Top 5 matches in UK Rainbow Six esports history: The closest and seemingly longest match ever, a perfect run, and a title against the odds

Rainbow Six Siege

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In this special series of in-depth articles, Esports News UK, in collaboration with the betting partner GGBET UK, delves into the stories, moments, and personalities that have left a lasting impression on the past, present, and future of the UK esports scene.
In this article, Haydar Ali lists his top five esports matches that have stood, following his article on the history of UK Rainbow Six Siege esports.

5. I don’t know vs Penta Sports

Stopping a dynasty to win the UK’s first title

While the UK Siege community didn’t see many victories within the first three years of the esport, the fans first tasted success thanks to Matthew ‘meepeY’ Sharples, Leon ‘LeonGids’ Giddens and Ryan ‘Lacky’ Stapley at the 2018 DreamHack Valencia Minor event. 

After winning the ESL Challenger League tournament and making a good start in the ESL Pro League, the humorously named ‘I don’t know’ line-up (that would later be signed by Team Secret) was eager to show everyone just how strong they were, as some of the best teams globally travelled to Spain for the second ever Six Minor event. 

After losing 7-6 in map three to Brazil’s Ninjas in Pyjamas in their opening game, an excruciatingly close game, idk went on to make short work of the rest of the group stage to qualify in second place. Another map three 7-6, this time in idk’s favour over the USA’s Rogue, meant they were to meet Penta in the semi-final, a match that most viewers agreed would decide the title. 

Penta had just won the Six Invitational and only lost two LAN games in the prior year and a half. The tournament was Penta’s to lose and no one expected them to lose. This meant that when idk won the match in yet another overtime win, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, despite G2’s Pengu dropping 30 kills, it became an incredible result for the UK scene with them then rolling over Team Vitality in the final, 6-2, 6-1. The win would help idk get signed by Team Secret the following month while it would also be the Penta dynasty’s last ever LAN game in their Penta jersey, as they were to be picked up by G2 the following month. 

4. Natus Vincere vs Team Secret

The two UK greats meeting for the last time

GGBET MPU blast gif - June July 2024

The two best core UK teams met for the last time at the ESL Premiership Summer Grand Final in front of a British crowd in July 2019. 

Natus Vincere had just won the Challenger League and would go on to win the Pro League later that same season crowning themselves the best in the world. Team Secret had a month prior won their second Six Minor event and a month later would finish in the semi-finals stage for the second Six Major in a row. They were at the time two of the top-four teams in the world and both included three British players, arguably making this period the best the UK scene ever got in-game.

These teams had met several times over the seasons in national-level tournaments but the most senior time they competed was also the last, as while the crowd wouldn’t know it at the time, Team Secret wouldn’t compete in the subsequent season of the ESL Premiership and would be relegated to the Challenger League before they could meet in the Pro League. 

This meant this matchup in Leicester was one for the history books and a massive moment in UK Siege history for all those who attended. The match, which was also covered by a fully British talent desk, ended in a decisive 2-0 result for Na’Vi as they won the first of many titles for the organisation after signing for them in June. 

3. Natus Vincere vs DarkZero Esports

A Pro League title against the odds

Natus Vincere, the British underdogs, came up against everything to reach this title-defining moment – and didn’t disappoint. 

The team came together in February 2019, won the Challenger League just three months later, and on their very first professional season, beat the reigning world champions, G2 Esports, and the reigning Six Major and ESL Pro League champions, Team Empire, to reach the Season 10 Pro League Finals as Europe’s top seed. 

The team then had to travel to Tokoname, Japan, without their star player, UK’s Jack ‘Doki’ Robertson, and yet still performed to keep Europe’s winning streak at the top events going. In the Pro League Season 10 grand final, Navi’s American opponents DarkZero Esports were blown away in a 7-4, 7-3 result with Doki’s inexperienced stand-in, Ellis ‘Pie’ Pyart ending the match with the highest kill count alongside Ben ‘CTZN’ McMillan and Luke ‘Kendrew’ Kendrew.

The final result being so one-sided may have disappointed those in attendance, but it only made the day taste even sweeter for Navi fans worldwide. The win meant everything to the players and community behind them as the UK not only won its first-ever top-tier event, but their journey from tier-three to champions inspired the next era of UK talent that we see dominating the European League to today. 

2. G2 Esports vs w7m esports

A perfect run for the Six Invitational

After missing out on that experience in Japan, it took over three years for Doki to lift his own top-level trophy, but he did it by skipping straight to the biggest in the world, the Six Invitational. 

Alongside fellow Brit, Byron ‘Blurr’ Murray, Doki helped bring the G2 Esports organisation back to its peak after not winning a title in four years and they did it the hardest way possible. A complete lower-bracket run saw G2 win six best-of-threes against the biggest names in the game – FaZe Clan, DarkZero Esports, M80, Wolves Esports, Astralis and Oxygen Esports – to reach the final boss, Brazil’s w7m esports. 

Despite losing to w7m during the group stage of the tournament, and having a worse map ban phase owing to their position as the lower bracket team, the run had energised G2 and they looked like an unstoppable force. While the Brazilian scene has always been known for their superior gunplay, they got out fragged every step of the way with a triple kill from none other than Doki being the decisive blow to finally see a British player lift the fabled hammer. G2 Esports had won the Six Invitational 2023.

1. Rogue vs FaZe Clan

The closest and seemingly longest match ever played for a major title

While the Six Invitational was a bigger event, Rogue vs FaZe Clan at the 2022 Berlin Major grand final was arguably the most thrilling game of Rainbow Six ever played and starred multiple Brits, making it a lock-in as the greatest match in UK Rainbow Six history. 

The Rogue squad which included LeonGids as a player, meepeY as a coach, and Tristan ‘Saethus’ Savage as an analyst, were the second-seeded European team at the event and finished second in their group, meaning despite prior good finishes it looked like they may fall short yet again. Nevertheless, a comeback versus XSET in the semi-final was a preview of a rock-solid mentality that turned out to be the key to the title, as they faced FaZe Clan in the final in the seemingly longest game of professional Rainbow Six on record. 

There were 68 rounds played (with the theoretical maximum in Siege being 75), and the match itself, including breaks, was five and a half hours long.

After Rogue tied the series scoreline up twice following two 8-7 FaZe Clan map wins, the match was decided on Club House where the teams were neck and neck throughout. In fact, literally nothing could split these two teams meaning on the final map the teams went to a winner-takes-all decider round in which it seemed like the entirety of the European and Brazilian communities held their breath, before Cryn earned a double kill and denied the plant for Rogue to win their title. 

This was Europe’s first title in almost three years since Navi’s Pro League win and was done in front of a European crowd as a bonus. The team also included The Netherlands’ Deapek who was the match’s MVP, Sweden’s Spoit who became the youngest-ever Major winner, Germany’s Cryn who was the oldest-ever Major winner, and Finland’s Kantoraketti who was the first two-time Six Major winner after previously winning in Paris 2018 with G2 Esports.

The match remains one of the best games ever played with the UK community being front and centre of the victory. 

Honourable Mentions: The R6 Manchester Major this coming weekend

With the 2024 R6 Manchester Major concluding in just two days on May 26th, this weekend will see thousands of British fans gathering in the B.E.C. Arena to watch the most elite Siege ever played in the United Kingdom.

No matter who wins, these playoff games will become some of the most talked about and widely remembered matches in the history of the UK Siege community as a champion gets crowned in front of the roaring crowd. 

While UK organisation Into the Breach have been eliminated from the competition, three of the eight remaining teams still include home representatives. So this has the opportunity to be even more memorable yet as Brits across the country will be rooting for Josh ‘Yuzus’ Pritchard on Team BDS, Nathan ‘Nafe’ Sharp on DarkZero Esports, and CTZN on M80. 

The UK scene has previously won everything there is to win, and there are still memories to be made and new heights to reach. The Manchester Major grand final has the opportunity to be one of the very best matches in the community’s nine-year history should the home crowd get their way and a Brit once again lift the trophy.

Stay tuned for more articles powered by GGBET UK soon. See more UK esports history content here:

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