5 key storylines to watch during the Rainbow Six Copenhagen Major

Two weeks and 24 teams; the Six Major is here.

Image via Ubisoft.

The first Rainbow Six Major tournament of 2023 will run from Monday, April 24, to Sunday, May 7, as 24 teams from all nine competitive regions will compete for the Major title. With the best players and teams all in attendance, there’s much to be excited about. 

Here are the biggest storylines heading into the Major.

The return of Virtus.pro

The core lineup of arguably the second-best team in Rainbow Six esports history will make their first international appearance in over a year at the Copenhagen Major under their new organization, Virtus.pro. 

The core of this roster had previously won the Six Raleigh Major and ESL Pro League Season Nine in 2019 under Team Empire. The team also finished runners-up at the Mexico Major and both the 2019 and 2022 Six Invitational events, R6’s defacto World Championship.

While this put them as Europe’s top team at the beginning of 2022, the team opted to leave the Empire organization and spent most of last year competing in lower-tier European competitions. 

Now they’re finally back at the top tier of Rainbow Six Siege esports, having won Stage One’s European League competition. While they initially had a rough EUL group stage, losing on the final day to Team BDS, they came back to defeat the reigning Six Invitational champions, G2 Esports, in the EUL Playoff grand finals. 

Virtus.pro are proven winners and have over a years worth of missed tournaments to make up. With European teams having also won the last three international events, all eyes are fixed on seeing how far they’ll go on their return. 

Elevate hit with visa issues

For the second time in a year, Elevate have been hit with visa issues forcing their coach, Ilham “Sunan” Surya, to step in. 

The new Elevate roster, signed just last month, includes players from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Pakistan to replace their all-Thai 2022 lineup. The team finished second in the Asia League behind FURY after losing the grand final by a single round. They are looking to make a possible underdog run in Copenhagen.

Unfortunately, South Asia will have to wait longer for their international debut as the Pakistani player BarcodeOP could not get a Danish work visa in time due in part to the closure of the embassy during the Eid holiday.

Instead, Sunan will step into this role, making this his first professional-level game as a player since 2020. Elevate’s first match will be against Spacestation Gaming on April 24, at 9am CT.

What does BLAST bring to its first Major?

After seven years of either ESL or FACEIT running Siege’s biggest tournaments, the 2023 Season saw BLAST take over the reins. The Danish tournament organizer has extensive experience running events in Counter-Strike and now has an opportunity to make a real impression on the Rainbow Six fanbase. 

While it has already been in charge of eight of the nine online regional tournaments during stage one, it now has two weeks to pull out all the stops for online and in-attendance viewers to prove Siege is better in BLAST’s hands.

The exact changes BLAST will make to the formula is something we’re going to find out about over the next 14 days.

Canadian looks for a fifth title as DarkZero starts strong

North America’s most recent title winner, DarkZero Esports, have entered the 2023 Season with a major reinforcement⁠—Matthew “Achieved” Solomon. 

After captaining TSM to a Six Invitational title last year, he’s now united with NA’s most successful player, Canadian in DarkZero. This teamup has already led to a drastic improvement in the team as they topped the NA League’s group stage before narrowly falling to M80 in the Playoff grand-final, 7-8, 7-2, 6-8.

As well as a world-class support player and in-game leader, they also had three of the top-performing fraggers in the league, with Nick “njr” Rapier particularly excelling by this metric.

This means they have all the pieces needed to make a title run one year after they were crowned Charlotte Major champions. NA fans will hope these pieces come together once again when they begin their tournament on April 29. 

Latin America and MENA make their debut

BLAST will not be the only ones making their debut as, for the first time, Mexican and Saudi Arabian teams have qualified for an international event as part of the professional circuit. This is due to a change in qualification format thanks to the LATAM League and MENA League now having guaranteed qualification spots for Play-ins. 

Starting with Latin America, Six Karma are undefeated within their region and includes three Mexican and two Argentinian players. LATAM’s second representative, REVEN ECLUB, are a British majority team who moved to Mexico ahead of Stage One and pulled a notable upset against multiple Mexican teams to make it this far. 

The MENA League, meanwhile, was won by Team Falcons, who have won every Middle Eastern tournament since they came together a year ago with a flawless 25-win record across the three MENA League stages. The team also notably knocked out three professional teams⁠—MIBR, TSM, and WYLDE⁠—during the Gamers8 tournament in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, last August. 

After years on the sidelines, this is their chance to shine and prove their region can fight alongside the more established esports powerhouses. REVEN ECLUB will kick off the Major on April 24, at 6am CT.

About the author
Haydar Gohar

Freelancer for Dot. Previously covered Rainbow Six for SiegeGG while earning an Econ degree. Am now hooked on Val and OW.