After slightly over a year with its Australian roster, Elevate has signed the Thai squad of Xavier Esports.
The move comes after Elevate received a buyout offer for its Australian roster from The Chiefs Esports Club and also marks the end of the Xavier Esports players' off-the-radar search for a new and larger organisation with greater support.
Elevate is a familiar organisation in Rainbow Six, having been in the scene since Season 1 Xbox Finals of the ESL Pro League in April 2016. Since then, it has had multiple rosters in North America and Brazil, as well as its now-bought-out Australian roster.
SiegeGG spoke to Elevate CEO, Justin Tan, to know more about the change.
Elevate invested greatly into the Australian roster and the scene, yet is switching to the Thai scene after "just a year". What spurred this change?
We got a buyout offer from The Chiefs that we could not refuse. I think this shows the team's growth and the potential for them to be one of the best in the region.
Your organisation has been in the scene from the beginning, with many teams. What did you see in this Xavier roster that enticed you to sign them over other candidates?
Many things went into this decision. We wanted to stay in the scene, and it came down to who we thought had the best chance of making it to the Six Invitational (SI).
This new roster is currently first in APAC South and was one round away from qualifying to SI. When talking to the guys, I could sense their drive to get better, which was another reason why we decided to go with them.
Your new roster was shifted from APAC North to South, alongside teams like Giants Gaming. Their players were somewhat downbeat about perceived reduced viewership and sponsorship opportunities. As part of Elevate management, what is your view on the situation?
We weren't with this team when they shifted from APAC North to South. We came from Oceania to APAC South, and for us, the viewership has increased.
What kind of support will you be offering the Thai roster?
Currently, we are providing them with boot camps, salary, sponsorship products, and more. We also plan on getting a team house down the road.
The Xavier Esports roster had been with the Thai organisation since November 2019, having formerly been NEX Esports, and had seen steady upwards growth since.
The team had immediately qualified for the APAC Six Invitational Qualifier LAN, but had been denied by Fnatic there, but had then gone on to finish third in the Southeast Asian Pro League.
Three domestic Thai titles then followed, as well as a larger Southeast Asian title, and the Thai players continued to impress. In the top-flight APAC North, they finished fourth in the 2020 season after fourth-placed finishes in Stage 1 and 2 and also made it to the Six 2020 Majors in August and November, finishing fourth and third, respectively.
Their biggest disappointment came alongside their best result, however, as Xavier Esports was within one round of qualifying to the Six Invitational 2021, but were reverse-swept by Cyclops athlete gaming.
So far in 2021, Xavier has been doing even better, with the Thai team sitting atop the APAC South Division with three regular-time victories, including a 7-3 mauling of Giants Gaming. Now, with the larger organisation of Elevate behind them, they will be hoping to leverage the additional support into an APAC title.
With the Xavier Esports roster being in the top-flight, the Elevate in-game weapon skin for the Commando 9 will continue in the store. However, unless the Xavier Esports organisation finds a new roster, it will likely see its F90 weapon skin removed in short order.
Catch this new Elevate roster in the APAC South Division later today, with the Thai players set to take on the Australians of ORDER.