Stage 2 of the Rainbow Six European League has been reached and there is still everything to play for, including spots at the Berlin Major, so we can expect some fascinating clashes throughout the card.
Stage leaders Wolves take on Outsiders and are expected to keep their strong run in Stage 2 going.
They have won six of their eight matches thus far, but two of those defeats have come in their last three matches, including their latest match against BDS, where they suffered a 4-7 loss.
The other loss came to a struggling Secret, who were winning their first game of the stage, and sandwiched in between those losses is a dominant 7-1 rout of Natus Vincere.
Their doubters will put forward recent defeats as a sign of inconsistency that could leave them vulnerable, but a bounce back from the French roster seems almost inevitable.
Outsiders themselves have struggled to build any consistent momentum and with just 22 points in the overall standings - which leaves them marooned in mid-table - it seems likely that a motivated Wolves roster will pick up a comfortable success.
MNM Gaming are still in with a big shout of advancing to the Finals and they cannot afford to be complacent when they face PWNZ.
MNM have put themselves in with a big shout of Major contention by winning four of their last five matches, but they know all too well what overconfidence can breed having lost to PWNZ in Stage 1, handing them one of their two victories this season.
On paper, this should be a comfortable success for MNM, but as the odds suggest, there is real upset potential in this encounter.
This is very much ‘do or die’ for G2, who have put themselves on the back foot by losing four of their last five matches in Stage 2.
They have somewhat recovered by winning their last three matches, but they were entitled to do so against lesser opposition, and Heroic will be a totally different challenge.
Heroic lead the overall standings and have only lost three games outright all season, but they have shown some fragilities this stage, with losses to Wolves, Secret and Rogue showing that they are far from infallible.
That should give G2 all the motivation they need and as the betting odds suggest, this will be a hotly-contested encounter that could go either way.
Secret sit in the Relegation playoff spot at the bottom of the standings and desperately need to finish the stage off in strong fashion to give themselves a fighting chance of getting level with 8th-placed NAVI.
They may have to wait for that momentum-boosting, however, as they take on a BDS side who can be buoyed by a 7-4 win over Wolves.
That victory came from nowhere after a trio of defeats, but signalled that last year’s league winners were back to their best.
Ironically, Secret also defeated Wolves during a remarkable three-match winning sequence that also saw them take the scalp of Heroic. That sort of form would give them a huge chance, but a flat effort in defeat against G2 last time outlined their inconsistencies.
BDS are the deserving favourites, but Secret have every chance if they can put their best foot forward. That, unfortunately, is far from a given.
Both these sides desperately need a win in this match, both for very differing reasons. Natus Vincere sit in a precarious position in the final “safe” position in the league, while Rogue are in the final position to advance to the finals at the end of the season.
Rogue are favoured to take this encounter, but their claims are muddied by a shock overtime defeat to PWNZ, which came seemingly out of nowhere.
Thankfully for the European roster, they face a NAVI side that has no momentum after a difficult run of games has seen them lose to MNM, Wolves and Heroic.
With that in mind, Rogue should be taking this game without breaking too much sweat, but as mentioned for other teams, they cannot afford complacency.
If they are caught napping on the veto, this encounter could go wrong in a hurry.