The ex-Obey Alliance roster (also known as APE, and previously as the Pittsburg Embers) has been signed by eUnited after winning Season 10 of the Challenger League and qualifying for Season 11 of the Pro League. Also joining the roster will be Léo "Alphama" Robine and Alexander "Yeti" Lawson, with Read "Read" Adams also joining the team as a stand-in until Alphama's visa is firmed up.
The roster's new organisation, eUnited, was founded in 2016 in the United States and has teams in CS:GO (where eUnited finished the Season 10 Pro League in seventh place in NA), Rocket League (where the team recently finished in joint-ninth place at the RLCS Season 8 Finals in Madrid), and Call of Duty (where eUnited won the 2019 World Championships).
Not only has there been a shift in the organisation, there have also been changes to the roster itself. All eyes will be on Alphama, who has now joined the North American Pro League debutants of eUnited for Season 11 in what is the highest-profile international transfer in Rainbow Six. Alphama's move follows his departure from Giants Gaming after he was benched from the roster shortly after the team's quarter-final defeat to Aerowolf at the Season 10 Finals.
After having an unsuccessful Season 8 on Supremacy where his team was relegated from the Pro League, Alphama ended 2018 by joining the ex-Millenium roster of LeStream Esport. With his new team, he attended the 2019 Six Invitational and the Pro League Season 9 Finals, but was first-rounded in both, and went to Dreamhack Valencia 2019 and the Allied Minor where LeStream finished as the runner-up. A brief period as Looking For Org followed, but the team was eventually signed by Giants Gaming prior to the Six Major Raleigh.
After exiting the Major in the quarter-finals to forZe following victories over Ninjas in Pyjamas and Evil Geniuses, the Giants continued a strong second half in the Pro League to qualify as the second-seeded team to the Finals in Japan. Here, shortly after they were crowned the French national champions, the Giants were once again first-rounded, leading Alphama being benched a week later.
Yeti, meanwhile, played in three Pro League seasons across two teams, finishing Season 6 in joint-seventh with World Best Gaming, Season 8 in seventh with Noble esports, and saw h his ex-Noble roster disband halfway through Season 9 while in eighth place. As well as this, Yeti played in Seasons 5, 7, 9, and 10 of the Challenger League, finished in the top eight at two Minors, and camewithin a few rounds of knocking out the eventual runners-up, Evil Geniuses, at the 2018 US Nationals.
Now, 11 months after his last Pro League game, he has returned to a Pro League roster following a very impressive Challenger League performance that saw him finish with the third-best rating in the CL across NA, EU, and LATAM, at 1.33 as he got a 1.5 K/D ratio primarily on the operators of Buck and Bandit.
These two players now move to the eUnited roster, replacing Joseph "Phozzo" Eisenmann and Seth "Abunai" Pinkney ahead of Season 11. With Alphama moving to the United States, he will be residing with Yeti in Kentucky at the "Lad Pad", but Read will be standing in for him until his visa is settled.
Season 10 of the Challenger League season in North America was dominated by this eUnited roster as it finished nine points ahead of the second-placed Tempo Storm before taking down the Susquehanna Soniqs to take their spot in the Pro League for Season 11. While initial rumours then suggested that the Rogue players of VertcL and Easilyy would be continuing their stay in the Pro League with the team, it turns out that eUnited had something very different in mind, looking domestically to Yeti and internationally to Alphama.
To know more about the changes, we spoke to Yeti about the changes in scenery:
Firstly, can you introduce your new lineup and your roles?
Callout is primary support hard breach and IGL (In-Game Leader). Alphama or Read is the secondary support as well as the secondary IGL, Forrest is on flex, Gryxr is secondary entry, and I am primary entry.
Why did you choose Alphama over other alternatives?
We chose Alphama for a few reasons. Him being a young, talented, extremely experienced, outside source to the team from EU were big plusses for the team as we wouldn't have to worry about him trying to just get his friends on the team. It's also nice to have an option outside of the many NA ex-pros that have been going in and out of the scene for some time now.
How much do you expect the EU and LAN experience from Alphama going to be worth, especially given the strong rosters you will be up against?
We think it will be massive. Alphama is an extremely gifted individual who has played on a highly skilled team in the Giants for the last two years, overall we expect nothing but greatness from Alphama being on eUnited.
What are your realistic goals going forward?
Our goals as are a team are to be the hardest working team in all of the Pro League. We believe if we achieve that, then everything else will follow suit.
Did the Soniqs’ visa issues lead to any hesitation over picking up a non-NA player?
No. we are making sure the team and the organisation are taking and will continue to take all the necessary steps to get the proper documents for Alphama's long term stay in America and the NA Pro League legally.
Let's now talk about your new organisation, eUnited. What made you eventually settle on them?
eUnited is a great organisation built around former pro players from other games. It just seemed right to join an org that we felt that was being run by people that have done what we are doing now. They have done nothing but an amazing job of taking care of us thus far, and we look forward in returning the favor in victories throughout our time with them.
Given the situation with the team (before your addition) and the Pittsburgh Embers, is there any fear of legal issues with them?
No, no fear of legal issues in our future regarding the Pittsburgh Embers.
In Alphama’s initial LFT (Looking For Team) post, he had mentioned moving across regions and that the Giants organisation would be up for organising the “best opportunity”, meaning this move was seen as a possibility since the start. With this move coming on the heels of the Soniqs' pickup of the Belgian and Finnish players of Santino "Gomfi" de Meulenaere and Alex "SlebbeN" Nordlund and Fnatic signing the former Singapore resident Patrick "MentalistC" Fan, it seems like the floodgates have opened for more inter-regional changes in Year 5 of R6 esports.
As such, eUnited will debut this roster in the Pro League against Tempo Storm in just under two weeks:
Léo "Alphama" Robine