From JoystiCK’s domination to G2’s frustration, these are the top stories coming from The Six Invitational 2021.

The Six Invitational, Rainbow Six: Siege's biggest tournament of the year, has reached the midway point of the Group Stage. 18 teams are competing to reach the playoffs and earn a shot at the $1 million top prize. After three days of competition plenty of stories have emerged. From a Group A powerhouse to a fight at the bottom, here are the top stories from the Six Invitational right now. 

Team Empire speaks softly and carries a big JoyStiCK 

Team Empire entered the Six Invitational as a team to watch, winning four of its last eight tournaments. After six matches in two days Empire is living up to that hype sporting a 5-1 record. That lone loss came via DarkZero Esports in overtime on Wednesday, and if luck goes a different way Empire could easily be 6-0. 

Much of Empire's success can be attributed to Danil "JoyStiCK" Gabov, who's earned MVP honors in four of Empire's five wins. JoySticK's #33 K/D is the best in the tournament by a full ten kills. He notched a Quad Kill on match point against Team Liquid, following with a 17-kill effort against Team oNe Esports. Therefore, should Empire keep the top play going and enter the Playoffs as the top seed, JoyStiCK may just take Team Empire all the way to the title.

G2 in real danger of elimination

Due to two Group B teams missing the SI thanks to COVID-19, only one team from each group will fail to move on to the Playoffs. With only one day of Group B matches done it's hard to tell who is in danger of missing out. Canada's Parabellum Esports is currently the odd team out right now due to tiebreakers with fellow 0-2 team Giants Gaming. The more surprising turn of events, however, is at the bottom of Group A. 

G2 Esports, a powerhouse in Rainbow Six: Siege , now faces elimination with only one more day of matches to go. G2's 1-5 record is tied for last with Japan's CYCLOPS athlete gaming, but a six-round advantage in differential (-12 for G2, -18 for CYCLOPS) is the only thing standing between G2 and elimination. Should CYCLOPS shock another team on Day 3 and G2 lose out, it's sayonara for one of Europe's top orgs.

NiP starts hot in Group B at Six Invitational

While we mentioned it's too early to call the bottom of Group B's table, the top currently looks very secure. Brazil's Ninjas in Pyjamas - who were runners-up at the Six Invitational 2020 - have scored two impressive victories, making them the lone undefeated team remaining in the Six Invitational.

NiP took down Giants Gaming in its first match, besting Italian org Mkers in Match 2. Strong play from Gabriel "pino" Fernandes (10 kills in Match 1 with only one death) and team captain Gustavo "Psycho" Rigal (Triple Kill on match point in Match 2) have led NiP of the group after two matches with no signs of slowing down. NiP kicks off Group B's second day with two straight matches, putting them in position to run away with the group.

A New Star In The Making

If there's one player emerging as a new top player in Rainbow Six, it's Team oNe's Karl “Alem4o” Zarth. He's led Team oNe to a 4-2 record in Group A and +7 round differential with clutch kills and even better mechanics. As a result, oNe sits in the Winners side of the Playoffs in the Six Invitational for the time being.

His +23 K/D sits only behind JoyStiCK at the top of Group A. A relatively light schedule awaits his team on Day 3 only Team Liquid owning a winning record. If Alem4o's success continues he could deliver oNe to the top of the group, primed for a deep Playoff run.