With the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen 2023 wrapping up on Sunday, May 7th, there's a lot can be taken away from BLAST's first international event in Rainbow Six: Siege. As such, in taking a moment to reflect and reminisce, here are BLIX's top moments, storylines and takeaways from the top-tier event.
Overcoming the Odds
Some beautiful stories were written this season by underdogs, like Soniqs and Ninjas in Pyjamas. Both teams missed out on claiming direct spots for the Six Major, and as such had to come through their regions' respective Last Chance Qualifiers.
The road was especially daunting for Ninjas in Pyjamas as they finished Stage 1 of the Brazilian League in joint last place, requiring them to fight through an open qualifier before even playing the Brazilian Last Chance Qualifier. Despite the odds being against both teams ahead of Copenhagen. the two teams not only secured their spot in playoffs with a near perfect 3-1 record, Soniqs would eventually make it all the way to the semifinals after, poetically, facing off against fellow underdog NIP.
Another underdog story from the competition was that of British squad MNM Gaming. After suffering a setback in their debut play-in match against Team Falcons, they started their series against FURY down a map after losing Skyscraper 7-3. However, despite an early exit potentially being on the cards, MNM answered back a 6-1 win on Chalet before narrowly clinching Oregon 8-6. The would then move onto a comfortable 2-0 win over SANDBOX to secure their spot in Phase 2.
In Phase 2, overcoming adversity continued to be the game for them as they started off 0-2 following losses to FaZe and G2. However, against the odds MNM went on to best REVEN, M80, and Virtus.pro while only dropping one map on the road to playoffs. While MNM were eliminated right away by w7m, they ended their run as the sole squad to take a map off the eventual champions.
Ones to Watch
The BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen gave fans a chance to see a number of new and exciting prospects on the big stage, and it did not disappoint, as it gave a number of players and teams to keep an eye on.
Starting with player "Nina" from Northeption, despite his team being eliminated in the first phase, he had a great performance in the competition, drawing attention to the player for future tournaments. His statistics in his first big tournament was 64/20 (+24) K/D in duels, 35% SRV and 73% KOST.
Shifting the focus to teams, Team falcons was a pleasant surprise in the Major, having a strong run in Phase 1 before running out of gas in Phase 2. Playing in Group A of Phase 1, Falcons sent MNM to the losers' bracket and defeated SANDBOX in the qualifying match for Phase 2, thus becoming the leader of their group, which surprised many fans, who did not expect the MENA team to top their group.
As previously mentioned, unfortunately in the next phase Falcons exited the tournament 0-3 following losses to DarkZero, DPLUS and M80. Despite this, the team showed a lot of promise especially with the consideration that Jlad was unable to make the event due to visa issues.
Another team that caught the eye of fans and pundits alike was Six Karma, who had a dominant game against NIP in their debut, but later fell to Spacestation and NIP. Despite failing to make Phase 2, the team showed progress in this event and deserve some attention in their next outing.
SCARZ: The Great Surprise of Copenhagen
Ranked first in the Japanese league, SCARZ went straight to Phase 2 of the Six Major Copenhagen, where they didn't have the most pleasant reception as they were felled by w7m in a one-sided 7-1 loss. However, the team then embarked on a streak of positive results against Reven and DPLUS and were just one win away from qualifying for the playoffs in their first international appearance.
In their first shot at playoffs, the team lost to Ninjas in Pyjamas, but in their second and last chance to qualify for the playoffs, they faced off against the North American team Spacestation. Although Spacestation initially had the upper hand, SCARZ recovered on the following two maps to secure the coveted playoff spot. Despite the team eventually falling to FaZe in their opening playoffs series, for SCARZ to make playoffs in their first international outing after such a strong domestic showing has certainly raised some eyebrows.
The Path of Champions
w7m have won their first international title, but the road to glory wasn't without its challenges. After placing second in the Six Invitational, w7m underwent some changes in their lineup, including the departure of Gabriel "volpz" Fernandes and Julio "Julio" Giacomelli, and the additions of Felipe "nade" Ferreira and Felipe "FelipoX" Lúcia.
The team managed to qualify for the Six Major directly, but with two losses in the regional phase, one to Black Dragons in the group stage, and the other to FaZe Clan in the Phase 2 qualification game. Despite the setback, the team won the duel against LOS oNe and thus avoided having to participate in the Last Chance Qualifier.
In Phase 1, they qualified without any surprises, with victories against Team Bliss and Wolves, and began to catch the attention of fans who were concerned about w7m needing to compete in the first phase. In the second phase, they qualified again authoritatively, passing through to plaoffs any defeats, besting SCARZ, Team Liquid and Soniqs.
In the playoffs, they lost their first map of the competition, Border against MNM, but still managed to qualify for the semifinals, and with that, they faced Soniqs came, the only team from outside Brazil. With an impressive 2-0 victory, w7m secured a spot in the Six Major grand final.
In the domestic duel against Team Liquid, they won decisively 3-0, something that hadn't happened since the Six Invitational 2019, when G2 defeated Team Empire.
Speaking of G2 and Empire, w7m joins a group of unbeaten champions of Six Majors, along with the two Europeans, but in an even more select group with G2, being one of two teams to win a Six Major while losing only one map.
A historic achievement for the organization, but the team's recent performances in international tournaments had already been preparing the world stage of Rainbow Six Siege for this moment. As they prep for future events, be sure to keep an eye on BLIX's Rainbow Six: Siege portal for all developments in the scene.