A lot of intriguing storylines have emerged from Dreamhack Austin 2018, but there has been no better “Cinderella” story than DisruptGG’s surprising run. Subverting all expectations, they managed a 2-0 victory over Evil Geniuses, a team that is still considered by many to be one of the best in the world despite their recent setbacks. Their success continued, beating Motiv8 -- another squad with Pro League experience -- by bouncing back after a loss on Consulate to win 2-1. Why are people surprised to see this DisruptGG topple other more well-known and experienced teams? Well, it might have something to do with the fact that they’re somewhat of a makeshift team known primarily for content creation, they clawed their way from the open Bring-Your-Own-Computer (BYOC) portion of the tournament and the majority of their players are under 18 years old.
We had a chance to speak with DotDash, their 17-year-old In-Game Leader to learn more about how DisruptGG has made it this far.
This interview has been lightly edited for for clarity and brevity.
Congratulations on the wins against Evil Geniuses and Motiv8. We’d love to introduce you and DisruptGG to our readers. Can you tell us a little bit about your team -- how did you guys come to form this DisruptGG squad for Dreamhack?
We started off with members of disrupt - 3 from academy team (Hyper, Yoggah, myself) and others from our Challenger league team (Beaulo, who is a streamer, Skittlz a content creator on Youtube, and Ghxst). We wanted to send a team that we thought would be strong. Originally the team was going to have Beaulo on the roster, but now he’s our coach.
What do you think your victory against a North American juggernaut like Evil Geniuses says about the skill gap between Pro League and other various forms of competitive play, like Challenger League or CCS? Do you think Evil Geniuses just had a bad day?
Part of it was that Evil Geniuses had a bad day, but we’ve also never had the ability to show our skill off. People apply labels to Challenger League and CCS players, and we’re not usually given a chance. Finally had a chance to show off our skills in a team fashion.
High school students have a lot of obligations (school, and sometimes sports or part-time jobs). Do you think younger players are at a disadvantage when compete with pro players?
I think it can go both ways. A lot of pros at this point still work jobs as well, so sometimes kids actually have more free time.
You mentioned that you had 6 days to prepare ahead of Dreamhack. How and where did you focus your preparations, considering the Open Qualifiers with mostly unestablished teams, and even what felt like late information about which group each BYOC winner would enter?
We had no information about the brackets until the day of and short notice for the BYOC tournament as well. We prepared by scrimming lower tier teams. We spent about 2-5 hours each of those six days practicing and scrimming. In general it can be tough to find enough quality teams for scrims.
Your match against Motiv8 was off-stream. For those who weren’t able to watch you play in Austin, how would you describe that match?
The match was really faulty - we made a lot of mistakes especially on the first map. Motiv8 had more preparation and won the ban phase, but we were able to come back and win.
In both of your matches, how did you guys approach the ban phase? A number of us watching were a bit surprised to see Clubhouse make it through since it’s a map that Evil Geniuses are known for playing well.
We wanted to avoid Bank and Consulate since they’re dominated by heavily strategic and fortified teams. Teams that have been practicing forever do well on those maps. [Instead], we went for maps that we can adapt to and play “Length” on. Our aggression won [us games].
What do you know about Beastcoast? How have you prepared for them?
We feel pretty confident against Beastcoast. We think we have the Ban phase planned out already now. We’re learning that there’s a specific way to do bans against certain teams. Like, being able to trick different teams into thinking you’re weak on a map by picking it last.
I’d like to know a little bit more about you, Mason. When did you get into competitive Rainbow 6? When did you start IGL’ing?
I got into competitive Y1 S3, with an offer from E-X-O (CCS teammate) to play. We’ve stuck together for 2.5 years. I didn’t necessarily aimto get into competitive siege but the experience showed me how awesome it was. I only recently started IGL’ing, especially for this team. It’s quite a lot of work. I look to people like Billboard to learn from. He’s an amazing IGL for his team.
Has playing Siege competitively helped you in other areas of life?
Genuinely being honest - people in siege have helped me through a lot of challenges in real life. I’ve built close friendships and received help in ways I never could have expected. I’m here sitting right next to Austin and Skittlz right now in fact!
You recently turned 17. The current Ubisoft and ESL contract only allows players over 18 years old to participate in Rainbow 6 Pro League. Where do you see yourself in a year?
A year is long time from now, but hopefully in Pro League!
Overall, no matter how the rest of the day goes DisruptGG has proven that younger players have the game knowledge, talent and confidence to compete at a high level. It’s good that the rules of Dreamhack allow those that are underage to compete in a LAN environment -- in many ways DisruptGG’s story embodies the entire premise behind Dreamhack events. However, now that we’ve seen that the kids can play, it raises the question: why prevent capable underage players from most competitions? Potential legal conundrums relating to prize money aside, for it feels like ESL and Ubisoft may have missed an opportunity to more actively cross-pollinate underage players with experienced pro players to help cultivate teamplay and communication skills for the next generation of Rainbow 6 Esports competitors. Fortunately, community-led alternatives such as CCS (Championship Series) are doing an excellent job filling that gap.