How Did Empire Manage to Win the European Major?

Within just two days, BDS Esport have lost their dominance over the European scene. A new team is at... Fabio | 10. November 2020

Within just two days, BDS Esport have lost their dominance over the European scene. A new team is at the top now. Empire managed to win two matches over BDS to attain the Major trophy.

But how did it come to this? Ever since the August Major, the Frenchmen had practically dominated most of their matches and won EUL Stage 2 with an impressive six-point lead. So far, they had done well versus Empire, but during the Major they were completely overwhelmed.


Their problems showed even before they met Empire. In their Opening Match against Virtus.pro, they only narrowly managed to win and played out overtimes on all three maps. Their opponents had prepared well and used the free schedule after EUL to find holes in BDS’ gameplay. Obviously, they have succeeded in doing so, despite eventually losing to Stéphane “Shaiiko” Lebleu and his men.

In the Upper Bracket Final, BDS showed fatal deficits versus Team Empire. Danila “dan” Dontsov and Dmitry “Always” Mitrahovich basically toyed with the Frenchmen. They were in control most of the time and eventually advanced to the Grand Finals on a 2-1 scoreline.

So when BDS faced Empire again in the Grand Finals, they had the opportunity to fix their previous mistakes and enter the fight with confidence. However, they gave away two incredibly one-sided maps, losing what is perhaps the shortest Major Grand Finals in the history of professional Rainbow Six: Siege.


To understand Empire’s most recent success, one doesn’t even have to look too far back. With the signing of Always, they onboarded a youngster who had virtually no professional experience whatsoever. This showed in the first stage of the European League, where Always only managed to attain a 0.95 rating. But during the November Major, he rose to a 1.16 rating, which was only beaten by Dan on a 1.28 rating. Starting with an eight-place finish in Stage 1, they managed to reach an impressive second place in Stage 2.

So their success in the November is partly due to BDS underperforming, and also partly due to their positive development in recent months. But how much can Empire really do with this victory? There are no tournaments scheduled for the remainder of the year, which gives the other teams plenty of time to get closer to Empire’s level.

BDS will work particularly hard to return to the top. Team Secret, Tempra, and Virtus.pro are just some of the teams that have also made incredibly bold steps forward. Next year, some of these teams might actually be fighting for the top spots as well. So Empire will get no opportunity to convert their current performance high into more trophies. Instead, they’ll have to accept that the underdogs will now lay all their focus on defeating the new European top squad.