Elevate’s Six Masters finish was disappointing to say the least. They went from second in the region in Pro League Season 11, to second-last in the space of three months. However, they’ve bounced back in Oceanic Nationals, and the team is feeling as confident as they were at the start of 2020.
At the end of Six Masters, Elevate really had to evaluate their standing within ANZ Siege. Within the space of three months, without any major changes, they went from being a top-two team in ANZ to a bottom-two team.
They were simply outclassed in Six Masters, whereas just a few months before, they were taking the scene by storm in Pro League Season 11.
That’s when they knew changes were due. Luke “Redd” Cini stepped down, and in his place came Joe “Hotshot” Deane. The roster wasn’t expecting to rebound instantly back into their top dog spot, but they came close in Oceanic Nationals.
They ended up finishing the season in third with a 4-3 record. It was a definite uptick on their Six Masters performance, where they only had a 5-9 map record. However, it’s still a ways off where they once were, and where they want to be. It’s all baby steps though according to Jake “GodLegion” Harris — the team has already achieved what they set out to do.
“We wanted playoffs, that was our expectation. We knew that we’re a team that deserved to be there. Six Masters was a really disappointing season for us, and we spent a lot of time getting ready for Oceanic Nationals. We were a lot more confident in our own abilities,” he told Snowball.
There’s still some ways to go though. Their loss to LFO shows that there’s still some consistency issues that need to be ironed out.
“We just need to build consistency. We’ve had some very up-and-down results. Our games against Okami and Ferox; we outclassed both of them and that’s the consistency we’re looking for. We’re getting there slowly, but it’s still some time before we hit our Season 11 form.”
WIth Hotshot in the roster though, it feels like it’s only a matter of time. He’s filled quite the flexible role within the team, which has allowed players like GodLegion to really step up, and also opened up new strategies for Elevate as a whole.
“He’s a gem. Turtle [Elevate’s analyst] is friends with him, and when we scrimmed with him once, we knew he was the guy we wanted in our team. He just got better over time once he picked up strats and got comfortable,” he said.
“I’ve had some shaky games this season and I credit my team for carrying me, but my performances this season have been way better than Six Masters. I’ve been putting a lot of work into myself for this season specifically, and it’s definitely paying off.”
If there was one specific strategy that classifies Elevate’s style of play, it’s Vast’s signature Monty. Multiple times this season the pick has drawn bans, and when it’s been left open, teams have often regretted it.
They’ve modeled this strat off another star roster, APAC North’s Giants Gaming, and just having that power in Elevate’s arsenal has made them a team to fear come Oceanic Nationals playoffs.
“You look at APAC North at Giants and Lunarmetal — probably the best shield player in APAC. Giants really work well around him, and that’s one of their strengths. We can have the same philosophy as them — we think Vast is the best shield player in ANZ, and his performances on picks like Montagne has definitely proved that,” GodLegion stated.
“We’re very confident with shields, we know how to play around it, and it just applies so much pressure. If it’s going to make our life easier against aggressive teams — which are most teams in ANZ — why not bring it? Dgtl is a great Clash too, so whenever they’re not banned, we’ve got strats up our sleeve.”
Now with “more comfortable” best-of-threes on the horizon, Elevate are ready to flex the strat book and try to make a run like they did in Pro League Season 11. They’re weary of how close the competition is, but for them, the journey is only just beginning.
“We’re facing off against LFO and then Knights, and both teams can definitely pull off wins. You’ve also got the other games like Okami vs Noble, and that can go either way. If Noble win that, they beat Wildcard in the BO1, so they could do something in the BO3. This playoffs is definitely open for everybody to take.
“Making the mini Major for us would be like ‘okay, we didn’t win, but it’s something.’ We would all be proud of that, especially after last season.
“Every team has the potential to cause an upset. If you don’t prepare for every team, there’s a risk that they could walk away with it instead. We’re treating every game as our last, and hopefully we come out on top.”
The Oceanic Nationals playoffs kicks off on Friday, October 16. You can catch all the action 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.