From Meme Team to '92 Dream Team: Rise to Top-Tier Excellence

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You probably know them from their hit matchup against DarkZero Esports, now get a better chance to learn about Pro League’s very own Dream Team.

In the late hours of the evening, hitting the threshold of early morning hours, Parker "Interro" Mackay was close to wrapping up his community cast of several North American Six Invitational qualifier matchups. After the close matchup of Spacestation Gaming versus the ex-Noble team of Orgless, came one of the most unforgettable matchups that Rainbow Six will ever see.

It was approximately 12:15 in the morning on the East Coast, as teammates Hyena, Rexen, Filthy, XecratioN, and YardySosa loaded into a game against one of North America’s most lethal teams- DarkZero Esports. Little did they know on the other end of their server, the cast of Interro, joined by several pros and figures including (but not limited to) Kevin "easilyy" Skokowski, Troy "Canadian" Jaroslawski, and Rob "Flynn" Flynn, would provide this matchup an astronomical push through to the mainstream of Siege. From the ‘V’ formation roam clear in Kitchen/Open Area to the infamous Hyena Rule (“thou who hast the most frags, doth be promoted to Doc”), the night could only last so long.

In May of 2019, that same ‘Dream Team’ which lost that matchup 0-2, defeated Challenger League favorites Susquehanna Soniqs in the CL playoffs grand final to make it to the Pro League. A dream materialized, yet most of us have no clue where this team came from, or how the aptly-named '92 Dream Team found their success. This is their story.

"When we started the team, we didn’t really think of a name -- we didn’t really care what the name was.” says Kian "Hyena" Mozayani, one of the three core players of the roster.

'92 Dream Team was birthed out of the remnants of an infamous United States Nationals team known as Strength. In one of the very early iterations of today’s Organized Chaos, Adam "Drip"(formerly known as YardySosa) Kolodkin had participated with other very well known players such as CloudStruck to eventual teammates Coal "Doodle" Phillips and XecratioN. After sporadic dominant showings against Tier 2 teams at the USN Qualifiers, Yardy approached Hyena.

Ever since I first played with Yardy I knew that he had a lot of talent, because in these qualifiers we were beating teams that were, on paper, a lot better than us. I think we beat Disrupt Gaming in USN Qualifiers, and they had Hotancold as a substitute for somebody… so I knew he was really good, like, he was a very on-the-fly player -- very good at countering structure. So he approached me, and he’s like, “look, why take the chance and try and make CL with players that you know aren’t really up to par with yourself, when we could make this essentially a ‘dream team’. We’re all the best at our respective roles, we could come together and do this.

- Kian "Hyena" Mozayani

Thus, the bond of '92 Dream Team was born. Hyena would eventually convince ex-teammate Richie "Rexen" Coronado to enter the team, having played with Rexen back at DreamHack Austin 2018 under the banner of Team Nitrox. Along the road, XecratioN and Filthy would join to complete the lineup. These five would go on during the Six Invitational 2019 online qualifiers, where they brought the Rainbow Six world one of the most entertaining matchups they had ever seen.

After winning against Elephant Gang post-acquisition of Lauren "Goddess" Williams, the team would await their matchup against Pro League’s own DarkZero Esports. With it being late into the night and with another tournament to tackle the day after, the team recognized they could not play to the best of their ability.

We went into it like, “shit, Interro’s streaming it and it has a decent amount of viewers -- let’s just give them a show”... I think Echo was up and any normal team would pick Echo over Doc, but I picked Doc just to f*** around and essentially, give a show. Peek everything, be hyper -- we didn’t care, we wanted the game to be over with so that we could go to sleep early and get a good night’s sleep for Challenger League qualifiers the next day.

- Kian "Hyena" Mozayani

The match lifted them to stardom, as the hollers and laughs of casters and pros alike resounded through the stream. From Hyena’s promotion to Doc to Yardy’s failed clear of basement staircase, the match surely left the impression that this team was nothing more than a meme team. However, it would be the end of the road for Filthy.

Filthy’s job commitments would conflict with 2019’s Six Invitational online qualifiers, which unanimously resulted in his exit. Doodle had already been part of the team sometime prior to the Invitational qualifiers, after deciding to separate from Team SiNister sometime after the United States Nationals playoffs in Las Vegas.

It was actually simple but difficult at the same time. I transitioned around Invitational Qualifiers so we had time to work before CL quals. The only issue was that I had just had jaw surgery about two weeks before I joined. So my first four to five weeks on the team, my mouth was wired shut.

- Coal "DoodlePhillips

'92 Dream Team would then continue on with Doodle in the place of Filthy, as they played in the Challenger League Season 9 online qualifiers just days after their match between DarkZero. The team was undefeated all through the open qualifiers heading into the closed bracket playoffs, when XecratioN was let go from the team to pick up OwtaCtrl for the playoffs.

He was a real influence in bringing us together, he was a big part in convincing some of the players. You know, we decided [XecratioN] didn’t really mesh well, he was a lot older than us. A lot of us are like 19-20 and he’s... I think he’s 26 now? It was hard to get along with XecratioN. We decided to get rid of him and we picked up OwtaCtrl, who was a Challenger League player last season as well, and Owta was nuts. He’s a very -- to this day I will tell anyone that -- he’s a very complete player. He can play anything, tons of experience, and all-around solid player: crazy shot, you know, doesn’t crack under pressure.

- Kian "Hyena" Mozayani

Bracket for the North American Challenger League qualifier, via Liquipedia.

‘92 Dream Team finally had an organization behind them for the playoffs, carrying the banner of Vicious Gaming as they dropped only one map in the bracket, qualifying for the Challenger League. Their dream would be realized but they had a larger goal to commit to, a dream-above-all-dreams. Owta’s presence didn’t assist the team chemistry too much, despite his incredible performance.

For Season 9 of Challenger League, Organized Chaos’ Bombs joined to carry the team through alongside Obey Alliance’s ex-coach, Trevor "KenZ" Kenzie. KenZ would face a falling out with the organization, which prompted the addition of Cloud9’s ex-coach, Anthony "ViiRuS" Ybarra.

It actually is very similar to when I was on Cloud9. Tomas loves watching VODs with me, so it gives me a duo to work with on a daily basis.

- Anthony "ViiRuS" Ybarra

It’s no secret that we’re a very ‘heads-up’ team, we used to argue and butt heads with each other, and it’s nice to have someone who’s an outside perspective -- someone who’s been in a Pro League team, coached Pro League players. Someone to say, “‘you need to take criticism, you need to accept this, you can’t do this in a game, you can’t tell your teammates this...”.

I think that was really helpful, one of the most important things he did for us: calm us down and keep us calm during games. It was a learning process, I’m sure that ViiRuS modified his coaching methods for us because we’re a very unique team.

- Kian "Hyena" Mozayani

North American Season 9 Challenger League season standings, via Liquipedia.

Vicious would have an interesting Challenger League, going 6-4-4 in the season to earn a fourth-place spot prior to the Challenger League playoffs. Their chemistry in the latter half would take a beating due to inconsistent showings from Bombs, which prompted a change. Luckily for Hyena, he had a few strings he could pull.

I remember getting a message from Tomas that Excelerate Gaming was going to drop him. We go way back, he’s a good friend of mine from when he was on Nomads -- we used to scrim all the time. I remember watching all these games and looking at the stats and, in my opinion, Tomas is the second best player on ExG. [...]

At first we didn’t want to make a change, we thought we could work through it but then we found out Tomas is a free agent. We discussed as a team that maybe we should make a change for Tomas, and we even looked at another player -- but the goal was Tomas. ExG was nice to him, they let him out of his contract and they allowed us to bring him on. That was right around the time that Vicious let us go, so we didn’t even need to get Tomas signed […]

Tomas is a playmaker, like everyone on my team -- Rexen, Yardy, Doodle. Any one of these players is capable of changing a round in a split second, my team is so good at seeing openings and at any point someone can get a 2k or a 3k and change the course of a round...I said alright, “let’s bring Tomas aboard, I think he’s nuts”.

Although, Tomas isn’t a hard breach player, and Bombs was our hard breach support player. It didn’t make sense to force Tomas to play something like that because he was hot off the Pro League, and he could see openings we couldn’t even see. I wanted him to be on a role that could allow him to play like that, where he could play round-changing plays.

- Kian "Hyena" Mozayani

Hyena would make the transition to a support player, where he learned from Tom "Tomas" Kaka’s experience in Pro League to better his playstyles and methodology to accommodate Tomas’ introduction. After making the decision to leave Vicious Gaming before the end of the CL season, they would pull off an upset run in the playoffs by beating NA CL juggernauts Organized Chaos and fan-favorites Susquehanna Soniqs to make it straight into Pro League.

The dream was completed. From a meme match to a dream team, ‘92 Dream Team fully materialized their dreams of Pro League. From beginnings as scrim warriors and the Tier 3 competitive scene to being the newest addition to Pro League Season 10, these five individuals would finally achieve one of the highest honors in competitive Rainbow Six. From here on, the team must continue to adapt and evolve to their new opportunities in both Pro League and the upcoming Allied Esports Minor.

This coming LAN, now that we have been a team for a minute and the players we have, I believe that we have a chance of winning this tournament. I believe in every one of my teammates and it will be a show to witness.

- Richie "Rexen" Coronado

I think this next season of Pro League is going to be one of the most competitive seasons that Pro League has ever had. On top of that, they have also increased the prize pool for Pro League and LAN events. I wouldn't say we have direct competition, but everyone sees us as the underdogs, so we will need to prove a lot of people wrong this upcoming season and have a great showing at the Minor in Las Vegas!

- Anthony "ViiRuS" Ybarra

We went from a below average CL team to a pro team, so without Tomas or ViiRuS our chances were slim for Pro League. It feels really good to be in my freshman year of PL. For the coming months, I hope that we can get good backing from an organization so I can stop working forty hours a week and focus all my time on Rainbow Six.

I also hope we can ‘Team Empire’ it and be the best in Pro League. This upcoming season already means so much to our team, since it will be the first whole season for all of us, so we hope we can make waves.

- Coal "DoodlePhillips

As a team, we hope that we can turn some heads because there are some people that don’t want us to succeed. No matter the outcome of the Allied Minor, our main focus will be on the Pro League this season to make sure we are getting the respect we deserve.

- Tom "Tomas" Kaka

It feels amazing to come this far. Who would have thought that me and Doodle from that USN team, Strength, six months ago would now be in Pro League?

I can't even explain how it feels. My expectations are high, as they have to be if you want to succeed. I’m confident we can take on any team in the world and I hope we can prove that in Season 10 of Pro League and the Minor.

- Adam "Drip" Kolodkin

It’s a process, I have some learning to do as do my teammates. No one’s perfect, and being in Pro League we’re all looking to become more complete players. Whereas, in the beginning, we were all really good at our respective roles -- me holding down angles or Rexen going for early peeks. Everyone was good at their niche within their game, and when you combine that with five players that are good with their role, you go all the way.

I know we’ve had a ton of supporters since our first streamed match at Invitational qualifiers, and I want to say thank you to everybody, thank you to my teammates -- I really, truly believe in every teammate on my team. Despite our controversies, we really have come a long way both as individuals and as players. I look forward to making our fans proud -- and that sounds crazy to say, you know like, “our fans”. It still feels surreal that I have people rooting for me and my team. Yeah, just, thank you.

- Kian "Hyena" Mozayani

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You can watch '92 Dream Team compete in the upcoming Allied Esports Las Vegas Minor from June 7th - 9th, and Season 10 of North American Pro League.