No events
Rainbow Six

Team Empire Leads After First Week of Rainbow Six Siege Pro League

Craig Robinson

Season 11 of the Rainbow Six Siege European Pro League kicked off this week, and what a surprise it has been already. The EU Pro League is the most competitive Rainbow Six region on the planet, and there are expectations set. Yet we still find ourselves surprised by some of the results. With expectations vs. reality as the theme of the week, let’s look at what happened and where that could lead us into the future of competitive Rainbow Six Siege.

Rainbow Six Siege Pro League

Rainbow Six Siege Pro League Season 11 is off to a surprising start. (Photo courtesy Ubisoft)

Team Empire sits alone at the top

We are only two playdays into the season so far, yet Team Empire is clearly prepared for Pro League domination once again. In their opening game, they crushed Vitality with a 7-1 victory on Border. Border has some very strong defensive positions, yet Empire knew exactly how to assault them. Team Vitality had four defensive attempts at armoury/lockers (the most defensive site on the map) before they secured a point. This shows just how ready Team Empire was for their match.

Moving on, Team Empire’s attacking rounds on Coastline vs BDS Esports was flawless. The Russian squad walked away with a 5-1 lead at the half as BDS Esports only won one defensive Hookah/Billiards round. On the half switch, Team Empire had some issues, as they failed to win Kitchen and Blue/Sunrise defensive rounds, but their two wins on Hookah/Billiards won them the map 7-3.

From the looks of things Team Empire’s attack is rather scary although, their defense strategy needs some fine-tuning. However, Team Empire’s Season 11 is nothing like Season 10. They have some making up for as they fell off at the end of Season 10 regular season. The message from Team Empire is well received, and the narrative is set to see who can shut down Empire’s already dominant form.

Season 10 top two looking shaky

Rogue and Natus Vincere both qualified for the ESL Pro League Season 10 Finals back in November. Natus Vincere went on to win the event in their debut season. As for Rogue (previously Giants) their roster has looked strong online all 2019, even if they blundered at recent LANs. For both teams, their results have given them an expectation heading into Season 11. So far, it isn’t looking too fantastic.

For Natus Vincere, they were expected to take down rookies forZe who had recently qualified for the Rainbow Six Siege Pro League. For context, forZe didn’t look particularly great in the Six Invitation 2020 European Regional Qualifier, whereas as Na’Vi are the Pro League Champions. Just from that context, Na’Vi is the immediate favorites, yet our expectations were subverted.

Na’Vi lost Clubhouse to the underdogs in a rather unlikely fashion. forZe’s attack was fierce and dismantled every defensive site except one Church/Arsenal. forZe even managed to secure a flawless attacking round on Cash Room. On the side switch, Na’Vi got a few good attacking rounds in, although, won a defensive round on cash room and took the game.

As for Rogue, their match vs Chaos seemed rather sloppy. Chaos seemed to have a good attacking side which eventually lead to a 3-3 half on Coastline, a result seemingly promising for Chaos. One of the only redeeming factors of their defense seems to be individual play-making from the likes of Lukas “korey” Zwingmann and Maurice “AceeZ” Erkelenz. Their attacking side seemed much better as they won the map 7-5, but still, there’s an expectation to perform much better against Chaos.

Furthermore, both teams played each other on playday two, which ended in a draw on Consulate. Whilst the result ended in a tie, which is a satisfying result for two top European teams going head-to-head, how it got there was not. Both teams fielded endless mistakes, with Rogue’s best moments coming from individual plays. Meanwhile, Na’Vi’s defense coordination seems to struggle as vital rounds were won and lost under weird circumstances. One such as Luke “Kendrew” Kendrew’s miss-timed Echo plant denial, to him forcing the tie via running away in a 1v3.

For Natus Vincere, Consulate is one of their better maps, and to see this happen suggests there’s something wrong internally. Na’Vi’s official announcement of the removal of Ellis “GiG” Hindle hinted there were internal issues during and after the Season 10 Finals. This seems to perhaps be plaguing them still, and it’s a cause for concern. As for Rogue, there’s an x-factor missing in them as well. It’s still early days for both teams and there’s plenty of opportunities to turn it around. But this is something that cannot be ignored given expectations surrounding them.

Attacking meta?

Throughout the week, the attacking sides of matches seem to be the side that wins rounds. The only match that had more defensive side wins was Team Vitality vs G2 Esports, which had seven defense wins vs five attack wins.

This seems especially strange since the introduction of Goyo. There was an indication that Goyo may dominate the meta, especially with the Six Invitational 2020 Regional Qualifiers seeing Goyo receive frequent pick rates. This seemed incredibly dominant with Maestro Evil Eyes supporting the Goyo shields.

However, this doesn’t seem to have translated into wins for defense rounds in the Rainbow Six Siege Pro League. This may simply be down to ring rust, as teams look generally weaker on defense. However, we should wait and see how this meta develops with as teams adapt to the new operators and patch.