Morgan “Fishoguy” Ishizaka has always been one of Oceania’s top Rainbow Six talents. However, he’s never really posted the results to live up to his reputation. Joining Elevate in time for Oceanic Nationals 2021, he’s hoping to finally break his playoffs curse.
Elevate coming into OCN 2021 are looking to be one of the favorites. The runners-up at the REKT Omen Gauntlet are a forced to be reckon with — even more so after they picked up Fishoguy days out from the event.
The opportunity at the Gauntlet gave Fishoguy a spotlight to prove himself. It comes after a rough off-season that saw his old organization leave the Rainbow Six scene, as well as his new roster form and disband, leaving the star fragger orgless just weeks out from season start.
“The team was disbanding — the Meloncat one — and I wanted to continue pursuing pro play for at least the rest of this year because I just graduated from university, and this year is my first opportunity to play full time and I was looking forward to that,” he told Snowball.
“The Elevate offer came, and I just gave it my all to make the spot.”
The affectionately-named Meloncat 3.0 was set to compete in Noble’s spot for OCN 2021. The roster had some big fire power behind it, with Six Invitational alumni Brandan “Derpeh” Carr, Noble’s Joseph “Milostka” Kaleske & Erik “Nikoh” Ahrenfeld, and LFO fragger Arian “Mimz” Mimini.
“It was just getting screwed over one too many times, it just killed people’s motivation,” Fishoguy admitted.
“Because we didn’t make the APAC South spots, we wouldn’t be able to qualify until 2022 at least. Some of the team thought it’d be better off to just retire, some thought it’d be better to join other teams and had gotten offers.”
While Fishoguy was trying to keep the slot alive, once Elevate came along, it became all too hard.
“It wasn’t fully disbanded until I left to join Elevate. If we got, say, Angmoh and Lebb, they could have three other players and compete in the Meloncat slot, so I was looking into seeing those guys were keen and picking up some gunners from OCL, but it didn’t go that way. That slot went to Rhythm.”
Being on Elevate has given Fishoguy a renewed sense of purpose though. He’s finally got the time to focus on Siege full-time, having graduated from university with a Bachelor of Science at the end of 2020. His goals as a Siege pro are now a lot easier to reach.
“The goal was always to work for the top, but it becomes a lot more realistic when you have all your spare time dedicated towards that. Uni for me — not even just the time allocation, but in the back of my mind, the stress of having to worry about succeeding at both, that was very stressful,” he said.
“When I started university, I didn’t really know too much about esports or the Siege scene. It was a hobby. As I continued competing, that interest grew and overtook my interests in a career in marine science.”
With Elevate, not only is Fishoguy competing in the Oceanic Nationals, but he has the chance in APAC South. The squad will be juggling both leagues, playing not just against the best teams domestically, but international powerhouses like Giants Gaming and Xavier Esports.
The proposition of playing against this calibre of opposition doesn’t daunt Fishoguy. He’s already played these guys before in scrims. However, now he’s got the chance to really promote himself on the world stage, and get noticed.
“We’ve been scrimming Asian teams for a fair while, even before Noble. In terms of playing them for the first time, there’s not really the nerves, but it’s definitely a huge step forward in my career to be able to compete against them.
“It’s not a big step in developing as a player in-game, but it’s a big step in my career path and getting noticed.”
That doesn’t mean he’s abandoning his own aspirations at home. Across seven seasons of Pro League dating back to 2018, Fishoguy hasn’t placed higher than fourth. If there’s a roster that can break that curse, it’s this Elevate squad.
“Playing with the Elevate roster so far; it’s the highest level of commitment and support that I’ve played with so far. Noble was fantastic, but Elevate is just that little bit ahead. I think we can break the curse,” he said.
Fishoguy also believes that the split competition will lead to a gap in skill by the year’s end. However, that doesn’t mean upsets won’t happen. In fact, having to play in two leagues might just cause teams like Elevate to stumble against “bottom four” opposition.
“The level of teams says there’s a gap, but I think in terms of results, you’ll see closer results than you’re expecting in OCN. We’re going to be focusing on the APAC South games more because we’re trying to build a reputation. It’s just a bigger and more important league,” he stated.
“I’m looking forward to seeing a fair few upsets in OCN with teams like ROFLCOPTER. Teams will be hiding stuff and not preparing for OCN because there’s a massive time constraint.”
Plus, for himself, he’s hoping to use this “gap year,” as he put it, wisely to try and launch his Siege career off. With no obligations to study or other commitments, a solid 2021 could see Fishoguy exported internationally, joining a long line of Oceania talent tearing it up abroad.
“Hopefully I can put up a good performance and live up to my own expectations with being able to start playing full-time. I definitely see myself continuing along the path of Rainbow Six esports regardless of results this year.”
The Oceanic Nationals kick off on March 21.