TSM wins the exciting final of the 2022 Six Invitational and is crowned World Champion with a well-deserved 3:1 victory over Russian Team Empire.
Continuum, Penta, G2 Esports, Spacestation Gaming, Ninjas in Pyjamas and as of last night TSM Rainbow Six Siege can also call themselves World Champions. The North American roster is the winner of the sixth Six Invitational and the first team to advance from the lower bracket to the finals and subsequently win the finals since the introduction of the format consisting of a lower bracket and an upper bracket. Ninjas in Pyjamas (NiP) failed to do so in 2020 against Spacestation Gaming (SSG), as did Team Liquid in 2021 against said Ninjas.
Both NiP and Team Liquid were long considered big favorites to win the 2022 Six Invitational, while TSM was considered more of an underdog until the group stage. The roster around superstar and fan favorite Jason ‘Beaulo’ Doty was the last team to qualify for this year’s invitational via the North American Open Qualifier. In the finals of the qualifier, the eventual champion defeated Parabellum Esports 3-0. Earlier this season, TSM finished the first stage in fifth place, the second in second place and the third stage again in a surprising fifth place.
The poor results of the 2021 season resulted in the previously mentioned participation in the NA Qualifier, as the team was unable to qualify for the World Championship on its own via the Global Standings. The roster seemed to have problems. TSM made changes in a number of positions. While no players had to leave, as the lineup chose to work on the problems instead of being active in the transfer phase and making a roster change, new roles had to be taken on.
The amount of work that needs to be put into such a change, and the time it takes, was especially evident in the fifth place finish of the third NAL Stage. As additional support, TSM signed Aaron Chung, better known as ‘Gotcha’ as a second coach alongside Owen ‘Pojoman’ Mitura on February 8, 2022. Gotcha is best known in the Rainbow Six Siege e-sports scene for his time as a coach and player with Evil Geniuses, who long shaped Rainbow Six Siege e-sports with Penta/ G2.
TSM & MIBR: Hard work bears fruit
TSM had a lot of work to do before the 2022 Six Invitational, that’s for sure. Beaulo moved from a more flex role to the position of fragger, while Bryan ‘Merc’ Wrzek filled the role of flex player from here on out. Furthermore, Merc took on more responsibility, replacing Matthew ‘Archieved’ Solomon as In-Game Leader (IGL). The fruits of the hard work were already evident in the group stage of the Six Invitational. While TSM exited the Mexico Major without Merc, who was sick with Covid-19 at the time, as the last-place team in the group in the first round and missed out on the Sweden Major entirely because their standings weren’t good enough to qualify, the team secured a good early position to reach the playoffs with two opening wins over FURIA and BDS.
There, the North Americans stepped it up another notch. In round 1 of the Upper Bracket they beat defending champion NiP 2-0, in round 2 the strong playing team of FURIA Esports 2-1 and in round 3 the big title favorites Team Liquid 2-0, who had already promoted FaZe Clan and Oxygen Esports to the Lower Bracket. There, however, the MIBR team came up trumps. The Brazilians should not have been in the lower bracket, because they had more wins than their group opponents Oxygen Esports (OXG) and Natus Vincere (NaVi), who were in the upper bracket, and because they were denied the upper bracket and the second chance due to the awarding of points, which was strongly criticized by some pros via Twitter. Nevertheless, MIBR went its way and promoted one favorite after the other home. First it got NiP, then SSG, followed by OXG and Team Liquid.
MIBR’s path ended in the semifinals of the Lower Bracket against FaZe Clan. The titleholders of the Swedish Major won 2-1 against MIBR after earlier triumphing over Elevate, DarkZero Esports and the Susquehanna Soniqs in the Lower Bracket. However, FaZe was denied the final of the 2022 Six Invitational. The Russian line-up of Team Empire sent TSM to the lower bracket after a thrilling match in the final of the upper bracket and how the match between TSM and FaZe turned out is anyone’s guess at this point. TSM won 2-0 and secured a rematch against Team Empire in the grand finals of the 2022 Six Invitational.
The Final: The clash of success-hungry rivals
With the final of the 2022 Six Invitational between Team Empire and TSM, we not only got to see a match that was considered a desired final due to its tension in the first meeting in the Upper Bracket of the World Championship, but also two teams that have been waiting for the big success for a long time. Team Empire has been waiting for an FInal appearance at a World Championship since the 2019 Six Invitational. In 2019, the Russian team lost surprisingly clearly with 3:0 against the later world champion G2 Esports after an incredibly exciting first map (Coastline). The following S.I.s remained rather semi successful for Empire. The biggest successes of the roster remained Major victories.
TSM on its never played a final of a Six Invitational. In 2020, Beaulo’s team came close, but lost to eventual World Champion SSG in the Upper Bracket final and to 2021 World Champion NiP in the Lower Bracket final. TSM also had more regional success and waited in vain to win a Six Invitational, although the team had strong performances there for years, was part of the favorites and, in the eyes of many, deserved to win.
There is no direct competition, explosive rivalry or exciting storyline between the two finalists. The connection is clearly that both teams are enormously hungry for success. But the connection is also that both regions are hungry for success. TSM versus Team Empire resurrected the old story of North America versus Europe after Latin America previously dominated e-sports. Fans from North America and Eruopa were once again eagerly anticipating the finals, as was the case during the marriage of Rainbow Six Siege with Penta and G2 Esports against Evil Geniuses, respectively.
Flashback at Geo and Gotcha: Empires Comeback Looms
The final between TSM and Team Empire, cast by Interro and ex-pro and two-time Six Invitational winner Niclas ‘Pengu’ Mouritzen, got off to a fulminant start. Already on Clubhouse, the first map of the clash, the teams went into overtime. There TSM prevailed and won with 8:6. On Map 2 – Kafe Dostoyewski – it became clear for a short time. TSM swept Team Empire 7:3. Many Team Empire fans may have had flashbacks at this point in 2019. After an exciting first map, which was lost in overtime, a 3:0 defeat and the loss of the final threatened early on.
But on the third map Team Empire managed to catch itself. On Oregon, the Russian team won 8-6 in overtime. Meanwhile, Merc, who had an incredibly strong tournament as well as strong performances against Team Empire, missed the chance to save the map. He missed an important kill in overtime to Dmitty ‘Scyther’ Semenov, who turned his back on him, and then failed to win another important gunfight that could have prevented the placement of the defuser. TSM’s IGL can’t be blamed for this, though, as his performance was consistently instrumental in TSM’s successful tournament run.
On Villa, Map 4, Team Empire’s comeback began to show. All of North America – especially TSM player Emilio ‘Geometrics’ Leynez as well as his coach Gotcha – knows that the team around the once again strong playing Danila ‘Dan’ Dontsov is capable of doing so. After losing the finals of the Six Invitational to G2 in 2019, Team Empire reached the Grandfinals of the ProLeague Season 9 Finals. There, their competitor was Evil Geniuses (EG). Victory for the North American line-up seemed assured, but Team Empire came back with a legendary comeback to win the match. So TSM was forewarned and TSM had an advantage EG didn’t have in 2019 – Beaulo.
Beaulo prevents Empire comeback
The twelfth round of the Villa match is underway. Team Empire is leading 6:5 and if they win the round, they will win the map. This would mean the 2:2 tie and the last, all-decisive map called Bank would have to be played. There we saw the strength of Team Empire already in the final of the Upper Bracket, when they won against TSM with 7:4. TSM has to win the bracket to save themselves into overtime. But then suddenly everything happens very fast. Dan picks up Geometrics and Scyther catches Merc. There’s over 1:30 minutes left on the clock. That’s a lot of time. Team Empire also has five drones, six stun grenades, and four frag grenades in addition to all five living players. But more importantly, they already have map control for the most part at this point. They could tighten the noose bit by bit now and initiate the grab.
TSM didn’t have much to counter other than sheer force of arms. Brady Devenport aka ‘Chala’ has the most important role in the round with Smoke, as he can cost a lot of time. However, Chala has also already lost a lot of his health. A single hit would be enough to take him out of the game, Beaulo’s fighter doesn’t have a utility like a Nitrohandy to prevent placing the disarm. But Empire takes its time, too much time, and doesn’t take advantage of its superior numbers to extend map control.
Dmitry ‘Always’ Mitrahovich stands in “Art” for a very long time, passively holding an angle. Empire knows that Archieved is in “Library” and Beaulo rushes to his aid from the “Main Stairs”. When Always decides to follow the drone and try to eliminate Archieved, he gets caught in a crossfire between the two TSM players. However, this also means that Chala is currently playing the spot (“Aviator and Games”) alone. Empire theoretically has the opportunity without direct confrontation to take “Landing,” “Study,” and “90,” build pressure on the spot and on Chala, and initiate the defusing of the bomb, and could prevent Beaulo and Archieved from rotating back through existing map control. But they do not.
Always does not see Archieved in “Library” or Beaulo making his way back up. Scyther and Dan, meanwhile, have occupied “90.” Danil ‘JoyStick’ Gabov stands “Landing”, but Artur ‘ShepparD’ Ipatov of all people rotates over the direction of “Study” to occupy the important space. What’s disastrous about this is that ShepparD no longer has a drone as a supporter, and to make matters worse, he’s carrying the defuser. Meanwhile Always, who is also rotating by now, could neither prevent nor notice Beaulo running back up the Main Stairs and going into “Study”. Chala continues to waste time and uses his last gas canister. Time passes, the Empire is still not in the room penetrated, to place the defuser.
The only thing that can still prevent this is force of arms and the nitrohandy of Archieved, who is still below the room. Then things get hectic. ShepparD throws three stun grenades through “Study” in the direction of the “Main Stairs”, but Beaulo is standing close to the window and therefore is not blinded. ShepparD then jumps into Study and is blinded by Beaulo. eliminated. The defuser has fallen and there are barely twelve seconds left on the clock. Always, who wants to enter “Study” via the balcony, is much too late and does not enter the room at the same time as ShepparD. This gives Beaulo the opportunity to look for the gunfight with Always after the kill to ShepparD and win confidently.
The cards have suddenly changed massively. A turn that Empire found almost impossible to lose is no longer winnable. The defuser is under Beaulo’s control, Archieved is rotating up the “Red Stairs” with his Nitrohandy, and Chala is still sitting in space with less than ten seconds left for Team Empire in a 3v3 situation. Dan manages to take out Beaulo, but at the same time Chala pulls JoyStick – 2v2. Chala continues to hold the SMG-11 in his hands, still has ammo in the magazine, and shows off an incredible shot that removes Scyther from the list of players alive. Three seconds remain, just under 50Hp and Dan against Chala and Archieved (including Nitrohandy). Dan rushes towards the Smoke player, but he is already waiting for him with his shotgun in hand and ends the round.
Empire is broken
With the loss of the twelfth After the twelfth round of the Villa match, Team Empire’s mentality seems to be broken. The Cyborgs, as they like to be called by the community because they rarely show emotion on stage, don’t seem to have gotten over the loss of this round. TSM equalizes, 6:6, saves itself with a clutch that should never have happened, into the overtime of the fourth map and Empire can’t recover from that round.
The Russian team manages to win another round in the unlimited overtime to tie the score 7:7 in the meantime, but can’t hold on to the victory they thought was safe in round 12 and loses the map 9:7. TSM is crowned the World Champion of Rainbow Six Siege and wins the Six Invitational 2022. Archieved (19 kills) and Merc (16 kills) led their team to a well-deserved victory. Beaulo, who also played a strong tournament, was still fighting tears of joy on stage.
TSM, in addition to the title of Rainbow Six Siege World Champions 2022, can also enjoy one million US dollars in prize money from the three million US dollar prize pool. In addition, Archieved/Matthew Solomon was named the MVP of the final day, the player with the most MVP wins of the tournament, and the Tournament MVP.
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