Meet Your Teacher
Troy “Canadian” Jaroslawski is a professional Rainbow Six: Siege player for Evil Geniuses. He is currently a competitive and determined pro gamer, though there was a time when he barely even touched a mouse and keyboard. Coming from a background in high level hockey, with many of his teammates going on to join the NHL, he was always a man with a competitive spirit, but at that time no interest in video games. After several concussions forced him to withdraw from his sport of choice, he decided to look elsewhere to fill that competitive void. He found professional gaming as an outlet that matched his ambition.
Troy’s brother was always the one playing video games in the family, and although he himself dabbled in them, he had never dedicated the same amount of time as his sibling. First Person Shooters became the genre of choice for him. With his background as an amateur athlete, high stakes gameplay was a must when it came to his choice of video games. He developed a heavy preference towards ‘no-respawn’ games, such as Counter-Strike, or game modes like ‘Search and Destroy’ from the Call of Duty series. This was where the high risk and the adrenaline packed experience was at its peak.
Since Call of Duty as a whole was not his cup of tea, and he considered it far too late to catch up to the Counter-Strike scene, the release of Rainbow Six: Siege seemed the perfect place to find his niche. Canadian began playing one month after the game released, and the month after that he was playing in competition. He currently plays for Evil Geniuses as the Captain and In-Game-Leader for their squad.
Rainbow Six: Siege is a game that has a deceptively simple principle: There are attackers trying to get inside a building to destroy or secure what the defenders inside are protecting. Of course this can be achieved in a number of ways, namely a large amount of lead and/or explosive ordinance. However, what does the typical round look like from both perspectives? What is your ideal situation as Attacker and Defender? Well, that’s where our Professional friend can help explain.
EG Canadian: “First is the preparation phase; usually you’re trying to keep your drones alive. The defenders have 45 seconds to set up the map however they want. You want to see what bombsite they’re playing, because there are 3-4 that they could play. Usually on most maps there are 1-2 that they are deciding between. You want to get eyes on the bombsite and get a feel for what kind of style they are playing on it.”
So, right from the get go we know that information is important. Siege is not your typical Team Deathmatch FPS where you are free to go and die as you please with no repercussions. You get one life per round. Gathering the proper intelligence to make that life matter is key. Drones play an important role in this process, so don’t waste them. Try to minimize how much you tag the enemy, as this is a surefire way to get your drone discovered. Try and find a snug little corner or shelf overlooking the bombsite or key entrances. Do your best to use verbal communication of enemy positions rather than simply marking them. This is the best way to save your drones and get critical information.
EG Canadian: “From there the preparation phase ends, and the first 2 minutes I’d say, sometimes a bit less, you’re basically having some attackers drone and some attackers enter the building. You’re taking map control. You want to take specific parts of the map, ones that are advantages for the bombsite. Positions that you need in order to attack and get angles on the bombsite. You do all that and once you have map control you’re just trying to hold flanks and getting ready to attack the actual bombsite. From there it’s more scrappy and nothing too literal. Sometimes you get the plant down and then afterwards you’re playing defense.”
The key takeaway from this is that not every attacker will be running in at once. The defenders are already set up and likely waiting for you, with usually one or two of them actively hunting you as well. Take your time and ensure you’re properly clearing areas out in cooperation with your teammates who are droning out. Though at the end of the day, it will come down to a firefight, and that is only you and your aim.
EG Canadian: “Like I said before, you’re spending the first 45 seconds setting up the bombsite however the map wants to be set up. For the next 2 minutes the attackers are clearing, and you’re trying to defend the bombsite away from the bombsite. Of course this is very map dependant; there are some maps where you can’t do that and sometimes you can. You will have this area that you want to hold as if it were the bombsite. Everyone on the team should be working together; your teammates on the actual bombsite are on cameras and making calls, while other people will be rotating around the map to assist, to either maintain map control or at least waste time and utility so that the attackers are weaker for the actual attack on the site.”
There is a lot to break down here. First a foremost you do not want to confine yourself only to the bombsite itself. The biggest mistake you can make as a defender is boxing yourself in. The attackers will have a much easier time dealing with your defense if it is restricted to a single room. Usually maps will have key areas that will lead into the region that your objective is located in: staircases, hallways, main building entrances are a few of these. Often times it is equally as important to defend these areas as it is to defend the objective itself.
Furthermore, cooperation is going to be the key which unlocks the map as a whole. While it is not a good idea to have your entire team on the objective, there will still be a chosen few who will need to be on cameras and gathering intel. There are a few operators who are especially good at this, with gear to enable them to do it better than all the rest. As Canadian hints at, defense is a game of time, and being able to waste the attackers time and resources is a critical task.
A word from Canadian on the Meta
“As far as the meta, I wouldn’t say it’s that consistent. There are a few operators you will always see, such as Thermite and Hibana on attack because they are the only operators that can destroy reinforced walls. Mira on defense is a must because she gives you infinitely more options as far as how you want to defend; now you can open up walls and have long lines of sight that you didn’t have before and the attackers have to deal with the mirror or you get free kills basically. Smoke is another pick that is consistently seen on defense, because as the defender your win condition is usually time and the fact that he can waste like 30 seconds just delaying attackers off of a point. Anyone outside of that is usually more of a stylistic thing.”
Ubisoft’s hands-on approach to the development of their game, not just as a tournament circuit but also as a competitive title, took an interesting turn when they introduced a pick-ban phase similar to MOBA titles. The pick-ban phase will allow teams to remove operators that they think are either overpowered or counter their own style of play, while prioritizing their key operators before they can be banned. This adds another layer of strategy that could allow the meta of Rainbow Six: Siege to blossom. Teams and players will have to rethink their approach now that standard in-the-meta lineups will be highly contested — hopefully, it will result in some unique operator picks.
To wrap things up, it’s important to note that there are a lot more forces at play in Siege than most other FPS games. There is a tactical depth and need for multi layered cooperation between teammates that games such as Counter-Strike and Call of Duty don’t facilitate in the same way. With so many extra dimensions at work, Intelligence is a must, and to quote this guide’s teacher once again:
EG Canadian: “I think that in R6 the most important thing you need is intel. It’s very important to both know and respect what operators are in play. So you can know “Okay they don’t have a Jager so we can grenade this.” Or, “They don’t have a bandit so we can bomb that wall open.” It’s definitely important to get that sort of information as well as where they are playing and what their defense or attack patterns are like.”
Do your best to become as communicative and vocal as you can. Adjust to use the tools at your disposal to maximize how much you know about your enemy. What you don’t know can hurt you in this game. Remember that to make use of the information gleaned in this guide you will need to pair it with basic knowledge of the operators and maps of Rainbow Six: Siege. The only way to do that is to play matches and put in the time required to learn and get a feel for the game itself. So get out there and get it done operators.