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DarkZero "glue guy" Ecl9pse: "I’m kind of the wildcard [coaches] can put anywhere"

DarkZero's glue over the past year has been Ecl9pse, who has taken whatever form the team needs.

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Every team needs someone who’s willing to get their hands dirty. Every team needs someone that’s willing to let the ego die, to let their personal ambitions take a backseat so the team can excel.

In Rainbow Six Siege, that means role swaps - or most specifically, most of the hard breacher’s duties. They die planting the bomb, they’re on drones nearly the entire round, but someone has to do it.

These players are colloquially known in traditional sports, basketball specifically, as “glue guys.” They make everything stick together and they’re the ones willing to shake up their own roles so the team can improve. They’re the guys willing to die while planting, they’re the ones willing to hop off the glory roles so the team can win.

No singular player has embodied this idea over the past two years quite like DarkZero’s Tyler “Ecl9pse” McMullin.

Name a hat that a Rainbow Six Siege player can wear, in the server. There’s a solid chance that Ecl9pse has worn that hat. It's not entirely due to his longevity as a player, either: the changes to his role haven't come due to low stats.

He went from one of Rogue’s entry players, to entry for DarkZero, to flank watch over the last year, to his latest challenge: hard breach.

“[it’s about] being willing to learn and not stuck in your ways,” Ecl9pse said in an interview with SiegeGG. “...I’m kind of the wildcard they [coaches] can put anywhere.”

The pivot that landed him in the hard support role began after Alex “Skys” Magor and Kyle “Mint” Lander left the roster – a move that prompted Ecl9pse’s decision to step up in a more vocal manner.

They were losing their pair of IGLs, and began building in earnest around the Mexico Major. The move into being a vocal leader was certainly difficult for the normally-quiet Ecl9pse, and he says learning hard breach is one of the more difficult roles to learn or transfer into, “no question.”

It’s not a surprising response. Adjusting to a different kind of action is difficult, and it can be a hard adjustment going from racking up kills to racking up Z-pings. To some, it’s seen as a demotion. The adage goes that once you get old, you get put on Thermite, and once you’re on Thermite, it can be difficult to get off.

But, someone has to do it, and whenever DarkZero has needed a role changed, it’s called on Ecl9pse more often than not. And when they need him to move to another role, he thinks the things he’s learned on hard breach will benefit him.

“You get to see a lot more,” Ecl9pse said when asked what playing hard breach has changed in his entry and flank watch game. “There are certain ‘tells’ that you don’t really recognize on entry and stuff. [On that role] I’m worried about what control am I going to take, whereas on breach, a lot of times I’m droning, and being like ‘how can I get this guy in a safer spot’.”

Statistically, Ecl9pse has been hit with the same hammer that other hard supports get hit with. His lifetime SiegeGG Rating, 1.04, is substantially higher than his rating this stage: .86. However, there’s still some flashes of the old Ecl9pse there – his 5-6 Entry rating shows he isn’t afraid to take opening duels, and still has the skills to win them.

The game hasn’t passed him completely by, clearly.

While Ecl9pse’s has been with the team, DarkZero’s standings have followed a fairly reliable pattern. After the first two-thirds of the season, they are either a bubble Major team, down in fifth or sixth, or are set in fourth, as they are currently. The last third of the season has been very kind to them. In the final three games of each 2021 stage, DarkZero are 6-3: 5-1 in Stages 2 and 3. Their three losses? A 7-4 loss to TSM FTX and a maximum overtime loss to first-place Oxygen, 8-7, both before May, and a sole loss to Spacestation in Stage 3.

Currently, DarkZero sits in fourth, but Spacestation and beastcoast are nipping at their heels. DarkZero is going to need a performance akin to their perfect final third of 2021 Stage 1 and 2 if they’re going to keep their spot.

Fortunately, they’ve got a malleable squad with one of the best glue guys in the game, who can take whatever form needed at the drop of a hat.

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