This is one post that I really don't enjoy writing. As many of you know, Rainbow 6 Siege was the beginning for me. It's where I began competing in eSports. It's where I met 95% of my current friends that I now talk to daily. Rainbow's players and community is what gave me the motivation to start an organization that was truly there to support the players. It's crazy to think that a video game opened so many doors for me and I can thank Rainbow 6 for that 100%. Many of you reading this also know that the eSports scene of Rainbow has had its troubles on Xbox. It's been a roller coaster for the players involved and I'm going to touch on that later in this article, but first we're going to focus on what's happened to the Tier 1 eSports roster and where the organization is at with Rainbow 6 Siege.
Tier 1's R6 History
Tier 1 eSports was created at the beginning of Year 2 Season 2 of Rainbow 6 Siege. We originally acquired two competitive rosters, one of which had qualified for the upcoming $5,000 ESL Major League. Unfortunately we did not get to see any Major League action as the roster disband and Tier 1 eSports was not in ownership of the league spot. Fast forward a bit and we rebuild the roster and continue to have 2 teams competing in the 1st season of Console League. Here we had a fair bit of success as both teams qualify for playoffs but unfortunately get knocked out early. After the season, both teams undergo even more roster changes until they were completely reformed for Season 2 of United Console League. This season had its up and downs but we still managed to have one team qualify for playoffs and finish within the Top 12.
After the season however, the same story occurs as both teams are plagued with roster changes. At this point it became apparent that something needed to be changed and we decided to stick with only one competitive team leading into R6TV League and Year 2 Season 4 ESL Major League Qualifiers. We barely made it into the beginning of the season when the Tier 1 roster curse struck again and we had to rebuild the team once more in middle of the season. This time, all players are released and we decided that the new team we acquired would be fully signed and legitimate so we can protect players from any roster changes. That brings us to today.
The Recent Roster Signing
I know all the roster changes brought a bad stigma to the Tier 1 eSports organization within Rainbow 6 Siege but I thought this was the chance to redeem ourselves and do it right. Discussions ensued and we ended up signing with Cabal who had built a roster of talented young players ready to make some noise. It was the perfect concept. Tier 1 was going to be rebuilt and bring a new age to the organization and we'd have a young fiery squad to build off of and get rid of any negative stigma we had within Rainbow 6.
Tier 1's Exit
However, things did not pan out exactly as we wanted. Shortly before signing all the players, a couple roster changes needed to be made. Imagine that, more roster changes for Tier 1. I became a little anxious about the decision but I understood as signing a contract as a player is a large responsibility and at the end of the day I wanted the roster to be 100% comfortable with their starting 5 in the R6TV League. We were in a hurry as we were in the middle of the season and matches were coming up but eventually an agreement was made on the roster. Fast forward 2 days though and another change had been made. Once this was brought to my attention it was clear that this just could not continue anymore. I wanted to move Tier 1 past this stage of troubles but I just couldn't seem to shake it. I presented the situation to the staff and we came to the agreement that it was best we stepped away from Xbox Rainbow 6 Siege and focused our resources elsewhere.
It's important to understand that this is not any players fault and certainly not Cabal's fault for our exit. Sure, Tier 1 had been plagued with roster issues since out entry into the scene but there were other large factors that played into our decision and I feel as though its important for players to see the scene from an organizations point of view so I'm going to do my best to lay out the noticeable problems within the scene and give any advice I can for those within it.
Problems Within Competitive R6 on Xbox
So lets start with the exit of Pro-League from Xbox and the beginning of the $5000 ESL Major League, issue number uno. Obviously players were not happy and the competitive community lost a ton of people. However, I thought that Major League could still be successful and draw in a new age of competitors and the concept of Major League was not the problem. The problem was ESL's execution, or should I say lack of execution, on supporting and promoting the Major League for Xbox. This is a $5,000 league ran by a highly respected competitive eSports company and offers exposure to the console side of things but yet the execution was terrible. For North America in particular, there was no casting for any of the matches, the matches were not advertised at all by ESL, Ubisoft or Rainbow 6 Siege social media and was immediately taken as a joke to all players within the community that had been around for Pro-League. Sure, its's not a "Pro-League" and it's not going to receive the same production value as one would but we received literally nothing but Twitter post about upcoming Major League Qualifier dates and nothing about the actual matches and season. Why would players want to give a shot at competing when they receive no exposure or support from the league they are competing in. We had $5000 to compete for but that was it. Not one match was enjoyable when I played in Season 1 and 2. Why would an organization want to enter the scene? There is no exposure through the league other then having your name on the website and maybe adding a Rainbow 6 Siege accomplishment to the organizations resume. How can you have a loving fan base when they can't even watch the matches or get behind the teams competing in them.
Issue number two comes from the independent leagues that were created and set up the rest of the community with a direction to follow. I initially loved that people loved the game so much still that they pooled together to create leagues. Everyone loved competing in them. They were fun; they were more enjoyable than Majors even. They offered players an outlet to be casted and streamed to anyone watching so that they could show off their skills. I ended up realizing though that these leagues started to focus more on the fun side of things instead of paying more attention to being a professional competitive outlet for players. At the end of the day, there's nothing wrong with that. You can run a league how you want and if that just means you want to have fun then so be it. However, these leagues ended up being a staple for the community and set the mentality for competition on Xbox. The scene has reached a point where looking at it as an owner of an organization, there's almost no reason for us to be involved. Issues started becoming clear once games were no longer receiving the same production value week to week, limiting a teams exposure in the league. Another issue was a lack of rules and regulations that protected against drastic roster changes. This would even create another issue where teams would essentially disband mid-season and by the time the season was over only 1/3 of the teams remained competing. These players and the organizations paying for these players entry into these leagues made the investment as both a shot for money and a shot of exposure and I feel as though there was a lack of execution on many of the leagues that were created to make sure teams received that professionalism.
I think that once R6TV League Season 2 is over and Gamers Esports League comes to a close, the Xbox Rainbow 6 Siege community is going to be in a pickle and face the risk of losing full. Competing within the scene just isn't what it once was and is often laughed at by other communities. I believe deep down that it has a chance to rise again and build a new era of competition, but that starts with the players. The community needs to support eachother more because you have to realize that there are always leagues and company's on the outside looking in at what we are doing and how we are acting. It just takes that one streamer or that one person or that one team to lead the way for the others and do something positive and productive for the community. Maybe that's creating interesting competitive content or maybe that's just changing people's mindset about the scene one person at a time so that you build a supportive community. Once you have something built and ready, these 3rd party leagues, company's and orgs are going to take notice of what you're building and want to jump on board and that mutually helps everyone. I think some of these ideas going around with organized 10's lobbies etc. is a good start. Especially if you can do something positive and productive with it through social media or YouTube to draw in interest and new competitors that want to be involved. I also think that Gamers Esports League is on the right path when it comes to leagues and with some adjustments and expansions they could set the new standard for more professional competition on Xbox.
Until then, Tier 1 eSports will officially be stepping away from Rainbow 6 Siege on console and will be looking to expand elsewhere. It's been a blast for the most part and all of us here at Tier 1 really hope some good changes can come to the scene. We want to thank anyone who has supported our teams throughout our accomplishments and our troubles. Most importantly we want to thank any players that we had the pleasure of working with and I hope we were able to provide a place for you to feel welcome and advance your competitive career. We wish all of you the best of luck!