In an exclusive announcement via SiegeGG, GOSU Gaming has confirmed that the team will be undergoing a significant roster shuffle. In come the players of FightiR, Mas, shinbagel, and SpeakEasy, while Kenody, and Quervo depart. Not only does this move mark the biggest roster move in Asia-Pacific (APAC), if not across all regions, it also involves the movement of two players across to a new region. All four of the newcomers will be playing for GOSU in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Pro League and other regional competitions from here on out, but the team has declined to comment on how their new seven-man strong lineup will be split across the core and substitute player roles.
The first of the four new GOSU players is one that many will be familiar with -- Adam “FightiR” Vallejo. The American player most famously played in the Xbox Pro League in Year 1, winning the Pro League with eXcellence Gaming and Denial in Seasons 1 and 2 respectively. His crowning achievement came with Elevate, however, when the team won the 2017 Six Invitational on Xbox after defeating a FuriouSG-led Team Vitality 10-0.
Coming over from the USA with him is Tomas “Mas” Pansini, who was a PC player in Year 2 of the NA Pro League. He first appeared on the scene in Season 4 as a substitute for FoxA in one game with Most Wanted (now Obey Alliance), before moving to BitterSweet (now Spacestation Gaming) for Season 5. His team was only able finish in 5th-6th place, and Mas then departed for what would become Noble esports. While he managed to help the team qualify for the Challenger League, personal commitments saw him step down for his slot to be filled by breezy.
The next player joining GOSU is a famous -- or some might say infamous -- name in APAC. Also the General Manager for the team, Richard “shinbagel” Shin will also be making his competitive return as a player. He first made a name for himself in the 2017 Six Invitational APAC Qualifiers as a part of Dynamo Gaming, before appearing in the inaugural season of the APAC Pro League with Team Envy (later Team CryptiK, and now Aerowolf). Spending only a season with them, he departed for the ANZ side Corvidae (now ViewSonic.DarkSided) but only featured in a handful of matches before disappearing without an official announcement from both player and organisation.
Last but not least, Singaporean player Matin “SpeakEasy” Yunos is also joining the squad in the fourth and final roster change for GOSU. While a relative unknown outside of SEA, his prowess is not to be underestimated. Since Season 6, he has been on Singaporean side KlickBait Tactics and has comfortably been the side’s top performer every season. He will no doubt be missed by his former team, who has brought CocoWolf in as a replacement.
We interviewed the trio of FightiR, Mas, and shinbagel to know more about them and these changes.
Glad to have you returning to the competitive scene, shinbagel, Mas, and FightiR. What have you guys been up to since then?
Mas: I have finished up school and got my degree in Marketing at Rowan University. I was working over the summer and was looking for a real job in sales or esports. I am also working with Topfist, a company who is looking for players to coach other players for all games, and I am going to be running the Rainbow Six side of it. Unfortunately, I had some personal issues that led me to stop playing Siege competitively. Once FightiR contacted me about this opportunity, I was onboard 100%.
FightiR: After winning the Six Invitational I finished my internship with Target and started working for them full time as an executive team leader. This career gave me little time to play Siege competitively due to the fact I worked 60-hour work weeks and had to work every other weekend. I had that career for the past two years.
Richard (shinbagel) contacted me about two months ago with this opportunity and I did not hesitate to take it. I put my two weeks in at Target and moved to Thailand to do what I love; play Siege.
shinbagel: I decided to retire from pro gaming after Corvidae and focus on building up traditional work experience. Prior to pro gaming, I had previous work experience in business development so I was able to land a job as the head business development executive for the Korean region for a Singaporean karaoke start-up called Popsical. Although I was enjoying my time there, I was given an offer I couldn’t refuse by the owner of GOSU to move back to Korea and take the reigns as the General Manager.
Let's address the elephant in the room right away. Why make the return to competitive Siege now? Why in APAC, in SEA, with GOSU?
Mas: I have always been playing ranked and trying to help players because I still watch the matches, but I hopped on my PC one day in August and got this crazy offer that I could not refuse. When I was last playing in NA with Noble, I had a lot of personal stuff going on which restrained me from playing, and I did not want that to interfere with the team and my performance or time for practice. I gave it a lot of thought about heading out to Asia but that is behind me now and I am super excited to play in the APAC scene.
FightiR: This has been the biggest opportunity I’ve been given and decided to take it without hesitation. Due to my past career, I did not have much time to dedicate to the game, thus not many teams would give me a chance. However, now I can dedicate all my time to Siege. I am pumped to be in SEA and playing in the APAC region.
shinbagel: I ended up leaving Siege reluctantly because of pressure to find a more stable and “traditional” job. I was always itching to get back into the competitive scene, so when I was presented with this rare opportunity to compete as a player while also being the General Manager, it was a no-brainer. I decided to set up the team in APAC because it makes the most sense from a business perspective. Simply put, SEA has the fastest growing esports audience out of all the regions in APAC.
Tell us more about SpeakEasy, a name the audience outside of SEA will not be familiar with.
shinbagel: Kid’s the GOAT, don’t be sleepin’ on him.
Where will you guys be staying? How different do you think it will be to live here?
Mas: We will be staying in Bangkok, Thailand. It definitely will not be easy, but we will figure it out. We are going to have to get used to the food there; I have gone from having the best pizza in the US to having none.
shinbagel: Sawadeekrab to all the Thai readers here!
How are your finances being handled such as transportation (airfare and daily transport) and food? Are you guys going to be salaried?
shinbagel: As of now, everything is being paid for by the team owner.
How did this entire move come about?
Mas: When I jumped on my PC one day, FightiR asked me if I had anything going on in my life and I said, “Not too much, why?” He asked me a crazy question; “Are you willing to leave the US to join a team that is in the Pro League?” Shinbagel had messaged FightiR asking him to come out, and then we went over all of the rulings and got in contact with the admins to make sure that it was okay and all of the rulings passed with a 6 month visa.
shinbagel: After talking with a few SEA teams, signing the Scrypt roster for GOSU was the obvious choice as they had the same long-terms vision as the org. FightiR was my first pick up. Guy’s determined, hungry, responsible, and 3-time champ -- what more is there to say? I played with Mas a few times in NA ranked, but never knew him like that, but I decided to scoop him up off the recommendation of FightiR. As for SpeakEasy, I went around asking some of my old contacts in SEA about solid SEA players and SpeakEasy’s name was one that came up pretty often.
Given that Season 9 of the Pro League is some ways away, the first event you'll be taking part in will be the Six Invitational qualifiers, correct? How much practice have you guys already had together?
Mas: We have started going to go over strats and implementing them with our teammates once we got set up. We talked to the guys on Scrypt E-Sports (now GOSU) and told them how we felt about coming out here to play, and they were pretty hyped about it.
You are in the unique position of experiencing the NA, KR, ANZ and SEA play-styles first-hand. What are the biggest differences?
shinbagel: I think the general meta of how R6 should be played becomes normalized throughout the region after every major patch. You’ll find both slower and methodical teams as well as fast and hyper-aggressive teams in each region -- the difference really comes down to the playstyle of the team and their identity.
Shinbagel, since your departure from Team CryptiK (and later Corvidae), there have been rumours swirling about acrimonious fallouts. Would you care to comment?
shinbagel: I was certainly far from what one would consider an ideal teammate. I got distracted and complacent so my work ethic wasn’t where it should have been and I let my teammates down. One of my biggest regrets was not working harder; however, I’ve learned from my mistakes and it’s grind time from here on out.
You must be acutely aware of Aerowolf’s strength in the region, especially given that you played with the majority of them, not to mention upstarts Xavier Esports, as well as Fnatic, mantis FPS, and NORA-Rengo. With your new side, what kind of a challenge do you expect to be able to mount against them?
Mas: Go in everyday with the mindset to perfect our strats and worry about what teams we are playing when the week comes and adjust properly.
shinbagel: Aerowolf, Fnatic, and Mantis’ core roster of 3-4 people have been together for a couple seasons now. While that’ll most decidedly be an advantage for them, GOSU has players that have played in several different regions and bring along with them fresh perspectives and playstyles.
What are your goals with GOSU -- number 1 APAC? Or something a little more tempered at first, like simply top 2 SEA (aka APAC LAN qualification)?
Mas: The goal is number 1 APAC and I see us doing that.
What would you like to say to our readers?
Mas: I took this opportunity because I wanted to see what I could actually do. I believe I am a top player when I play with a good team. I like to be creative and come up with strategies that people don’t see often, so expect those to come out in the season. I would like to thank Shin and FightiR for choosing me over some other players, and I know good things are to come. I think more teams should look into transferring players over from other areas as it only helps the scene grow and allows that individual to show we he actually has to offer when the time comes.
shinbagel: Thank you taking the time to read this and being passionate about Rainbow Six and in esports in general. I love seeing all the support this game gets from its engaging and vocal community. GOSU plans to be a positive addition to the pro SEA scene and help grow the Siege community here, so please show your support in the coming months!
Catch the team in action presumably during the 2019 Six Invitational APAC Qualifiers, and then in Season 9 of the SEA Pro League.
The GOSU roster is:
Ilham “Sunan” Surya
Dyaz “Evou” Caesar
Benny “Berphy” Rachmadi
Adam “FightiR” Vallejo
Tomas “Mas” Pansini
Richard “shinbagel” Shin
Matin “SpeakEasy” Yunos