After a few exhilarating playdays, the group stages of the Six Invitational 2021 has come to an end, which means the tournament will now advance to the playoff stages with the remaining 16 teams.
Only two teams were eliminated from the group stages — CYCLOPS Athlete Gaming and Giants Gaming. You can find more details in our group stage roundup. The remaining teams will now fight off in the playoff matches, which has been divided into a double-elimination upper bracket and a single-elimination lower bracket.
As we’ve explained earlier, only the top four teams of each group have qualified for the upper brackets. But, all the teams will now play in a best-of-three format, which might significantly reduce the number the unpredictable results we saw in the group stages. Read our prediction for the first round of playoff matches below.
Team Liquid vs MIBR
Both the LATAM teams have looked quite solid in their groups, but Team Liquid might have a slight edge because of their experienced roster, who have been competing internationally for years now. MIBR are also in a good form right now; however, the best-of-three format will surely put them to test against Liquid.
Prediction: Team Liquid 2-1 MIBR
BDS vs Ninjas in Pyjamas
BDS Esport, who entered the tournament as one of the favourites, has already made a mark in the groups, only losing 1 match out of their 9 matches. On the other hand, the SI 2020 finalists, NiP, looked shaky in multiple matches this tournament. So, BDS should be able to take down this LATAM team and carry the hopes of EU forward.
Prediction: BDS 2-0 NiP
Team Empire vs Oxygen Esports
After a shaky start in 2021 EUL Stage 1, Team Empire surprised everyone by coming out of group ‘A’ as the top team. They even beat their EU rivals BDS and took the 1st spot, only losing to DarkZero in an overtime match.
Oxygen Esports struggled on the first day of the group stages and was sitting at the bottom of the table after playday 2. However, they quickly managed to climb back to the 4th position after three straight wins against Mkers, SSG, and Giants Gaming on the last playday. The Russian team, with their star player JoyStiCK should be able to beat Oxygen Esports.
Prediction: Empire 2-1 Oxygen
FaZe Clan vs TSM
Both FaZe and TSM haven’t looked quite as clinical in the group stages as their fans would have hoped for. The rosters of both these teams have some serious talents, but they’ll need to give their best on match day to get the crucial win. The match will surely be a nail-biter, but since TSM beat both the LATAM team in their groups, I think that TSM will do it again and move forward in the upper brackets.
Prediction: TSM 2-1 FaZe
DarkZero Esports vs FURIA
DarkZero have already faced FURIA in the group stages, where DZ won 7-3. DarkZero is looking quite strong tactically, and it seems like the rematch will end up in a similar manner, with DZ taking the win.
Prediction: DZ 2-1 FURIA
Cloud9 vs Mkers
The only team remaining from APAC – Cloud9 – will look to advance to the next round and carry the region’s hopes. While C9 has looked quite strong in some of the matches, they are still struggling in the late rounds of matches. On the other hand, the Italian squad of Mkers is still having a dream run from the SI open quals. With their sharp aim and some fast gameplay, they’ve managed to beat some of the strongest teams in their groups. And Mkers will definitely want to continue their run by beating Cloud9, and I think they’ll succeed.
Prediction: Mkers 2-1 Cloud9
G2 Esports vs Parabellum
Both G2 Esports and Parabellum have had the opposite results than one might have predicted in the group stages. One of the biggest EU org, who have almost won it all in Siege, are now heavily struggling with their revamped squad. G2 failed to win almost all of their matches against the big teams, but the 2 wins against the APAC teams narrowly led them to escape the bottom place of the table.
On the other hand, Parabellum Esports, who people thought might get first-rounded, caused many upsets for the big teams. The Canadian team have managed to beat both the SI 2020 finalists on the same playday, and they will be looking to cause another upset against G2 Esports. However, considering the longer BO3 format and G2’s 3rd win against DZ, the struggling EU giants might just come up on top.
Prediction: G2 2-1 PB
Team oNe vs Spacestation
The former champions Spacestation Gaming had very disappointing results in the group stages. Oxygen’s win against Giants Gaming just gave SSG another chance to defend their title. But if they are unable to fix the glaring issues of the team, it seems unlikely that they’ll continue in the next round.
Team oNe showed that they are capable of taking down any team, and their support player Karl “Alem4o” Zarth gained quite a name in the group stages. And I think the run for the current champions will end here, considering their recent form.
Prediction: Team oNe 2-1 SSG
The SI 2021 playoffs will begin tomorrow, May 19, at 4am CT. There will surely be more surprises and upsets, so keep watching the stream, with Twitch drops enabled, to see who lifts the Hammer this time.