While it is not the biggest event in the annual Rainbow Six Pro League calendar - that spot goes to the Six Invitational - the Season 3 Finals promises to be one of the most important and interesting tournaments in Pro League history. The Season 3 Finals will be the first to feature teams from the new APAC region (Japan, South Korea, Southeast Asia, and Australia-New Zealand), with teams such as mantis FPS and eINs bringing a global flavour to the tournament. The Season 3 Finals also see the Pro League heading to Brazil, which boasts the fifth-largest audience for Rainbow Six Siege, as well as some of its best Pro League teams.
New to the game? Here are the best Rainbow Six Siege operators.
The Season 3 Finals will also give us our first look at both the forthcoming Operation White Noise and the roadmap for Year 3. So, in order to prepare you for the Season 3 Finals, we have put together this primer, laying out the schedule for the event, a look at all of the teams, our predictions, and some key players to watch out for.
Rainbow Six Pro League Season 3 Finals Schedule
The Season 3 Finals take place over two days, kicking off on November 18 with an opening ceremony at 14:45 GMT, and closing at midnight on November 19 after the grand final.
Here’s the full schedule, all times given in GMT:
Quarter-finals - Saturday, November 18
- 14:45 Opening ceremony
- 15:00 eINs vs. Team Fontt
- 17:30 PENTA Sports vs. mantis FPS
- 20:00 Season community spotlight
- 20:15 Evil Geniuses vs. ENCE eSports
- 22:45 Black Dragons vs. 1nfamy
Semi-finals and grand finals - Sunday, November 19
- 14:45 Opening ceremony and day one highlights
- 15:00 Semi-final one
- 17:30 Sneak peak Year 3 and Six Invitational
- 18:00 Semi-final two
- 20:30 White Noise full reveal
- 21:30 Grand final
Guide to watching Rainbow Six Pro League
Even if you are a seasoned Siege player with hundreds of hours under your belt, there are still a few things to bear in mind when watching your first Pro League match. For starters, there is only one game mode: bomb. This is the most balanced mode for attack and defence, but also the most interesting to watch thanks to the variety of operator tactics it brings into play - nobody wants to see the hostage get blown to pieces by Fuze for the round win, or lose hours to a stalemate in Secure Area where neither player will leave their cover.
Another important thing to bear in mind is that maps are not randomly selected, as they are in the main game. Before every match, both teams take it in turns to ban a total of six maps from the map pool, leaving three maps left to play on. Each team then picks a map each from that pool and the third map becomes the decider: this is a best-of-three competition.
Other than that, Pro League is nearly identical to the Ranked version of Rainbow Six Siege, with the only other exception being a lack of a points tally in Pro League, which means you cannot tell if you have injured an enemy player or merely clipped them.
Rainbow Six Pro League Season 3 Finals teams
Two teams from each of the four Pro League regions will compete for the $275,000 prize pool. While there are plenty of familiar faces in the lineup, the addition of mantis FPS and eINs from the new APAC region should produce some unexpected results, especially when you consider the new playstyles and tactics that were introduced when the LATAM region was added to Pro League earlier this year.
Not much is known about Pro League debutants eINs - it is what led to them being considered underdogs of the APAC region play-offs. However, if their form in that competition is anything to go by, they could cause a few upsets in São Paulo thanks to their aggressive style of play and strong mechanical skills. eINs also stood out at the play-off stages for their ability to win rounds in the final few seconds, often bursting into the objective room in a blaze of glory and emerging unscathed.
Players to watch
ShiN is the top fragger for eINs and will lead their line when it comes to racking up kills. If they manage to overcome favourites PENTA Sports in the quarter-finals it will be because ShiN neutralised their key players. ShiN is also notable for being a very direct attacking player, using fast operators in order to make unexpected and last-ditch pushes that catch defenders off guard.
A solid team player, Aroer1na brings some much needed calm to eINs, ensuring they do not throw rounds due to basic errors and pitching in with plenty of frags to boot. He will not always be the most obvious presence, but clever rotates and patient play ensure he is always cropping up in the killfeed when you least expect it.
They may only have one Pro League semi-final under their belt, but Team Fontt are a very skilled side who are guilty of dropping games to simple mistakes. Like most Brazilian sides, Team Fontt have a tendency to play very aggressively, but if their performances during the play-offs is anything to go by then they may have dialled that back somewhat. You can expect them to significantly up their game playing in front of a Brazilian crowd.
Players to watch
Quick and decisive defines Astro’s style of play - this is a player who always has his next few moves in mind. This is especially the case when Astro is on defence, where he can be seen darting all around the map exhibiting some of the best roaming play in Pro League. Astro is also worth keeping an eye on due to his tendency to pull off near-impossible shots.
If you have been following Rainbow Six Pro League since it began then you will know this team as Continuum, the winners of the first Six Invitational and Year 1 Season 3. That successful roster was recently acquired by one of the best known esports brands, Evil Geniuses, showing both faith in the roster and in Rainbow Six Pro League’s billing as an up-and-coming esport. Led by one of the Pro League’s best players, the Continuum roster are best known for their ability to counter enemy plays and react quickly to tactical information.
Players to watch
Team captain of Evil Geniuses and one of the best-known names on the circuit, Canadian has participated in every season of Pro League. His play is coordinated and patient, but he is also one of the best clutch players around, able to claw back seemingly lost rounds with unexpected plays and unrivalled mechanical skills. Most of his work is done behind the scenes with his role as in-game leader of the squad shining through in precise and efficient plays.
Arguably the best Smoke player in Pro League, Necrox thrives under pressure and is known for his ability to come out on top in clutch scenarios. Despite his proficiency with Smoke, Necrox is also one of the most versatile Rainbow Six Pro League players and is a key reason for Evil Geniuses’s reputation as having one of the most fluid team compositions.
This Finnish team have managed to appear in a number of LAN finals, but have failed to make it past the first round except for their win in Year 1 Season 1 - they will be eager to break their offline hoodoo. Their team is strong and well coordinated with excellent fragging potential, but they are prone to throwing advantages and attempting to overplay.
Players to watch
One of ENCE eSports’ primary fraggers, SHA77E has strung together some of the best solo performances seen in Pro League during the Season 3 play-offs. If that form is anything to go by we can expect to see some outrageous plays and kills in the double digits from this bold player.
The other half of ENCE eSports’s main fragging potential, Kantoraketti specialises in speed and positioning, favouring the entry fragger role on attack and roamer on defense. Kantoraketti will really come into his own when playing on large, open maps with plenty of angles to work and flanking routes.
With three Pro League Season final wins under their belt, including consecutive victories at the last two finals, PENTA Sports are one of the strongest teams in the league. That strength comes from having a well-rounded roster, excellent fundamentals, and an unmatched ability to respond to their opposition’s setup. They often lose their first couple of rounds in an effort to feel out their opponents, before adapting and going on to take the match.
Players to watch
While he has a tendency to play a little hot and cold, jNSzki is capable of producing the occasional ace, so he should definitely be on your radar. If jNSzki does not deliver that ace then he is always good for kill flurries and nervy clutches - this Finnish player is at his best when he is under pressure and backed into a corner. In the play-offs we’ve seen him string together dropshots and jiggle-peeks, capping off the move by diving behind a corpse in order to soak up some damage. It will not happen every round, but when it does it is something special.
Some of the best plays of Season 3 have come courtesy of Goga, and against some of the best oppositions to boot. His fragging might, efficiency, and dominance in duels makes him a constant joy to watch. Goga never forgets his role either, always making the most of his utilities and gadgets.
This South Korean side will be going into their first finals as the underdogs of the tournament, having lost out on first seed to eINs in the final of the APAC qualifiers. Their mechanical skills are strong and their teamplay is cohesive, so perhaps with the element of surprise they can give PENTA Sports a run for their money in the first round. Either way, the players will want to make a name for themselves during their first finals outing, so hopefully that will result in some ambitious plays.
Players to watch
Few had heard of EnvyTaylor before the APAC qualifiers, but by the end of the weekend he had established himself as one of the tournament’s star players. Versatility, flawless mechanicals, and smart play define him. He has some spectacular moves in his locker as well, which was evidenced repeatedly during the APAC qualifiers: winning clutches with a pistol, flickshots, and kills through floorboards all featured.
The second Brazilian side of the Season 3 Finals have not got the most illustrious heritage at this level, but they are a strong team on their day, and dynamic enough to knock titans like PENTA Sports off their podium for the odd game. This could be their best finals performance yet after some comprehensive victories during the play-offs, especially considering they face 1nfamy in the quarter-final; an opponent of equal skill and pedigree rather than defending champions.
Players to watch
A lot of the Brazilian crowd at São Paulo will be cheering for the likes of Psycho and PZD for their fragging skills, but Julio is the Black Dragons player worth watching for his patient play and reliability in supporting roles. Given the turbulence of Black Dragons’ roster throughout 2017, Julio is very much an positive addition rather than a hurried replacement. Whether he is playing Mira, Rook, Thatcher, or Buck, Julio is a safe pair of hands that guides the team’s more explosive players to victory.
Recent acquisitions have made 1nfamy a much stronger side, although inconsistencies during the play-off stages revealed they still need a little longer to bed in as a team. Whether that synergy occurs in their first match will determine if they can seize the title. Certainly, few expected 1nfamy to make it into the Season 3 Finals, so they could still have another surprise in them.
Players to watch
One of the fastest attackers in Pro League, VertcL balances ferocious presses with conservative peeks - the perfect combination. You won’t see VertcL challenging tricky angles, instead, he will run around the whole map and score an easy kill from behind. Naturally, this ability to rotate around the map makes him just as adept at roaming on defence.
Rainbow Six Pro League Season 3 Finals predictions
Without a doubt the two strongest teams heading into the Rainbow Six Pro League Season 3 Finals are PENTA Sports and Evil Geniuses. Both sides have cruised through their region’s play-offs, both have won major Pro League titles before, and both boast balanced and strong rosters. However, PENTA Sports are our favourites for the title, owing to their uncanny ability to react to their opposition. PENTA shake off obscure strategic plays with ease where most teams lose crucial minutes and lives attempting to figure their enemy out.
Evil Geniuses are close seconds, not just because of their previous successes in Pro League, but because they have their best roster to date with a perfect mix of fraggers and tacticians. With Canadian at the helm, this is a side no team will relish going up against.
Of course, for PENTA to win they must first claim victory over mantis FPS, a tie that could not have gone better for the European side. While mantis FPS might take a couple of rounds, we can not picture them as giant slayers at their first season finals. Fellow APAC debutants eINs will have a similar mountain to climb going up against Team Fontt, especially as Fontt are playing to the home crowd. That matchup could go either way if eINs’s performance during the APAC qualifiers was anything to go by, but we have never seen either APAC side go up against a side with experience at this level so our money is on Fontt.
Black Dragons vs. 1nfamy is too close to call as both sides made the finals as their region’s second seed. Black Dragons might just edge it if they manage to keep their heads in the game and not throw rounds to foolish plays and lapses of concentration. Again, neither Brazilian side looks up to the task of taking out Evil Geniuses or PENTA Sports.
ENCE eSports are the last side to consider. They go up against Evil Geniuses in the first round and, historically, the two have fared fairly evenly against one another. However, despite their pedigree, ENCE eSports have always struggled on LAN, and against a side as dominant as Evil Geniuses it is unlikely they will overcome that against such strong foes.
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