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Fabio | 28. July 2021

The Conclusion to the R6 European League Stage 2

After nine long match days and more than a month of play-time, Stage 2 is over. We can gain quite a lot of new information from this league. Empire are a top team again, G2 managed to impress with their new roster. But more importantly, BDS aren’t the best in Europe anymore!

BDS Esport can look back on a successful 2020. The best EU team at the Six Invitational, a league victory and a trophy at the August Major. However, they started this year off in underwhelming fashion, failing to win the EUL Finals. The Six Invitational in Mai was a shock for every European team and so there was a large effort to reconstruct for Stage 2. BDS remained as one of the few teams who didn’t commit to roster changes.

G2, however, removed the last remaining core of the winning lineup from the Six Invitational 2019. This actually seems to have helped them, as the new team achieved a second place in EUL. Only a overtime loss to Empire kept them from taking the top spot.

TEAM EMPIRE COME BACK BIG TIME

In April, the team landed a second-to-last place in EUL. Unlike many organizations, Empire didn’t pull the plug. G2 would have already replaced half of their lineup, but Empire stuck with their players and gave them time for a comeback. When the team recorded an 0-7 opening loss, they probably started to second-guess themselves.

But the investment has paid off. On an 8-7 scoreline, they made it past G2 Esports. Their Stage 2 victory is a stunning conclusion to one of the best comebacks the league has ever seen. So if they can bring this momentum to the Major, they will become a real threat to the Brazilian and North American frontrunners.

NAVI AREN’T QUITE THERE

Rickard “Secretly” Olofsson and his team knew how to impress in Stage 1. They managed to contend with BDS, Cowana, and Rogue for the first place. So that they’ve now made a narrow third place goes to show that they’re not ready for the European top yet.

Nonetheless, the Top 4 has put up a convincing show and managed to get some distance in to the rest. There’s a class difference between them and the other six, even though it’s getting smaller with each stage. The biggest losers of this season are certainly Rogue. Once again, they’re in last place – despite showing up in Stage 1. Maurice “AceeZ” Erkelenz and his men are just not capable of delivering a consistent performance.

THE RELEGATION LINEUP

The teams heading into the fight to not make last place is already set. It will take place between Secret, Rogue, and unKnights. With their 18 points, Secret still have nine to add to their tally before they could climb to eighth place. The last place, currently occupied by unKnights, will be relegated from the league entirely. But the #9 will also head into relegation against the frontrunners from Challenger League. The performance we’ve seen out of Secret and Rogue doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in their chances.

LAN COMPETITION COMING UP

European League is missing out on one thing. Unlike NAL, they’re not playing offline. This means that the EU teams will have less preparation. The North American teams are used to LAN and have gotten comfortable in a studio environment. Just like at the Six Invitational, this should give them a boost heading into the Mexico Major.

EUL Stage 2 is sending its best teams into battke. G2 and Empire have proven themselves. Even though Natus Vincere and BDS have lost step compared to the previous stage, their experiences at SI2021 will have prepared them a little. The other teams haven’t had such a great season. Rogue are back at the start, Secret are still struggling to get ready, and Cowana need restructuring if they want to be successful again.