Jack “Jigsaw” Gillies’ rise up the Oceanic Rainbow Six ladder has been electric. Nine months ago, he was grinding it out in Challenger League. Now, he’s one of the stars of Ocenaic Nationals, and looking to push Bliss to their first top-flight title.
If you didn’t pay too close attention to OCN Stage 1, it’s pretty easy to discount Jigsaw’s impact in Australian Rainbow Six. He debuted on a less-than-stellar LFO roster that finished last and only netted a single win.
That single win, however, was enough to put a new rising star on the map.
Jigsaw stunned everyone with his insane 20-bomb against eventual champions Chiefs (then Elevate) to claim a huge scalp in an otherwise demoralizing season. Much like the once-young guns before him, like Gio on Wildcard or Worthy on Chiefs, he managed to capture the region’s attention.
Now he’s seizing it on Bliss.
Sitting atop the Oceanic Nationals ladder undefeated — without having even dropped a single point, even — has got Jigsaw feeling pretty good about his future. The first-year pro made a big leap, and it’s paid off.
“I was pretty much playing LPL Pro with a bunch of mates and having a good time, but as soon as I finished school, I was like ‘I’m going to chill, I’ll play Siege and see how it goes’ and I gave it a year,” he told Snowball.
“I got a message from Blakey from LFO and I was like ‘I may as well give it a try.’ They were happy to take me on board, and we were looking pretty strong.”
While the classic Oceania two-weeks-out roster move left LFO’s Stage 1 preparations in the ditch, the taste of top flight experience — and that one 20-bomb — gave Jigsaw the rep to not just cement himself as a future star in Oceanic Rainbow Six, but the confidence too.
“I was trying to mould myself into LFO, because they were playing a lot more structured than I ever had before. Whether or not we were winning games, they were still a strong team,” he said.
“I wasn’t too worried about the players being too difficult to play against or anyone being hard to beat. I was more focused on myself being able to fit in the Pro League environment.”
“I always thought I could compete at this level, but as soon as I started getting double digits every single game and I had that 20-bomb, I was sitting there like ‘look, I can outfrag these players.’ The more confident I get, the easier it gets to beat these players. Getting the 20-bomb was a breakthrough — it made me realise it wasn’t a one-time thing.”
He got the call-up from Repix while in dry-runs one day, which Jigsaw saw as “the opportunity to make a comeback” and prove himself on a top-tier OCN team.
It’s not just Jigsaw reaping the rewards, but Bliss too. After falling short in playoffs to Roflcopter in Stage 1, they haven’t missed a beat in the regular season so far. Nazgul was no pushover, but Jigsaw has opened the floodgates for Bliss to play an explosive style of Siege, yet finessed with the structure you expect to see out of a more-experienced overseas squad.
Jigsaw said he was “a large piece of the puzzle” that has seen Bliss rebound spectacularly, but it’s not just him.
“There’s so much behind the scenes that no one sees. Everyone does so much and enables each other. Everyone says ‘Todd was doing nothing when we played Wildcard’ but to us, Todd was doing everything. He was Pulse, giving us so much info, allowing me to run at them because I was on that hot streak and they couldn’t stop me.
“I’d say they’re a lot more comfortable having me there because there’s so much frag potential. It was there beforehand [with Nazgul], but it’s just even higher now. I feel like I’ve fit in very well.”
Now, the squad’s sights are set higher than just OCN glory. Sure, they have to march the road first, but after taking wins against the likes of Knights and Wildcard — two teams competing in APAC South — Jigsaw wants to continue his rapid ascent up the ladder overseas.
“We can definitely compete in South, and I think we have what it takes to shove some of those teams out of the ladder and take their spot,” he stated.
“Even just playing the Australian teams, it’s just like playing OCN. We could definitely beat some of them and that’d put us in the top four at least. It’s just a matter of time really.”
For now though, Jigsaw is still going through the basics. Bliss have a long way to go themselves — working in a new member doesn’t happen overnight. But for the one of the new stars of OCN, he’s just happy to go with the flow.
“We’re not really stressed about anyone, it’s just a thing about if one individual or a couple of individuals are popping off, it can sometimes be hard to stop them. Some teams if they counter us or VOD review, they could pull through.
“We feel like we’re in the spot to go flawless this season. There’s a lot of mistakes that happen we can fix. We’re not at our peak, we’re still learning, and we haven’t played a full season with me in the roster yet, but we’re happy and confident in our spot.”
Bliss takes on Rhythm in Oceanic Nationals Stage 2 2021 next on Friday, July 2 at 9pm AEST. You can catch the action live on the Rainbow Six Bravo Twitch channel.