Earlier this week on Tuesday, the British player of Doki received a permanent in-game toxicity ban live on his stream. Permanent bans such as these are issued after a third offence of breaking the Siege Terms of Conduct rules and following “an official investigation into the account to see if a permanent ban is warranted”.
This is particularly significant as the Pro League rulebook states that “ESL reserves the right to refuse players who have standing bans from the game publisher to take part in Rainbow Six Pro League tournaments”, meaning that this in-game ban could lead to a ban from Pro League games, which was confirmed to be under consideration tonight on stream with no official confirmation of his long-term status at the moment.
Similar bans for breaking the Siege Terms of Conduct have previously been issued to a number of Pro League players, including two un-named Xbox Pro players at the beginning of Year 2 (which was later overturned) and, much more recently, Rixx from Scypt, a Southeast Asian Pro League team, in July. This would be the highest-profile ban R6 Esports has ever seen since Stéphane "Shaiiko" Lebleu (then of beGenius ESC) back in Season 6 should it go ahead.
With Doki now suspended for now, he will, therefore, be replaced by Ellis "UnderCoverPie" Pyart who joined the Natus Vincere ESL page roster very early this morning. Pie previously qualified for all three ESL Premiership PC British nationals Finals -- finishing second, third then third -- the first of which alongside Doki himself and the second with Ferral. Prior to this, Pie had a brief professional PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds career playing and winning one notable tournament, the $1,000 "BEAT Invitational".
This means Pie's debut game in Pro League will be tonight against PENTA, with match-ups against G2, Empire and Chaos still remaining before the end of the season. While they did sit just a single point away from a top-two position as of the beginning of the playday, it is still effectively an open four-horse race for second in Europe, and with games against G2 and Empire left to go, it is now very unlikely that Natus Vincere will be able to beat out all these other teams to make it to Japan in their debut season. At the other end of the table, PENTA will see this as their best opportunity this season to get three much-needed points to push themselves well away from the relegation zone.
This is now the fourth major decision facing ESL in as many weeks following the disqualification of Salamander and Scrypt (which you can read about below) and the temporary suspension of SlebbeN and Gomfi last week. To keep up to date with this story as it unfolds keep an eye out here at SiegeGG.