A run which culminated in 7 months of hard work, transition and the introduction of new teammates, Mindfreak went from placing T8 in ANZ, to finishing T8 at the Rainbow Six Siege World Championships in Montreal, Canada.
They didn’t have an easy run to making the world championships of Rainbow Six Siege, but Mindfreak took every step of the journey in their stride, learning and developing along the way. They initially transitioned from Xbox to PC in July of last year having dominated the Xbox scene for over a year. They qualified for the APAC Pro-League, the catalyst for their transition and quickly asserted dominance over the ANZ PC scene.
Mindfreak R6 attended the first APAC Pro-League LAN alongside fellow Aussies, Corvidae (Now Viewsonic.Darksided) in October, 2017. They were beaten in the semi-finals by Koreans, Mantis FPS, ending their run for the Y2S3 Pro-League.
Next came the Six Invitational (World Championships) qualifiers for APAC. Mindfreak took the sole spot in the ANZ qualifier, beating out the likes of Darksided, Athletico, SYF and more. The prize? Another qualifier, this time offline in Sydney, against the number one seeds from the other 3 APAC regions (SEA, KR, JP). Beating out the likes on MantisFPS and Cryptik at the second APAC LAN booked Mindfreak’s place in Montreal.
It was there that they faced a tough group of Rogue (NA), Room Factory (EU) and Team Liquid (LATAM). They lost to Rogue, but took out super impressive victories against Room Factory and Liquid to book their spot in the Top 8 of the World Championships. A great achievement for an APAC team to make it out of groups and finish T8 against all odds.
I caught up with Mindfreak Rainbow Six Siege manager and coach, Jayden “Dizzle” Saunders, to have a chat about their incredible run, new seasons and the plans for the rest of 2018!
First off, I just want to congratulate you on a mind-blowing run at Worlds, it was truly something to behold and I’ve never seen the ANZ R6 community rally behind a team so strongly before!
Thank you, we appreciate all the support back home. Rivalry is always healthy but nice to know people are getting behind us when we need it most.
Going into the tournament, what was your thoughts on how far you could reasonably foresee you placing? A lot of people expected Mindfreak to not even make it out of groups given the strength of your group-stage opponents.
We believed we would make it out of groups and finish in the top 5-8 slots which is where we finished. That was the goal going over there which we felt achievable and believed 100% that we could do it. I mean if you don’t believe in your own goal, what’s the point in setting it?
You guys put in a historic performance to take down Latin American super-power Team Liquid to make the QFs. How did their playstyle change when you approached the match? Did you employ any unique changes specifically to deal with their style?
I feel that we play most like Latin America so understanding their play style wasn’t too difficult. The first map chalet we understood was one of their best maps, but it was also one of our strong ones. It was a bit of a risk to let it go through, but we felt it would suit our game plan that we wanted to execute. In terms of game plan, the one change that we made was drone Nesk, find the operator he is playing and hunt him down. Shutting down Nesk was the first step to getting a victory over Liquid.
I feel that our roamer hunting was the key to our success against liquid and the coordination with which we did it.
So, there’s no rest for you guys despite your achievements in Montreal, you guys have the $10K ANZ League Cup and the Pro League Qualifiers that started straight after. Will we see any cheeky pocket strats picked up from Montreal? Perhaps a new Blitz main in the MF roster?
To be honest at this point we are just going to do what is necessary to make sure we qualify. We had a huge campaign worldwide. The guys are exhausted between jet lag, flu and missing members it’s going to be more of a mental challenge than a strategic one. Once the actual Pro League season starts, depending on what league format we are following, then you may find some changes.
What are your plans for the rest of 2018 and your goals regarding R6 both domestically and internationally?
Myself personally, I wish to improve and adjust the way I understand R6S along with the different ways we can play the game. As a team, our goal is to be at every LAN.
What are your thoughts on the new changes announced such as Operator Bans and Map Reworks? Have you had a chance to try out Outbreak?
I think the new pro league format is going to be healthy for competition. It will not only change the depth of strategy in which maps are played but also what teams are played on what map. I think it is a step in the right direction and am grateful to Ubisoft and ESL for wanting to keep our pro league scene fresh and make it easier for spectators to follow.
Yes, I have played Outbreak, it’s a lot of fun. I just wish there were more operators to earn rewards for. I believe it will be a good change of pace and will also help bring a new audience to our game.
Good luck for the rest of the year mate and the upcoming Pro League season, looking forward to seeing where you guys go to next!
Thanks mate, appreciate your time. Hopefully will see you at the next APAC LAN.