After a sea change in APAC in Season 10, viewers have been awaiting the return of the Pro League in the region to see how their favourite teams kick on. With fan-favourites NORA-Rengo and Cloud9 having missed out on qualification to the Finals last season, and Giants Gaming (formerly Aerowolf), Wildcard Gaming, and a new-look Fnatic already qualified for the Six Invitational, there was excitement all around.
Australia and New Zealand (ANZ)
Kicking things off, an Onyxian team not expected to do terribly well after two roster changes saw off a spirited challenge from Team SiNister, nearly drawing both maps but coming out victorious 7-5 and 7-4. Fnatic was then expected to roll over newly promoted Kanga Esports (formerly Rhythm) but was held to a frustrating draw on the first map before being able to crush the Pro League newcomers 7-1 on the second.
Very much similarly, the next day saw the second-seeded APAC roster of Wildcard Gaming draw against newly promoted HomeLess on the first map before going on to crush it 7-2 on the second. Mindfreak and FURY then closed things out by trading maps, with Mindfreak winning the first by a 7-2 margin and FURY taking the second 7-3.
This week, watch out for the exciting matchups between Wildcard Gaming and Kanga Esports on Wednesday and Fnatic and HomeLess on Thursday. With the two ANZ leaders from Season 10 swapping opponents from the past week, having both drawn a map against the Challenger League opponent that stood before each team, the faith in Wildcard and Fnatic from the casters is a little surprising but could be explained by a slow start for both teams in the first week.
Catch all the Pro League action from 7 PM AEDT (UTC+11) on the Rainbow6 Twitch channel, with VODs of previous games also available there.
Southeast Asia (SEA)
Southeast Asia kicked things off with a matchup between the Thai teams of Qconfirm (formerly Xavier Esports) and 200 Degrees. While Qconfirm did win both maps, an incredibly poor showing from the last three seasons’ SEA champions only saw them get pushed to 7-4 and 7-5 against the fourth-placed Season 10 Challenger League team. Up next, Aerowolf -- signed by Giants Gaming the next day -- played Clubhouse back-to-back, and was pushed by Team1122 to a 7-5 scoreline on the first map before bettering the performance to win 7-3 on the second attempt.
The next day, Xavier Esports went up against Scrypt E-Sports in what was expected to be a close game, but the Thai -- fresh off doing well against Fnatic -- crushed Scrypt 7-2 and 7-1 with little difficulty. The second game between Lese Esports and Team Valor saw a closer affair, however, though Lese still won both maps, first 7-5 and then 7-3.
This week, Qconfirm will take on Team1122 on Wednesday in what will certainly not be an easy match for the Thai given their struggle against 200 Degrees, while the Giants Gaming roster plays its first game under the new organisation against the fellow Singaporeans of Valor eSports.
Catch all the Pro League action from 7 PM SGT (UTC+8) on the Rainbow6SEA Twitch channel, with VODs of previous games also available there.
Over in Japan, the up-and-coming squad of DetonatioN Gaming found it harder than expected to beat Takumi Gaming Festival LBX, only drawing the first map against the newly promoted team before swiftly taking TGF LBX down 7-2 on the second map, much like Fnatic and Wildcard Gaming. FAV Gaming though, while pushed closed, would become the only team to take six points home, beating Unsold Stuff Gaming 7-5 and 7-4.
GUTS Gaming received more of a shock compared to DetonatioN Gaming, however. Beating Yoshimoto Gaming Lamy (YGL) 7-2 on the first map seemed to give hope to the former NORA-Rengo sister team, but YGL struck back in a close second map to win 7-5. Finally, in the match everyone had been waiting for, Cyclops Athlete Gaming (CAG) went up against NORA-Rengo, with the former expected to win rather easily. While CAG did take the second map with a dominant 7-2 scoreline, NORA-Rengo was up for a fight on the first and managed a draw, though gatorada broke the kill record for an online Best-of-One matchup with 23 kills on the first map, thus beating Rampy's record of 22 kills.
This week, the pick of the action seems to be the NORA-Rengo game against YGL on Wednesday, with the latter fresh off a win against GUTS, while GUTS Gaming takes on DetonatioN Gaming in a highly aniticipated match on Thursday.
Catch all the Pro League action from 7 PM JST (UTC+9) on the Rainbow6JP Twitch channel (in Japanese), with VODs of previous games also available there.
SCARZ also was the only team in its region to take six points, raising the curtain on the Korean Pro League with a 7-4 and 7-3 victory over Axiomatic in another double billing on Clubhouse -- a feat made possible with the updated map ban rules this season.
Axiomatic featured in the next day of play as well, going up against TRIPPY, the second-seeded team in Season 10. With the TRIPPY roster in turmoil, Axiomatic was able to manage a draw on the first map, though could only get four rounds on the second.
This week, Cloud9 plays its first matches of the season, first going up against Season 9 APAC Finals team, SCARZ on Wednesday, before facing Axiomatic on Thursday.
Catch all the Pro League action from 7 PM KST (UTC+9) on the Rainbow6KR Twitch channel (in Korean), with VODs of previous games also available there.
For more coverage on APAC’s competitions including and beyond the Pro League, check back here at SiegeGG regularly as we bring you what’s in store for the week ahead.