The Six Invitational 2021 format, explained

Here's everything you need to know about the Six Invitational's somewhat confusing format.

Screengrab via Ubisoft

The Rainbow Six Siege Six Invitational 2021 is set to begin on May 11 and the format is a heavy topic of conversation.

There will be two stages to accommodate the 19 teams that were invited to the tournament: the group stage and the playoff stage. The playoff stage is clearly more important, but performance in the group stage will be crucial to having a good run in the playoff stage.

The group stage features two groups: one made of nine teams, the other made of 10. Wildcard Gaming were expected to be able to attend, but travel rules from Australia prevented them from making the trip to Paris.

Group A consists of BDS, Cloud9, CAG, DarkZero, FaZe Clan, FURIA, G2, Team Empire, Team Liquid, and Team oNe. Group B features Giants, MiBR, MKERS, Ninjas in Pyjamas, Oxygen, Parabellum, Spacestation, TSM, and Virtus Pro.

The groups will play a round robin over the course of six days from May 11 to 16. Each team in their respective group will play every other squad in a best-of-one match. At the end of the group stage, the bottom two teams from each group will be eliminated, leaving 16 teams. Wildcard are considered to have finished in tenth place, so only one team from Group B will be eliminated.

The top four teams from each group will advance into the upper bracket during the playoff stage. The bottom four teams in each group will automatically proceed to the lower bracket. Here’s what the playoff stage bracket will look like, according to Liquipedia.

Screengrab via Liquipedia

A team’s placement during the group stage will be taken into consideration for seeding in the playoff stage.

The winner of the upper bracket finals will be given a one-map advantage in the grand finals, which will be a best-of-five with unlimited overtime. All other playoff matches will be on equal footing in a best-of-three. The teams that go to the lower bracket from the group stage will essentially be playing in a single-elimination tournament, with the top four from each group receiving a double-elimination benefit.

The group stage of the Six Invitational will begin on May 11 and will end on May 23 with the grand finals.

Update May 7 2:21pm CT: Two Virtus Pro members tested positive for COVID-19 today and the team has been eliminated from SI as a result. Group B drops to eight teams. Only one team from each group will be eliminated at the conclusion of the group stage. Virtus Pro and Wildcard will be treated as if they came in last place in the group stage.