Following a historic weekend for the Rainbow Six: Siege community, a new World Champion was crowned at the Six Invitation 2022 in Stockholm, Sweden, with a showdown between TSM FTX and Team Empire. The battle between the two western powers brought a great challenge for both squads, who showed all their best strategies in a best-of-five series for the right to raise the hammer of victory.
Facing the final duel of these teams, North American esports giant TSM FTX had a gruelling journey to reach this stage. This was accomplished after qualifying for the event via the Last Chance Qualifier, where they finished third in their group and fell into the losers bracket in the winners final before finally going on to eliminate Latin America's last hope, FaZe Clan.
In contrast, Team Empire's path seemed destined for glory, finishing as the second-highest points finisher on the European continent heading into the event. However, once the tournament started, the team quickly became the fan favourites to win the title after finishing top of the group, then finishing off their opponents to reach the finals.
The final battle for the Six Invitational 2022
With expectations running high, the duel between North America and Europe kicked off on the classic Clubhouse map, with TSM opening the scoring in a very close first round.
As the game progressed, they showed better positioning on the defending side by finishing off all opponents on several occasions. However, Empire was not far behind and kept the score even by taking advantage of their better position for the attack.
With a 4-2 lead, TSM wasted no time opening the second half by pushing hard and putting up another point in their favour, but this would not be a problem for the defenders. Accordingly, Team Empire was quick to tie the score again, reaching the first sudden death of the series. Here, TSM demonstrated better map control by taking out all of Empire in both rounds, thus claiming the first point.
For the second duel, the action moved to Kafe Dostoyevsky, which would be the worst map for the Russian team. But again, TSM started as an attacker, and with Empire still smarting from losing on their map, the North Americans had little trouble gaining an early lead after players Merc and Achieved put on some of their best moves of the entire series.
By the end of the first half, the score was 5-2 in favour of TSM. Followingly, they began to look like the favourites to win this game. However, unexpectedly, Team Empire would manage to steal one more point from them at the end of the first round. Still, it would not be enough to stop TSM after two duels in which the Mexican player Geometrics and his partner Merc stood out, putting themselves one map from securing the championship.
But this would not be so easy for the Americans, as Team Empire managed to respond with power in their second map pick for the day, Oregon. TSM took the first round with ease, while Team Empire stayed on their feet by levelling the situation with the help of Scyther. For the rest of the game, the two teams traded rounds with each other so that we couldn't have a clear winner until sudden death.
It's here where, unlike the previous game, Team Empire did their thing to exterminate all the opponents from the hand of player Dan, so together with Scyther, both dedicated themselves to closing the duel and giving them a breath for the following map.
The fourth confrontation took us directly to the Village, where TSM started their march with great dominance as an attacker with the help of Merc and Achieved. However, Team Empire responded with seriousness and mettle in the rest of the first half, leaving the score tied at three.
Neither team dropped their hand to be beaten for the second half, so it all came down to a double tiebreaker. Followingly, with excellent mental resiliency and coordinated team play, TSM managed to seal the deal and became the new Rainbow Six: Siege World champion by 8-6.
Achieved gets the MVP and a special tribute for KiXSTAR
With this result, TSM joined the select group of teams, like Spacestation Gaming and Ninjas in Pajamas, as the best in R6 worldwide. The series MVP was awarded to Achieved, who demonstrated great command of the game and his unbalancing presence was felt throughout this duel.
However, we should note that before the start of the finals, Ubisoft awarded another MVP award posthumously to KiXSTAR's parents, the 24-year-old commentator who tragically passed away in 2021 and who continues to be fondly remembered by the shooter's community.
Thank you, Michael. For everything. pic.twitter.com/AO9Y3mCWNB— Rainbow Six Esports (@R6esports) February 20, 2022
With the Six Invitational coming to an end, it will only be a matter of days before the next competitive season begins. A new date with history awaits us in 2023 in Montreal, Canada.
Featured image courtesy of Ubisoft.