Guest interview by Ripley
A New org & a New Team Member: An Interview with FoxA of Astral Authority (Previously, ACN/Milspec)
Thanks for doing this interview with me. Can you start off by giving me your name, age, where you’re from and briefly give me a background on your experience in eSports? Such as teams you’ve been on and other games you may have competed in before Rainbow? Alternatively, what got you into eSports?
Davide Bucci, 18. I'm Canadian; I live in Montreal, but I'm not French Canadian which is hard to find people have told me. I always loved video games since I was a kid and I've always been good at a huge range of games. I played Dota at a high level then switched to CS source which got me into CS:GO which is where I spent most of my gaming days. I played for Velocity eSports a couple of seasons in that and then just tried finding other teams to play in ESEA Main with but nothing really stuck. I have gone to a couple of LANs for CS:GO, but nothing too big. I was always addicted to being a “pro” in a game and having people want to know what's up with me.
Why do you like Rainbow Six and what caused you to want to compete in it as an eSport?
CS:GO got really boring after 4-5 years of playing it, so I looked for a new game similar to it, but with more to give, I saw the R6 siege trailer and instantly fell in love with the game just by what the trailers for it showed. Teamwork, multiple ways to get into objectives and to me it looked like a really good game for competitive play. I didn't even know it had an eSports scene until some guys from ZFG picked me up in a ranked game when I was outplaying them.
Lunatik was one of my favorite early teams in Pro League, can you explain what caused the team to disband and place lower in the last season?
Well for starters the 3 people who carried the team in S2 were Kevin, Nix and me. Kevin unfortunately got banned, and Nix was just not really feeling the game too much after the season. We never really scrimmed or played together as teammates a lot we were just friends after S2. We picked up 2 new players and teaching them how to play with a team wasn't one of our strong points. We didn't have a leader; I tried my best to call and lead, but it wouldn't give me the potential to frag hard in games. Then inside drama happened and after the loss to FE where I was dropping a total of 17 kills in the 2 matches, and we still lost was heartbreaking for me. So I left, not wanting to deal with drama and being unable to help the team win games.
You spent some time as a Free Agent looking for a team. What was that like and what did you do to find the right fit for a new team?
Trying to find an already established team to join is difficult because most teams in pro league already have ideas of whom they want to pick so they don't run tryouts with anybody who asks for one. Making a team is harder because some people don't click together, some players are amazing but all play the same role, and it's just better to have a team with players who have pro league experience so you don't have to teach them how to play with a team and they don’t have the pressure that new players feel they have. The Astral roster was looking for a new 5th and originally wanted to try me out Pre-Season 3, so they took an interest in me, and I always knew they were good players, so meshing with them was already easy for me because I fell into what they needed and I've played a lot with some of the players on the team.
Did your game play skills suffer during the in-between time searching for a new team? What did you do to continue keeping your skill level up?
I'm not going to lie, when I was a Free Agent during the pro league, I played a lot of Overwatch to keep my aim on ( I have the same settings for both) but coming back to the game after that long wait took a toll on my game play. I didn't feel confident in my plays; I was second guessing myself, and I just wasn't trusting my instinct because I was a little out of touch, but after a week or 2 of playing the game again, day-in-day-out everything just fell back into place. It's like riding a bike you never really lose it.
Do you have any advice for other Free Agents currently looking for a team?
Yes, you don't have to be picked up by the best team, if you have to join a lower tier team do it and then make a name for yourself when you play against other players. Top level players pay attention to up and coming players, so if you frag hard on a lower team, everybody notices that you are a big part of your teams wins.
So, Congratulations on joining Astral Authority. How did you joining their team come about and how are things fitting together with you on the team now?
I knew Remorce and Dapz back in season 2 and threw season 3; they took an interest in me, and I always liked their team dynamic. They previously asked me to try out but at the time I wanted to give LTK one more shot, but regretted it. Thank God I got a second chance because they still needed a 5th that stuck and I was it. I molded well with them.
I know you were on the team before Astral Authority picked them up. Were you a part of the decision on which Org to choose? Also, do you have any advice for teams looking to join an Organization and what they should look for when making a decision?
I wouldn't say I was a huge part, I heard that Astral was interested in R6 again since their team in season 1 was dropped and let the squad know and then went for them. The advice I'd give is many orgs are just trying to put their names on stuff and not give you the equal part of what you should get, make sure the org is trustworthy; there are contracts involved and that it's worth it. Anybody can come up with a cool name, it's about the equal pay in the sponsor's relationship with the team.
What is your role on Astral and is this a new role for you, or is this what you did on LTK as well?
My role on Astral on attack would be close to the same, but on defense, it's a new shift I'd have to say. I mean in general being the heavy fragger in LTK making plays and having to roam solo and play alone essentially, it's a nice shift playing with Astral where I have teammates to count on.
What are your thoughts on the 6 Invitational and ESL skipping a Pro League Season?
I wouldn't say it's skipping it's more just Ubisoft trying to show their gratitude for 1 year of R6 siege being out, and Pro league just doesn't want to over mask the event with it and over stress players. I was disappointed that the number of teams able to go is small, but it's still a nice gesture Ubisoft is doing. I can't wait for Pro league to start back up again, though.
Without Pro League being streamed there isn’t as much visibility on what’s happening to the META. There have already been some fairly large changes to the game since S3 ended. What are your thoughts on where the META is going and how do you think teams are developing one without the ability to learn from Pro League?
The meta is still adjusting right now; people are trying to find out what's going to work and what isn't. Blackbeard was nerfed, so I'm excited to see what teams with a player who has been playing him for so long end up doing. High up teams will find the right strats by putting time and effort into the updates and switches that need to be made, but for lower teams, I'd suggest exploring the new updates and patches and everything that has been added/removed for yourselves and play based off that.
Do you expect your team will do well in the next Pro League? Moreover, Why?
I believe that any team that's have still been playing from season 1 will have a huge advantage and still be considered one of the top teams. I think with the things we have planned will be ready to put up fights in the season and hopefully succeed.
Are there any specific changes or updates where you think Rainbow Six needs improvement?
Hitreg is always one of them, adding team charms to support teams would be amazing if they did, other than those two Ubisoft has been putting a lot of effort and been trying so eventually the game will keep getting better. Nothing is perfect.
Do you feel the developers do a good job of working with and taking input from Pro players? What could they perhaps do better?
I think communication between Ubisoft and whom they chose to talk to is very good; they just want to make the game better and grow it like the rest of us. I’d just tell them to keep working hard.
What in your opinion does Rainbow Six need to be a largely successful game like Counter-Strike or Call of Duty among other large titles?
Big orgs, more leagues, and tourneys, more sponsors, bigger publicity stunts. There is a lot it has to do before it reaches cs or cod level but it is big for its first year, and it's only getting bigger with time. I see it becoming something big like cs or cod in the future.
Who do you think is the most skilled player in Rainbow Six Pro League?
Oh, that is a hard question to answer, everyone has their strengths, and everyone has their weaknesses. The best all around players, in my opinion, would have to be Canadian(Super smart and great aim) NvK(Crazy aim) and Remorce(Well rounded player).
Do you have any friendly rivalry with any players?
Not really, I usually call Canadian a cutie when I play him but other than that maybe Eclipse because people have called me the discount Eclipse before but I wouldn’t really say any rivalries.
Do you have any advice for players looking to join and compete in the Rainbow Six scene?
Keep working hard; you may not be on the best team now but if you practice and show the dedication you will climb the ranks. I was nobody in season 1, played some games got my name out there and then later joined a team that qualified for pro league, my team wasn't full of insane fraggers or the smartest minds but it had people wanting to commit themselves to the game, and we made it.
What do you do to keep improving your skill? What are some serious mistakes players make that hinder skill growth?
Personally, I get better by playing the game and making my movement as fluent as I can even in high-pressure situations. A serious mistake is players who believe that aim is how you win, so they do terrorist hunt all day long, but it's the map knowledge, the movement the information you give and get, practice being a team player if you have aim that's a bonus.
Do you have anything final you want to say to close out the Interview?
I want to thank you for interviewing me, and anybody who reads this and feels inspired or enjoyed reading thank you. I really love anybody who supports my team or me. Keep watching, playing and growing with the game. Deuces.
Thanks, Davide for doing the interview. It’s always a pleasure to get the inside scoop on players and teams in the Pro scene. I hope you and your team do well in your future endeavors. I’ll catch you next time!