Rainbow Six Copenhagen Major play-ins end with APAC teams on devastating 21-game losing streak

Seven teams from Korea, Japan, Asia, and Oceania have already been sent home from the Copenhagen Major.

Image via Ubisoft.

Today, April 27, marked the end of the play-in stage of the Rainbow Six Copenhagen Major. Eight teams were sent home over the last four days, seven of which were from Asia Pacific, as teams from Japan, South Korea, Asia, and Oceania failed to win a game against non-APAC teams. 

Since the region was first introduced into the competitive scene in 2017, unsuccessful events such as these have not been uncommon. This event stands out, however, as it is the second event in a row this has been the case. 

Three months ago, the 2023 Six Invitational tournament saw APAC’s three representatives win a single matchup across 12 games. Japan’s CYCLOPS athlete gaming netted the sole win in their opening game against the reigning Rainbow Six Major champions, Team BDS, but could not replicate this performance again in their subsequent matches. 

Shortly after the tournament, Ubisoft announced a major restructuring of the global Rainbow Six esports format, which involved splitting the four esports regions—North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia Pacific—into nine. This included APAC being split into four separate regions: Japan, South Korea, Asia, and Oceania. 

Related: Ubisoft drops new batch of esports-themed Rainbow Six skins in time for Copenhagen Major

Image via Ubisoft.

With each of these four regions being guaranteed spots at the ongoing Rainbow Six Copenhagen Major, this meant the event has seen more teams from Asia Pacific than any other region, with nine of the 24 hailing from there. 

Seven of these nine teams started the tournament in the 16-team play-in stage, with all seven having exited either without a match win or with wins against only other APAC teams. The closest a roster came to breaking the streak was Japan’s NORTHEPTION, who lost in a final winner-takes-all decider round for a spot in the playoffs against REVEN ECLUB, 7-1, 4-7, 7-8. 

Combined across the 2023 Six Invitational and the Rainbow Six Copenhagen Major, this now makes 21 defeats in a row against non-APAC opposition from Japanese, Korean, Asian, and Oceanian rosters, a remarkable figure. The results in question can be seen below.

  • Elevate – lost five times against SSG (4-7, 3-7 and then again 4-7), KOI (7-8, 5-7), G2 (7-8, 5-7), and NiP (5-7, 3-7)
  • Dire Wolves – lost four times against MNM Gaming (4-7, 4-7), Wolves Esports (6-8, 6-8), Team Liquid (3-7, 2-7), and Soniqs (5-7, 1-7)
  • CYCLOPS athlete gaming – lost three times against LOS + oNe (7-8, 7-1, 2-7), Astralis (4-7, 2-7), and Oxygen Esports (2-7, 4-7)
  • NORTHEPTION – lost twice against REVEN ECLUB (3-7 and then 7-1, 4-7, 7-8)
  • Varrel – lost twice against Wolves Esports (3-7 and then 2-7, 4-7)
  • SANDBOX Gaming – lost twice against Team Falcons (4-7) and MNM Gaming (1-7, 5-7)
  • LAVEGA Esports – lost against Soniqs (2-7)
  • Team Bliss – lost against w7m esports (1-7)
  • FURY – lost against MNM Gaming (7-3, 1-7, 6-8)

Out of 39 maps listed above, APAC teams won just three. For comparison, at last November’s Rainbow Six Jönköping Major in Sweden, the APAC region exited with a slightly better four wins in 24 games, while at August’s Berlin Major, every APAC team in attendance won at least one game, and Elevate reached the quarter-finals. 

This comes following several months of complaints from fans and professional players surrounding the spot allocation for the Rainbow Six Major. This is because the historically most successful regions – Europe, North America, and Brazil – were granted just four spots, while nine spots were issued to the four Asia Pacific regions.

Related: LATAM’s historic start and NiP’s surprising loss headline first day of Rainbow Six Copenhagen Major

Ubisoft defended this by arguing that APAC as a region no longer exists and that the four regions that replaced it should all be well represented. Furthermore, Wei Yue, Rainbow Six Siege’s Esports Director, suggested that it’s less of an issue as these teams are likely to go out early before many big-name teams even enter the tournament. That assertion has been proven correct.

With only two Rainbow Six Majors per year and Six Invitational qualification points on the line, many were still unconvinced and have been venting their frustrations over social media. The performance of these regions so far in 2023 has likely not soothed anyone’s concerns. However, Wei Yue also said that they may adjust the Major slot allocation for future events depending on each region’s performance, meaning we may see big changes in this regard before the next Rainbow Six Major in November.

With seven teams eliminated, just two rosters from the old Asia Pacific region remain at the Copenhagen Major as Japan’s SCARZ and Korea’s Dplus progressed straight into the playoff stage by winning their respective national leagues. As they are the top teams in their regions, they should theoretically fare better than their compatriots. Still, with the playoffs also introducing multiple tournament favourites, including the reigning world champions, G2 Esports, we’ll have to wait and see if it’s enough to end the 21-loss streak.

The playoff stage of the Rainbow Six Copenhagen Major starts on Saturday, April 29 and runs until Wednesday, May 3. It is a Swiss format tournament with the top eight teams progressing onwards to the Finals stage.

Image via Ubisoft
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.