanese teams qualified for the BLAST Six Major Copenhagen: SCARZ, Northeption, and Varrel. But where are Cyclops? Fnatic? Did they not play?
On the contrary, they did play, but they have a negative streak against the new faces of Japan in the scene.
Cyclops, who played in the last Six Invitational, faced SCARZ on nine occasions, winning only three of the matches played, the last one being in 2020 at APAC North Stage 2. Since then, the Japan League champions have won six consecutive victories. Against Varrel and other former teams (such as Donuts and Unsold Gaming), the team had a great advantage of nine wins to two, but the two losses were in finals, at the Japan Championship 2021 and the Last Chance Qualifier for the Six Major. Against Northeption, there have been few clashes between the teams, but Cyclops has a slight advantage, with two wins against one, but again, losing only in decisive games.
FNATIC was once the top team in APAC alongside NORA-Rengo, but the team has suffered more than expected in recent years. They don’t have a good track record against Northeption, who have an advantage of two wins to one, but the FNATIC victory was during the qualifier for the Six Invitational 2023.
Against Varrel, the team also has a negative streak on a larger scale, with only one win in six games, the only victory being in the Japan League S2 of 2022. Finally, there was a balanced match against SCARZ, with two wins for each side, but in a tiebreaker of rounds won, the victory went to FNATIC, 25 to 18.
SCARZ arrived at Rainbow Six: Siege in 2018 and qualified for the Pro League S9 JP; where they played with "febar", now a player for Northeption. But they couldn't maintain their stay in the region's top division.
A few months later, the team decided to change their lineup, changing the national makeup of the team by hiring South Korean players; including today's great players like Kim "Demic" Dae-yeong, (currently a player for SANDBOX,) and Yoo "yass" Sang-hoon, (currently a player for DPLUS.)
In 2022, the organization returned to Japan, where they won two Japan League Playoffs, against Cyclops and Northeption, as well as finishing the Japan League season as the highest-scoring team.
This season, the team once again performed well in the national tournament, finishing in first place once again. They finished second in the group stage, along with Northeption, only losing to Crest Gaming (who qualified in first place for the playoffs) on the Chalet map, which is the team's weak point.
During the playoffs, the team suffered a defeat on one map in all three games, losing Kafe and Banco in overtime to Varrel and IGZIST, respectively, and in the grand final, losing to Northeption again on Chalet, with a strong 7:2.
In the last 6 months, the team has a 0.21 rate of plants given up per defense, a small value compared to their own rate of plants per attack (0.3).
The team has a very low rate of clutches suffered per map in the last 6 months, with the statistic being only 0.7.
In contrast to the clutches suffered, the team has a rate of only 0.63 clutches per map in the last 6 months, with Pyon being the standout player with 5 clutches.
The team has a map veto that can be countered mainly by other regions. With 11 vetoes on Border and 10 on Skycraper in the last 6 months. Having two maps fixedly banned, means their opponents may feel more comfortable banning their preferred maps, thus giving them an advantage from the start. In addition to their problems on Chalet, which the world's top teams know how to play well, this could be another problem for SCARZ.
- Taiyo “Taiyou” Kitano
- Riku “REChaaN” Katou
Player to watch: REChaaN - 0.87 Kill per Round (1st on team) / 55% Opening kills wins (1st on team)
Who is Northeption
Northeption entered Rainbow Six: Siege in 2019. However, they didn’t achieve much success until 2021, when they first entered the Japan League.
However, with a performance below expectations and a loss in relegation, the team ended up leaving the Japanese first division again. In 2022, the team returned to being among the top teams, even reaching second place in the Japan League Playoff S2, losing to SCARZ in the Grand Final. The team struggled a lot in matches against SCARZ, winning only three out of nine maps played and one out of four matches.
In the current season, the team obtained a questionable classification for the playoffs. After losing in their debut by one round to SCARZ, Northeption went on to take a convincing win against FAV Gaming, but in the last round they lost again — this time to Crest Gaming; 7-3.
In the playoffs, they faced Cyclops, a giant of the region, but that didn’t make any difference to Northeption, who won by 7-3 and 7-1 — a result that sends a message to the other teams in the region. In the semifinals, they faced Crest Gaming again, this time with a completely different result. With an incredible score of 7-1 and 7-1, the team secured their spot in the BLAST Six Major Copenhagen. However, in the match that defined the team's phase, SCARZ scored the decisive victory, resulting in Northeption playing in phase 1.
Northeption concedes very few plants to opponents, with a rate of only 0.18 plants per defense, a cold number (14) even lower than the number of maps played (15) in the last 6 months.
Additionally, the team has a very high conversion rate of opening kills in the last 6 months, +20 (84/64).
Northeption tends to struggle on the Club map and isn’t adept at playing Kafe either, despite a 50% win rate. Theme Park is their fixed ban (8 bans), followed by Border. But the team also tends to ban Kafe (both Border and Kafe with 6 bans in total), leaving their opponents space to force them to play an uncomfortable map.
- Hayade “febar” Tsuda
Player to watch: nina - 0.99 Kill per Round (1st on team) / 61% Opening kills wins (1st on team)
More about Varrel
Varrel arrived in Rainbow Six: Siege in 2018 under the name Unsold Stuff Gaming, winning the Challenger League S10 title and earning a spot in Pro League S11 Japan. However, they didn't have much success, with only 2 wins, 2 draws, and 10 losses.
2021 was a difficult year for the organization, now named Donuts Unsold Stuff Gaming, where they failed to qualify for the first division of Japan League, but despite that, they won the Japan Championship against Cyclops. In 2022, the team entered the first division of Japan League, qualified for playoffs, but didn't win the title. In the last season of 2022, Varrel were champions of the regular season, which guaranteed them a spot in the Japan Invitational, but they were quickly eliminated by Crest Gaming before the final phase.
In the current season, Varrel have struggled in the Japan League; with an overtime win against IGZIST, a clean win against Fnatic, and a loss to Cyclops. The team qualified in 3rd place in the Group stage and faced the eventual champions, SCARZ, right away. Then in the game to decide 5th place in the competition, Varrel once again lost to Cyclops forcing them to play in the open qualifier for their last chance.
Despite the hurdles, the team qualified, eliminating Fnatic, IGZIST, and finally defeating Cyclops in the Finals to secure their spot at the BLAST Six Major Copenhagen.
Varrel has had a good performance on the map Kafe in the last 6 months, it’s the only map where they have a 100% win rate, having beaten SCARZ on it.
The team doesn't have a defined map veto, with only the map Oregon being fixed (5 bans). While Chalet hasn't been played in any Tier A tournament matches (4 bans), the team risked it against IGZIST in the Last Chance semifinals and managed to win. Could they be hiding something on this map?
Based on the last 6 months, Varrel is unlikely to reverse a clutch situation, having won only 1 clutch out of 8 maps, with an average of 0.13 per map.
They also struggle with opening kills, with a -5 (44/49) ratio in Tier A competitions in the last 6 months.
- Jigen “Kawa” Akaiwa
- Taichi “DD” Shintani
- Yuuya “Aokayu” Okazaki
- Rento “Rento” Murase
- Shunnosuke “OkOmEsH” Koga
One to watch: OkOmEsH - 0.95 Kill per Round (1st on team) / 33% Opening kills per round (1st on team)
The BLAST Six Major Copenhagen starts on April 24th, on Ubisoft's official channels on YouTube and Twitch.