Headspace is an Australian charity devoted to providing mental health support to 12-25-year-olds. Since their foundation in 2006, they have helped thousands of young people in Australia via physical national headspace centres as well as online services.
There are over 100 headspace centres across Australia offering on-site doctors, health workers, and mental health professionals to help with almost anything, confidentially, and usually for free. Alternatively, you can access these services online or on the phone at 1800 650 890.
As headspace is funded primarily by the Australian government, donations will go to the promotion and awareness campaigns to ensure that as many people as possible know about and can access the service. You can donate right here and learn more about the charity through their website, Twitter or YouTube accounts.
Eight current Pro League players and three current coaches from across all of the available ANZ Pro League teams, as well as eight notable Australian streamers, will be involved in this event making up the four teams below:
Team Iron Wrath - Kasper, Warden, Fishoguy, Mitchiijohn, and Laura
Team Raven Shield - JackDaddy, CursedWings, Dgtl, Uyen, and Caaaaate
Team Lone Wolf - Shabz, Ethan, Raven, Nikoh, and Raejay
Team Black Arrow - Diesel, Maxs, Kngz, MrsDiz, and Timmeh
Probably best known out of the names above are Ethan and Diesel from 0RGL3SS, Kngz and JackDaddy from Mindfreak, Warden and CursedWingz from Ex Nihilo and the streamers of Laura, Caaaaate and Raejayy who have a combined count of around 35,000 followers. The only unrepresented professional team from the ANZ-region are Fnatic who will presumably be at their usual bootcamp in London to prepare for the upcoming Pro League Finals. The wife of Fnatic’s coach, MrsDiz, will be competing however as she is also a streamer.
The games will start at 4PM AEST/8AM CET/2PM ET on the Rainbow6ANZ Twitch account where we will see:
- Team Raven Shield vs Team Iron Wrath
- Team Black Arrow vs Team Lone Wolf
- The winners of these two teams versus each other
The first two games will be best-of-one map games while the final is a best-of-three.
Bringing this action to us will be the usual ANZ Pro League casters of Devmarta, Cthulhu, and Monkeyfist with it being observed by the ANZ Pro League observer and organiser of this event, Skye.
We spoke to Skye about the tournament, the charity and his involvement in both:
Firstly, what made you decide to run a tournament such as this?
Around November last year ThyJebusBeDone and the R6_ANZ Community staff wanted to run a charity match of sorts alongside two regional influencers. Sadly due to timing this never ending up going ahead, however, the ambition for an event of this kind was still there for me. Around this time, another influencer in the ANZ R6S Community in UberTimmeh had a similar vision for an event of this kind. We decided to merge forces and create what is now known as "Operation: Awareness" alongside fellow Project Managers Lozza361 and Xpl0sions.
How did you decide upon headspace as the charity?
I have previously run an R6S Charity event with headspace and they were extremely easy and fun to work with. They have also previously worked a lot within the ANZ esports scene with other leagues such as the OPL (the Oceanic Pro League League of Legends tournament). Headspace's vision to support young people struggling with mental health issues, providing help on more than 2 million occasions.
Is there a target fundraising goal for the tournament?
We have set a A$5000 (US$3508) goal for Operation: Awareness.
What has been the response around the event been like so far?
We have had an extremely positive response from the community towards the event; this is something the R6S Community really seems to support and that is awesome to see on our end. We have also received feedback on things that the community would like to be added if there was a second Operation: Awareness.
Who do you think will win the tournament?
I think the most exciting part is that these teams have been randomly assigned and put together, meaning that hopefully there aren't any stupidly strong teams. I'm really looking forward to seeing some close and intense matches between these pro players and influencers!
Can we expect more charity events in the future by the ANZ community?
It's certainly something I personally want to continue doing moving into the future and something that the community seems to get behind more with every iteration.
Other Charity Tournaments
The ANZ community aren’t the only ones who run charity events, although none before have involved this level of the talent pool.
R6 Against Cancer:
Probably the best known and most successful charity tournament so far is the R6 Against Cancer tournaments which earlier this year ran its third season. The tournaments have raised over $4,300 for the charity “World Child Cancer” and have involved the teams of PENTA, Movistar Riders, Invicta Gaming, and GoSkilla (then known as NYYRIKKI Esports), all cast by Sternab.
Siege Day 2015 - Will Arnett vs Ben Schwartz
The weekend before the release of Rainbow Six: Siege, Ubisoft held a promotional day which invited a number of streamers and celebrities to try out the game. This culminated in a charity showmatch between two teams of streamers captained by Will Arnett of Bojack Horseman, Arrested Development, and Lego Batman fame, and Ben Schwartz best known for playing Jean-Ralphio in Parks and Recreation. Will Arnett won the match and chose for the $10,000 prize pool to be donated to to be Extra Life.
Extra Life is a charity which “unites thousands of gamers around the world to play games in support of their local Children's Miracle Network Hospital”. The charity has raised over $50 million for sick and injured kids since 2008. You can learn more about the Extra Life charity here and the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals here.
Iron Charity Cup
Ran a year ago, this tournament involved players such as Sua, Leonski, SlebbeN, Bounssi, and ProtaX, and was cast by a number of names including Sternab once again. The tournament helped raise another $516 for the Extra Life charity mentioned above and remains the only notable international tournament in R6 history won by an all-British roster.
POWERHAUS Gaming - 2v2 Charity Tournament:
This tournament earlier this year was cast by Stoax and Flynn and raised $1,400 towards the “Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund”, a charity focussed towards protecting, preserving, studying, and teaching people about Gorillas. The tournament was won by the duo of Lycan and Rampy from Spacestation Gaming, with the two players from Organised Chaos, Merc and Art, coming in second.
While there's likely been a number of other charity tournaments over the last three years of R6, these have been the biggest and most successful ones to date.
Be sure to tune in on Saturday, May 11th to support a great cause and watch some top tier competitive action from the land down under!