Everything you need to know about the Rainbow Six Charlotte Major

by Brian Bencomo

The first Rainbow Six Major of the year takes place May 16-22 in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’ll be the first big R6 tournament with fans in attendance since the Six Invitational in February 2020. There will be 16 teams competing: four from North America (NA), four from Europe (EU), four from Brazil and Latin America and four from the Asia Pacific (APAC) region. The prize pool has not yet been announced but it is likely to be around $500,000, which was the prize pool for both Majors in 2021. Teams also will be competing to accrue circuit points toward qualification for the next Six Invitational. To get you ready for the start of the tournament, here’s a rundown of the schedule and format, qualified teams, group breakdown and some storylines to watch.

Schedule and format

The first part of the tournament will be the group stage, in which the 16 teams have been divided into four groups of four. Group play will be double round robin and will take place from May 16 to 18. The top two teams from each group will move on to the playoffs, which will take place May 20 to 22. The playoffs will be an eight-team single-elimination bracket, and these matches will be best-of-three except the grand final which will be best-of-five.

Qualified teams

  • Heroic
  • Team BDS
  • Looking For Org
  • G2 Esports
  • Astralis
  • Oxygen Esports
  • DarkZero Esports
  • XSET
  • Team Liquid
  • w7m esports
  • FURIA Esports
  • Team oNe Esports
  • Elevate
  • CYCLOPS athlete gaming
  • Dire Wolves
  • Chiefs Esports Club

Groups

Group A

  • Dire Wolves (APAC)
  • Elevate (APAC)
  • Oxygen Esports (NA)
  • Team oNe (Brazil)

Group B

  • CYCLOPS (APAC)
  • FURIA (Brazil)
  • Team Liquid (Brazil)
  • XSET (NA)

Group C

  • DarkZero (NA)
  • G2 (EU)
  • Heroic (EU)
  • w7m (APAC)

Group D

  • Astralis (NA)
  • Chiefs (APAC)
  • Looking for org (EU)
  • BDS (EU)

Storylines to watch

Who will be the new international champion?

Photo credit: Ubisoft via Twitter

With the Six Invitational 2022 winner TSM not at this tournament, there will be a new international champion. The Six Invitational runner-up (Team Empire) won't be at the Major either. So who’s lifting the trophy in Charlotte? Brazilian teams won both Majors last year and the Six Invitational 2021, so picking a Brazilian team would be a good bet. Of the four South American teams at the Major, all four are from Brazil and the highest-placing finisher at this year’s Six Invitational was Team Liquid, who have yet to win an international tournament. Team oNe won the Mexico Major last year, but other than Lorenzo "Lagonis" Volpi, it’s a completely different roster. Team Liquid is a safe pick to win it all, but really, it looks like a wide open field.

Will a Brazilian team come out on top?

Brazil has been the strongest region in Rainbow Six esports since the start of 2021, with Brazilian teams winning both Majors last year and the Six Invitational 2021. Even though there weren’t any Brazilian teams in the Six Invitational 2022 grand final, three of the next four finishers were from Brazil. The one Brazilian team that has consistently done well without winning an international tournament is Team Liquid. This might finally be their time to win it all with Brazilian international champions FaZe and Ninjas in Pyjamas not at this tournament and no teams from Europe or North America standing out as favorites.

How will Astralis perform in their first international appearance?

Photo credit: Ubisoft via Twitter

A North American team triumphed at the Six Invitational in February, but TSM didn’t qualify for this tournament. The top NA team at this event is Astralis, a very new entrant to the Rainbow Six scene. Astralis are famed for their Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team, which dominated from 2018 to 2020, winning four CS:GO Majors. Astralis’ R6 team was the best in NA for Stage 1 of the 2022 season. Will the team build on that success to give the org their first Rainbow Six Major title? It’s hard to say given Astralis just signed this roster in fall 2021 and they don’t have any international experience. DarkZero is the more likely North American team to go far in this tournament because of the roster’s experience, but perhaps Astralis will make a name for themselves in Charlotte.

Can G2’s R6 team do as well as G2 teams in other esports?

G2 Esports have been one of the best esports organizations in the world this year. Their Rocket League team won the RLCS Winter Major. Their League of Legends team won Europe’s spring championship. Their CS:GO team finished second at IEM Katowice. Now, what can their Rainbow Six team accomplish? G2 weren’t the best R6 team in Europe during Stage 1, but that doesn’t matter on the international stage. Their coach was a Major champion with Team oNe last year, and the organization does have an illustrious history in R6. G2 won the Six Invitational 2019 and the Paris Major in 2018. Perhaps this roster can usher in a new era of R6 glory for G2.

Which APAC team will exceed expectations?

Photo credit: Ubisoft via Twitter

An APAC team has never won a Rainbow Six international event, and APAC teams typically don’t do as well internationally as North American, European or Brazilian teams. However, in the past year, APAC teams have achieved better results. Korea’s DAMWON Gaming finished in the top four at the Sweden Major last year, and they finished in the top eight at the Mexico Major. DAMWON did not qualify for the Charlotte Major, but perhaps Elevate, who finished among the top 12 at the recent Six Invitational and had an impressive lower bracket run in the APAC playoffs can make some noise. CYCLOPS are another APAC team that are making their second consecutive international appearance, and they beat DAMWON in the APAC playoffs.

Lead photo credit: Ubisoft via Twitter

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