DarkZero Esports coach Jordan “BKN” Soojian confirmed that the Rainbow Six Pro League is looking to unionize.
Talks of unionizing appear to have begun following ESL allegedly failing to secure a visa for FaZe Clan’s Ronaldo “ion” Osawa for the Rainbow Six Pro League Japan Finals. The team came in second in the Latin American division of the R6 Pro League. But ESL’s failure to secure Ion’s visa means that the team may have to travel without him—if the rest of the squad has been cleared.
“A player’s union is in talks and it’ll give us the opportunity to take back the power and give us an even playing field,” BKN said.
BKN’s call for unionization is also informed by some of the larger issues that pervade esports. His tweet specifically references illegal contracts and the need for a proper offseason. BKN went as far as to say that “the esports industry should be ashamed of itself.”
This conversation, like many unionization inquiries, is centered around a redistribution of power that would make the Rainbow Six esports scene more player focused. But, as with all unions, this may be seen as a threat to ESL and other parties. Considering how vocal the R6 esports community can be, there will likely be a response from ESL in the near future, which will probably come after confirmation of ion’s presence or absence from Japan.
While the conversation about a player’s union is extremely important, the main reason for this kind of talk here is that a pro who earned their spot in an international LAN may be unable to play due to an alleged ESL mistake.
The Japan Finals take place from Nov. 9 to 10 in Tokoname. Fans can catch the official broadcast here.