The Pittsburgh Knights’ run in Six Masters went the distance after joining Okami and Wildcard in the Play-offs. After proving to be a top contending team, their key fifth Stryder retired, which left many to wonder who would fill the roster for Oceanic Nationals.
In the weeks leading up to OCN, Knights had announced their new player, a rookie named Mitchell “Sageon” Sage, who’s previous experience was playing in the tier 2 competitive scene. Despite being a fresh face, his ‘ranked star’ reputation and aggressive playstyle are what got him noticed.
“I had always played the same way: Ash and Jager main, hunting kills aggressively wherever I could. Most people, including the Knights, would have seen me as a ‘ranked star’ because of the way I played,” Sageon told Snowball.
It was clear that his eagerness to develop his operator pool and his proven playstyle made him a viable pick to join the roster.
“When I was talking to the team about joining, I told them I would play any role and operator in the game… I’m very grateful they saw potential in me and backed me in to learn and develop as a player,” he said.
“I had a lot to learn in just a few weeks to be able to perform the roles required of me. Despite this it was very exciting, I immediately recognised the potential in this roster, and really enjoyed playing every day with the team.”
It's the @KnightsGG show right now on Oregon as they lead 4-0! 🔥 #OCN— Rainbow 6 ANZ (@Rainbow6ANZ) September 23, 2020
📺 https://t.co/gkTBPSSzx8 pic.twitter.com/H0wrD3mo83
Sageon’s OCN debut match-up against Elevate on Kafe was nothing short of exciting. While Knights held a dominant lead in the first half, Elevate managed to regain control which spiralled into a comeback spree. Forcing Knights to step up and take away the win on a 7-5.
“I took a lot away from that first game… I took it as a reminder to not be complacent: we let them back into that game and it’s something I’ve been aware of since.”Mitchell “Sageon” Sage
This week, their wins against Noble and Ferox proved that the Knights have what it takes to lock in their spot for the play-offs. The narrowly-missed upset from Ferox on Oregon shows that Knights were able to adapt to Ferox’s unpredictable playstyle that has caught other teams off-guard.
Then, against Noble, it was Hayward who shined for the Knights – on the hard fragging role Sageon once filled in ranked. Knights dispatched their top-of-the-table counterparts with ease on Clubhouse 7-3 off the back of Hayward’s 14-3 KD, setting themselves up for a potential first-seed finish if they can keep their form up.
However, despite their head start, Sageon suggests that the team show no sign of slowing down, stating the synergy of the new roster has more to prove.
"What's happening to the Knights right now?"— Pittsburgh Knights (@KnightsGG) September 25, 2020
Oh not much, just @HaywardR6 clutching a 1v2.
🦁 #PKR6S pic.twitter.com/I4mxWWaNYJ
“The team dynamic was good from my first practices and has only improved since then. Everyone on the team sees the game in a similar way, we all try to play with the same fundamental goals in mind. I believe this is a massive factor in our development as a team.
“it’s crucial that we treat every match with equal importance – we definitely don’t want to be complacent, and we will keep pushing for every win.”
In this week’s other Oceanic Nationals action, we see the standings start to settle as teams build their play-offs narratives.
Wildcard narrowly escaped a loss after Rhythm sent their match into overtime, ending in a nail-biting 8-7. They did manage to get back onto stable ground with a 7-2 against Elevate on Consulate to close out the week.
The early favorites for Oceanic Nationals, Okami, is facing an uphill battle after a less than ideal start. They are in a three-way tie at 2-2 after falling to Elevate on Gameday 3. They sit tied with the mountain boys, as well as Ferox.
LFO and Rhythm sit dead last with another week of losses, dangerously close to the relegation tournament where they will have to duke it out for their chance to remain in the league.
Week 3 of Oceanic Nationals kicks off on September 30 at 7pm AEST. You can catch the action live on the Rainbow Six Twitch channel.
Be sure to follow Snowball Esports on Twitter for everything Oceanic Nationals throughout the season, including tips, analysis, and interviews.