It was the Christmas of 2015 when Wildcard support player Kyle “Diesel” Renton got his hands on Rainbow Six: Siege for the first time.
He had dabbled in most games casually— the Call of Duty’s, the Battlefield’s, whatever filled the void on console.
The things he’d say to his 15-year-old self now, after playing on Siege’s biggest stage in Montreal, would have him short for words.
“I got a shot with Taboo in Pro League to get some experience and then I was talking with Ethan and got picked up with Orgless,” he said, candidly looking back.
“I knew I could definitely give comp Siege a go and perhaps do well in it, but I never saw myself ever playing the game that I got for Christmas as a kid and going to the biggest event possible.”
That entire mindset applies to the whole of the Wildcard roster, who qualified for the Six Invitational after a self-described “miracle run” got them to the Pro League Season 10 finals.
Given the fact they thought they’d overperformed to get to Montreal in the first place, you’d think they’d just be glad to play. However, after being handed two heavy losses early in the group stage to bow out of the Six Invitational in last place, it only sparked a deep, burning hunger for both Diesel and coach Barry “Fluxx” Sukesh.
“It was disappointing coming into the event in the way the team is right now but in saying that, it’s also made us realise how difficult it was to get here and how the experience was worth the struggle,” the support player said.
“Knowing that we get to compete amongst these teams and it’s really achievable, and it’s made us hungrier and wanting to make the changes so that we make it back here in 2021.”
Just from the 10 days the team had over in Montreal for their bootcamp and their match days, they learned a wealth of knowledge that a year of Siege back home could never provide.
“Scrimming these teams and learning about the positive and implementing that in our game is very rewarding,” said Fluxx. “That learning factor is you don’t get back home — you’re always learning something new, and that’s amazing.”
However, just making it here was never the goal or intention. They were ready to make their mark for APAC, but internal issues have plagued the team for months — well before their Season 10 Pro League finals run. It had the Wildcard players surprised at how everything just seemingly panned out in their favour.
“It’s a lot of communication issues and a bit of individual decision making and I think that really clouds people’s judgment when you make the wrong decision,” said Fluxx. “It causes a snowball effect where you are always being doubtful and skeptical of each other. We started to lose confidence in ourselves.”
“We’ve had these issues for a long time though,” Diesel added. “It’s just people haven’t seen it that way because we’ve managed to qualify for these big events.
“We shouldn’t have made [the Season 10] APAC Finals, and then we had a favourable draw against Xavier Esports and Cyclops Athlete Gaming and we just managed to pull out a couple of miracle wins.
“We also pulled out a good showing against Na`Vi but our team’s had these problems for a while — it was just never exploited by weaker opposition back home.”
However, while they felt a bit out of place in Montreal, it doesn’t mean that they didn’t deserve to be there.After working hard to achieve their goals, they managed to take away something more impressive than a trophy — the know-how to restart fresh in 2020.
“The main thing is we need to re-evaluate on our last few months, see where we went wrong, and just review it because we know our potential as a team and as individuals, we just need to make the right changes,” said Fluxx.
“You can have as much individual talent as you want, but if you don’t have a team that has good macro understanding and good strategy, you’re not going to be able to compete with others at the Six Invitational,” added Diesel.
“The way the game works now is that all five people need to be both strategically and individually sound. There’s an expectation that you need to meet, but if you look back a few years, Siege revolved around having that one main IGL and four people who followed their orders, and having set strats. The game’s changed so much, and having that flexibility is key.”
We are out of the tournament, GG’s to the boys @TeamReciprocity sorry we couldn’t have made it more competitive. All the best in your next match ❤️— Diesel (@DieselR6S) February 9, 2020
Extremely disappointing we had to come into an event like this with the position the team is in, this is not our full potential.
After a rough finish to their Six Invitational run, and an even rougher start to their Pro League Season 11 campaign, Wildcard are taking their time in getting back up to scratch. They are willing to put in the hard yards and the long hours, and success won’t be reaped in days.
Their end goal is just as lofty as their wildest expectations were for 2019 — reach the Six Invitational, and prove that APAC is not just a one-team region.
“[Our goal is to get] back to the top,” said Fluxx. “It’s doable. We know exactly what we need to do, what issues to address, what to work on. We have a month until Pro League so re-coup and work on this and get back to where we were.”
“I’m not sure about a resurgence this season because the odds aren’t in our favour, but we are playing it for the long term. We want to make sure that we make the right decisions and play the long game.”
“I don’t really care about the short term goals making back to APAC LAN [for Season 11],” added Diesel, “but if we do, it’ll be a byproduct of us trying to improve the team again. I just want the team to be back on the right track to make the Six Invitational in 2021.”
Rainbow Six ANZ Pro League Season 11 returns on March 18, when Wildcard take on the former Mindfreak roster at 9pm AEDT.