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Three teams gutted in three days; what’s going on in APAC?

Three of the 16 APAC teams in APAC have suffered major changes to their rosters.

Image: Ubisoft/Joao Ferreira

Three of the best-known teams in the APAC region have seen major changes in the space of just three days. At the beginning of the week, two players left Invictus Gaming, adding to the prior exit of their coach. Later that day, half of Fnatic’s six-man squad left the team. Two days later, Chiefs ESC left the scene and the team disbanded.

Each one of these changes has been caused by completely different issues, which culminated in a very bad few days for APAC fans. Here’s a quick recap of what went down:

Chiefs Esports Club

Best known for their appearance at the Charlotte and Sweden Majors, the reigning Oceanic champions disbanded after their organization left the Rainbow Six scene. 

Ethan "Ethan" Picard, who previously attended the Season 10 Finals and SI 2020, has retired, Raine "Dgtl" Wright will take some time away from the game, and the league will now only have seven teams for the rest of the year.

This was due to the Chiefs organization believing Ubisoft isn’t doing enough for the sub-region, particularly regarding the ping and latency issues that have plagued the region since the start of the 2021 season.

Last year pings of up to 130ms were recorded in games between OCE and SEA rosters, while this rose to over 150ms during playoff games against APAC North rosters. 

Chiefs' Operations Manager stated that they “continued to have faith that [issues] would be addressed and relevant solutions explored, particularly once borders began opening up”, as they likely would have wanted a return of APAC LANs to eliminate all ping issues.

However, this was not the case and the volume of complaints kept on growing. While APAC Playoffs were cancelled for Stage 2, as ESL promised improvements, Chiefs received fines due to a bad connection which they claimed were “unjust and mishandled”.

A perceived lack of support and solutions from Ubisoft and ESL, and possibly a poor performance in Stage 2, all led to the Chiefs ending their time in Rainbow Six.


Two years since they announced their move to the Japanese scene, Fnatic finally had their roster set up for Stage 3 this year as the Australian Etienne "Mag" Rousseau was finally able to join five Japanese players in the country. Now, before Mag could even make his return to APAC North, three of these five players have been benched.

These three players were Hikaru "Li9ht" Osawa and Naoki "Yura" Takamoto, who played together on GUTS before Fnatic, as well as Masashi "Siru" Miyamoto, who made his debut on FNC during Stage 2.

In a since-deleted Twitter post, Li9ht implied this was due to disagreements with the team’s French strategic coach, Théo "Phenomene" Hentgen, and team manager, Kazuhide "GuNBoY" Kawamura.

No matter the real reason behind-the-scenes, APAC’s best-known team have again hit a speedbump on their way back to the top after attending seven international tournaments in a row in 2018 and 2019, as well as the 2020 Six Invitational.

Invictus Gaming 

After attending all three Major events in 2021 -- the Six Invitational, Mexico Major, and Sweden Major -- iG attempted to form a sub-regional “super-team” for the 2022 season. Two Australian players joined a returning Patrick "MentalistC" Fan and two remaining Singaporean players to form the new team. 

Six months later, two of these players and their British coach have all left as their super-team has effectively failed. 

After so many successful campaigns last year, they ended Stages 1 and 2 of 2022 in fifth and fourth place and failed to reach either Six Major. They also now sit in fifth across the 2022 season behind three South-East Asian teams, including Jose "Jo" Iman’s Gaimin Gladiators, a player iGi dropped to make their super-team. 

This is simply the tale of a failed experiment similar to Vitality’s signings of Daniel "Goga" Mazorra and Fabian "Fabian" Hällsten in 2020. 

The key difference is that Invictus were already successful in their region before this. They were one of only eight teams to have attended all of 2021’s tournaments and the only one to do so from APAC. Looking before the COVID-19 related cancellations, they also attended SI 2020 and the Season 10 Finals and were one of just two teams alongside NiP to have attended all five. 

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