R6 NAM PRO LEAGUE ROSTER CHANGES 2020

R6 NAM Pro League
Roster changes 2020

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Rainbow Six Siege Pro League Season XI has finished a while ago.
Due to the current world situation with an outbreak of the virus, Season XI had a rather anti-climax ending. Season’s LAN finals were canceled and no relegations took place this season either. Therefore, the entire season felt basically like publicly streamed scrim.
 
Many people expected changes to rosters, especially with the new Pro League format.
But I think most people did not expect as massive shifts as we saw in NAM. 
If you follow Rainbow Six Siege Pro League scene then you are probably aware of the shitstorm erupted by certain announcements.
 
In this article we will:

ROSTER CHANGES
IN NAM PRO LEAGUE

To begin with, let’s summarize the upcoming roster changes to Rainbow Six Siege NAM Pro League:

ORGANIZATIONS LEAVING R6 NAM PRO LEAGUE

Three organizations competing in Pro League NA will leave the Rainbow Six Siege scene. 
Those organizations are:
  • Evil Geniuses (EG)
  • Luminosity Gaming (LG)
  • Team Reciprocity (REC)
Team Reciprocity roster has been acquired by Oxygen Esports.
Unfortunately, EG and LG players did not find a new organization to keep their Pro League spot.
As a result, we won’t see such OG Rainbow Six Siege players as Necrox, Yung and nvK in the upcoming season. Nor recently ascending from Challenger league Luminosity Gaming players.

NEW ORGANIZATIONS IN
R6 NAM PRO LEAGUE

Three organizations will join Rainbow Six Siege ESL Pro League NA:
  • Susquehanna Soniqs
    Joining with a roster of:
    • Supr
    • SlebbeN
    • Gomfi
    • Easilyy
  • Disrupt Gaming (DG)
    With a roster of:
    • Nyx
    • Shuttle
    • Retro
    • Read
    • Drip
       
  • Oxygen Esports
    Acquiring REC roster in the process:
    • FoxA
    • LaXInG
    • VertcL
    • Slashug
    • B1ologic
As discussed in our article on R6 Siege Pro League format changes, from the next season Rainbow Six Siege Pro League NAM will shift to the offline (LAN) league in Vegas, USA. This change has a substantial impact on dismissed rosters.
In the past, the team (players) could keep the spot in the league if they had 3/5 players who “owned” the ESL spot, even without an organization – thus we’ve seen ORGless teams.
However, with the new LAN setup, players do not own the spot in the league. As a result, released professional players who do not find a new major organization will lose their R6 PL spot.
Luckily for Team Reciprocity ex-players, they were acquired by Oxygen Esports.
But that was not the case for all released rosters…

LG & EG ROSTERS CONTROVERSY

This article comes late to the party with information on this subject for one specific reason:
Initial reactions are more often than not driven by viral emotions, supplemented by a limited amount of information available at the public’s disposal.
 
Our brain tends to oversimplify such topics just so we can create an illusion of understanding how the world operates.
Of course, Rainbow Six Siege NAM Pro League roster changes are not on the level of debate on global warming. But the underlying human nature remains the same regardless of the topic’s significance and complexity.
 
My initial reaction was similar to the majority of the R6 community – “Ubi’s bad“.
And to be fair, Ubisoft has brought it on themselves by lackluster communication style to both community and, as per the players, to the impacted parties, as well.
However, the more I thought about that, the more I saw not so straight forward situation, with an unfortunate outcome for the players.

EG & LG players reactions:

Some players from both teams have shown a lot of frustration with this situation publicly on Twitter.

nvK’s Twitlonger post on this subject:

Necrox retweet of nvK’s post:
Hyena’s twitlonger on this situation can be found here.
Factor shared his update on this unfortunate situation on twitlonger here, too.
Anger, frustration, and disappointment are natural emotions in moments like that from impacted people. Players were basically fired.
It’s always a pity to see employees (that’s what players are from a business perspective) receiving the short end of the stick due to poor management.
What seems to make it worse is reported lack of clear communication and even potentially disrespectful behavior towards impacted players, as indicated by the above tweets.

UBISOFT'S PUBLIC COMMUNICATION:

First words from Ubisoft on this subject sounded like a typical corporate PR bla-bla and said nothing to address the actual frustrations and concerns:
More recently, Ubisoft has also released a FAQ on this situation, which can be found here.

QUESTIONS TO BE ASKED:

After looking into above communication from players and Ubisoft, two aspects continue to puzzle me:

WHY PLAYERS HIRED BY ORGS BLAME MAINLY UBISOFT FOR LACK OF CARE FOR THEIR FUTURE?

This is not to say that Ubisoft is without a fault in this whole situation.
If indeed they treated players with disrespect, then the company deserves all the criticism for doing so.
Treating your business partners with respect should be an absolute minimum and standard practice, no matter how big or small the partner is.
 
However, organizations hire players so I assume the majority of responsibility for communication towards the players about their employment status would lie in the organization’s management hands.
Employers (orgs) are the ones representing their employees (players) in meetings with 3rd party businesses (Ubisoft).
If I lose my job due to a project being canceled between my employer and their business partner, I expect full transparency and consideration for my future from my organization and not the 3rd party company. 

HOW COME TEAM RECIPROCITY ROSTER FOUND NEW ORG?

We haven’t seen emotional posts from ex-REC players on social media. And as we know now, they found a new home – Oxygen Esports.

I think there are two primary reasons for REC finding new org, such as REC organization’s effort & team’s performance in PL.
ORGANIZATIONS' EFFORTS:
Factor’s twitlonger mentions:
We weren’t given the option to look for an org, let alone receiving help from Ubisoft to find one. This information was relayed to us directly from one of the ex-REC players.” 
I take this information with a grain of salt since the source is unknown and indirect.
 
So, let’s look at pieces of information that may help us understand why REC got new org:
  • Tweet from LaXInG:
Tweet from LaXInG contradicts Factor’s twitlonger information.
Which one is the truth?
We won’t know for sure, but I lean towards the version that Team Reciprocity managed to find new org for players.
 
Why?
View shared by Factor is more of a conspiracy theory and comes from an indirect source (someone told him).
On the other hand, LaXInG’s is a more direct source of information, aligned with the official statement from Ubisoft, and generally makes sense.
On a side note, business owners such as @ChadLarsson should receive the recognition they deserve for dedication to their staff!
TEAMS' PERFORMANCES
Another potential factor is the teams’ performances.
Players from REC performed better as a team in Pro League than both EG and LG.
I mean no pun to released EG & LG players, but objectively both rosters did not perform very well in Season XI, whatever reasons for that were.
 
Correlation does not always imply causation, but the team’s performance might have played a significant role in finding new org, as well.

WILL OFFLINE PRO LEAGUE BE AN ENTRY BARRIER FOR NEW TALENT?

Having an offline league can improve the quality and reputation of Rainbow Six Siege as an e-sport. 
However, the concern could be the limitation it imposes on new players and organizations.
As we saw, renowned R6 players lost their spot in Pro League as they didn’t have backing from an organization that could sustain such high costs of the offline league (i.e. housing).
Meanwhile, Ubisoft indicated an interest to increase focus on Challenger league, but following questions pop in my head:
What happens when players do not have a “tier 1” organization behind them but won a spot in the Pro League? 
Will players lose their spot just like players from EG and LG did after Season XI?
Will Ubisoft manage to attract more tier 1 orgs in the future?
 
I am skeptical about this aspect of Pro League changes since Ubisoft failed to find orgs for 2020 interested in joining their offline US Division. Hence they did not achieve the desired number of 10 teams. We could argue that the reason was an unforeseen drop of 2 active orgs, but that’s beside the point. 
If they haven’t found more orgs now, where will new orgs come from in 2021?
 
Of course, there’s a possibility that negotiations failed due to the pandemic situation in 2020.
It’s possible that organizations wanted to join Rainbow Six Siege US Pro League, but were not convinced about free agents available right now.
I guess we will have to wait till 2021 and see how the situation unfolds, but such questions should probably be addressed ahead of time by Ubisoft’s Esports department.

AFTERWORD:

So all-in-all, who should be blamed for ex-LG and EG players’ situation? 
I guess everyone a bit:
  • Organizations and Ubisoft could have communicated more transparently and respectfully to impacted players
  • Negotiations should be handled more efficiently to give players more time to find teams or adjust accordingly
  • Organizations could have done a better job for finding a new home for released Pros
  • EG & LG players could have performed better during the season
 
We tend to jump quickly on a wagon steered by our strong emotions. Instead, we should chill a bit with our judgments – despite common opinion, our day’n’age is not overly saturated with information. It is overly saturated with opinions, especially when we lack sufficient information.
 
Personally, I watched OG Evil Geniuses players since the beginning of the R6 Pro League and will miss seeing them in the upcoming season.
Clutches by Yung or Necrox, aggressive plays by nvK – those will be missed.
For LG players I could see the potential to grow as a team if given time. 
 
I hope all impacted players manage to resolve their situation and use this experience constructively, to grow stronger thanks to it. Adversity is an inevitable aspect of life and those who succeed in building a good life are the ones who embrace obstacles on their way.
 
I am not going to ask for your opinions on this topic. Enough of opinion on this topic was shared already on social media.
Instead, perhaps share a play or specific moment you remember released players for?
 
Here are some videos about OG EG players:
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