After a season of pure chaos, fans finally know which teams are headed to the Rainbow Six Pro League Japan Finals.
Despite some great efforts from teams across all divisions, only eight can be featured in Japan. Season 10 saw some unpredictable results. G2 Esports and Team Empire will be noticeably absent from the Japan Finals, while freshman squad Natus Vincere surprisingly made the cut for the finals. Upsets aren’t solely a European division phenomenon, as APAC favorites Fnatic will be missing finals for the first time in three seasons.
Conversely, some regions went more-or-less the way fans might have expected. DarkZero Esports didn’t surprise anyone when they earned a commanding 10-3-1 record during the regular season. Likewise, Ninjas in Pyjamas and FaZe Clan also qualified for the finals, which seemed like an inevitability from the start of the season. Team oNe almost played spoiler to FaZe but the rookie squad will have to wait another season.
Here is every team headed to the season 10 Japan Finals.
Again, it’s no surprise that DarkZero performed extremely well in season 10 of the Pro League. The North American squad made it to the season nine Milan Finals but had a rough go against Team Empire. Matching with Empire in the quarterfinals was bad luck. Empire would have taken down any team they matched with during the quarterfinals, the fact that they bested a team like DarkZero says as much.
Given that Empire are among the list of teams that are noticeably absent from the finals, DarkZero stand a good chance at taking the Japan Finals. There are definitely some obstacles, but this version of DarkZero seems more than up to the task.
North America’s hype squad finally made it into the finals. Season nine saw the Rec Pack narrowly miss out on a finals slot. Had the team earned just one more win in season nine, then they would have qualified due to having the tiebreaker against Evil Geniuses. Funnily enough, that’s the exact scenario that led to the team grabbing a finals slot in season 10.
Having beaten Evil Geniuses in the first half of season 10 allowed Rec the tiebreaker. Despite having matching 7-3-4 records, Rec overtook Evil Geniuses in the last matchday of the season. It’s the type of scenario that garners both hate and fandom. A last-minute change in the standings is always somewhat of an upset but at the same time, fans seem to love an underdog, just look at the fandom surrounding the ever-troubled TSM. Rec have spoiler potential heading into the Japan Finals. Their showing in Tokoname will be one of the more interesting storylines to watch should they get through to the semis.
Ninjas in Pyjamas
The Latin American equivalent of DarkZero is clearly Ninjas in Pyjamas. Boasting a 10-3-1 record, it was no surprise that the LATAM giants qualified for the finals. Having just missed out on the season nine finals by two points, NiP will be hungry for the title in Japan.
The season 10 version of NiP have been near unstoppable, taking only one loss to the boom-or-bust Team oNe. NiP also has one of the esports’ top fraggers in Murillo Muzi, who has been an invaluable asset to the team. The org tried out a roster move with Guilherme “gohaN” Alf but stuck with the “if it ain’t broke” mindset at the end of the day. Gustavo “Psycho” Rigal will also be an exciting player to watch. When Psycho and Muzi find a groove, things tend to get dicey for their competitors.
After some match-fixing allegations levied against the team back in May, FaZe Clan returned to form for season 10. The team had a massive comeback in the second half of season nine when they had been all but counted out of the running. Since that miraculous comeback, the team has seen that momentum through to season 10.
Having both FaZe and NiP in the Japan Finals ensures that the LATAM divison will have a strong presence at the event. The season nine finals saw both LATAM representatives upsettingly defeated by Evil Geniuses. NiP and FaZe representing this year seems to lend credence to the idea of a LATAM squad in the grand finals.
Fans will recognize the name Natus Vincere from season nine relegations when the team failed to hold on to their Pro League slot. MnM Gaming fought their way through Challenger League only to be scooped up by Natus Vincere after the org shed its season nine roster. The rookie squad immediately made waves in season 10 when they took down G2 Esports 7-4 in matchday three.
Since their hot arrival in the division, Na’Vi has been an entertaining team to watch. What started at spoiler potential soon became real odds of going all the way and that’s exactly what Na’Vi managed with their last-ditch effort to make it up the EU ladder. Not only did Na’Vi qualify but they did so without the presence of staple roster member Jack “Doki” Robertson, who was banned just a few weeks ago due to a manual Toxic Behavior ban. Doki will remain on the roster for the duration of his six-month ban but will miss out on every avenue of competitive play.
Following a 0-2 season nine finals defeat by FaZe Clan, LeStream Esport dropped its roster. From then on, the now LFO team only excelled in the EU division. Now known as Giants Gaming, the squad have snagged the second finals seed two seasons in a row. Giants could have had the number one seed but suffered a substantial downturn in the dying days of the EU division.
Despite Giants closing out the season with a 9-2-3 record, there are still some concerns about the state of the squad given their final performances during the regular season. Many fans have speculated that the team was merely saving strategies for the Japan Finals but some people aren’t as convinced. If the latter rings true, then fans will be in for an upsetting run in Tokoname.
The APAC division is one of the most contentious topics in all of R6 esports. Since the division is comprised of four subdivisions, they hold an APAC final, which determines who makes the finals. This time around, Fnatic was edged out rather early, leaving the door open for other teams to excel in their place and one of those teams is Indonesia’s Aerowolf.
Aerowolf finished out season 10 second in the South East Asia subdivision of APAC but that didn’t stop them from taking on some of the division’s largest names. Following the win over Fnatic in the quarterfinals, the team then went on to take down NORA-Rengo 2-0. Beating both season nine APAC finalists makes Aerowolf look especially powerful heading into the Japan Finals. Hopefully, APAC fans will finally be able to see one of their teams in the finals this time around.
Similar to Aerowolf, Wildcard earned second place in their ANZ subdivision of APAC. With a regular-season record of 7-4-1, the team is more-or-less on par with the rest of the ANZ subdivision. There’s little room between teams in ANZ and making it out in one piece is a tall order.
Despite finishing the regular season under Fnatic’s thumb, nobody can say that Wildcard didn’t earn their seed in the Japan Finals. Given that both APAC teams were ousted relatively quickly in the season nine finals, fans will be looking to see a big effort from Wildcard if they’re taking Fnatic’s place at the finals.
The season 10 Rainbow Six Pro League Japan Finals take place in just two weeks. Fans can catch the official broadcast starting Nov. 9.