Tom Clancy's Rainbow 6 Siege Year 2 draws to a close this week at the 2018 Invitational in Montreal, Quebec, Canada - the game's birth city.
Craig Robinson previews the event before flying out to cover the event for Esports News UK.
16 teams will compete from the four major regions (EU, NA, LATA and APAC) for $500,000 and to become the season 4 champion, which will conclude the competition for year 2.
The tournament schedule is as follows:
- February 13th-15th: Group Phase
- February 16th: Quarter Finals
- February 17th: Semi Finals
- February 18th: Grand Final
In addition, a Showmatch will begin on February 17th, and an all-star match will take place on February 18th to warm up fans before the grand finale.
During the event, more information regarding Year 3 content will be announced. This will involve further commentary for the much-anticipated Outbreak, which sees the new quarantine PVE game mode that has created buzz across social media.
The 2018 Invitational takes place after Ubisoft revealed new plans for and changes to Rainbow Six esports, with an overall prize pool across tournaments of $1.25 million. Here's what to expect.
Here are the 16 teams competing for the Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Year 2 World Champion title. They have qualified via their previous victories in major Pro League events, via regional qualifiers, or received wildcards and community votes:
PENTA SPORTS (EU): The German organisation can be ambitious. Despite their defeat in semi-finals against Black Dragons in Sao Paulo, the back-to-back winner of Pro League Seasons one and two can now count on Sha77e (ex-ENCE) as a premium addition to resume their dominance.
COUNTER LOGIC GAMING (NA): As the winners of the Six Invitational 2017 on Xbox, the former Elevate roster will compete on PC this time around. Throughout Year 2, they have proved the transition did not affect their performances, notably at Gamescom where they just lost the final against PENTA, earning them spot at the Six Invitational 2018.
ENCE (EU): The brilliant winners of the last Pro League season in Sao Paulo, Willkey and his teammates proved to the whole scene that their LAN curse belongs in the past. They now aim at pulling off the same performance than Continuum last year: win a Pro League season and the Six Invitational.
BLACK DRAGONS (LATAM): One of the main forces in Brazil, Black Dragons earned their spot for the Six Invitational via their impressive local results, winning Seasons 1 and 3 of the LATAM Pro League.
EVIL GENIUSES (NA): Formerly known as Continuum, under which name they won the Six Invitational 2017, the team led by Canadian will be eager to show that their defeat against ENCE in Sao Paulo was just an accident.
EINS (APAC): Winners of the first Pro League play-offs of the APAC region, this Japanese team will want to show more in Montreal than they did in Sao Paulo, and that the last three months helped them to step up their game.
ERA ETERNITY (NA): After defeating team Reckless in the grand final of the NA qualifiers, eRa Eternity will now show their new roster composed of seasoned players. A strong test for GurmyWormy and his teammates.
MINDFREAK (APAC): The Australian team emerged as strong victors in a tough contest for the APAC LAN Qualifiers. No stranger to the Invitational, having competed last year on Xbox, they are back this year on PC.
ROOM FACTORY (EU): The Russian side earned his spot at Montreal thanks to a solid showing during the qualifiers. Having competed in the Challenger League, they are definitely not a team to be underestimated.
SUPREMACY (EU): The French team victory's in the EU qualifiers shows how stability is important in the Pro League, as they have played together since August 2016, besides the strong addition of BriD in October 2017.
YEAH! GAMING (LATAM): The former Lanchonete roster is one of the nice surprises of these qualifiers, in a LATAM region where competitors included FaZe Clan, Team Liquid or BRK.
1UP ESPORT (EU): The German team, which has recently made its entry into the Pro League, has been invited to Montreal following their close defeat against Supremacy in the finals of the EU qualifiers.
FAZE CLAN (LATAM): The former FONTT roster showed its consistency throughout Year 2. As they have reached the semi-finals of the Season Finals twice, GohaN and his team have been invited to compete in Montreal.
ROGUE (NA): Invited to Montreal by Ubisoft, Rogue has always been considered as a strong contender to the Pro League Finals. For Year 2, they qualified for two back-to-back LAN events, but struggled against Brazilian teams.
TEAM LIQUID (LATAM): The former MOPA roster will be looking at proving their worth in the disputed group B of the Six Invitational. They reached the Season 1 Final and have been invited by Ubisoft.
VITALITY (EU): The French side made its way to the Invitational by claiming victory in the Community Vote. Vitality has been involved in the scene since Season 1 Year 1 on Xbox One, but their PC roster was picked up in Year 2.