R6 Pro League season 10 changes: Lion returns, Auto-Relegation removed

Lion may come roaring back into Pro League—or whimper in a corner.

Image via Ubisoft

ESL dropped a number of bombshells on the Rainbow Six Siege Pro League community this morning. Fans and pros will be seeing a massive amount of changes in season 10 of the Pro League, including the return of Lion and, most importantly, the removal of Auto-Relegation.

The return of Lion is a hot-button topic in the Siege community as a whole. Casuals don’t like him, pros don’t like him, nobody really seems to like him. When the operator released in March 2018, he essentially broke the game due to his ability essentially being an allowed form of wall hacks.

It was clear that the operator wasn’t designed with pros in mind, as there was almost instant backlash over the his ability and how it would affect competitive play. The dev team “is ready to react to any significant issues that his re-introduction into the ecosystem might pose,” according to Ubisoft’s post.

Even after going through a rework that almost nerfed Lion into oblivion, he is still a no-go for some fans and players.

Despite the release of Lion back into the Pro League, there are some unarguably great changes coming to season 10. For starters, Mozzie and Gridlock will now be open to Pro League play. The two Australian operators have been on the bench since release, as is standard with Pro League’s “grace period” for new ops.

Mozzie is sure to shake up the pro scene with his new spin on how attackers are allowed to gather intel. His ability to hack attacker drones may add another layer of paranoia that the attacking team will have to deal with on approach. The inclusion of Mozzie will also see new ways of setting up frags, with defenders possibly being able to bait attackers with Mozzie drones. There’s sure to be a couple of clutches to come out of the defender’s implementation in Pro League.

With Gridlock, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. The Australian attacker is somewhat of a hit-or-miss operator. She is extremely useful in denying a site retake, but her Trax gadget can be dealt with relatively easily—especially if there is only a small man advantage for the attacking team. Still, Gridlock’s presence could shake things up just enough to allow for some great lockouts.

Another massive change, and maybe the most important depending on who you ask, is the removal of Auto-Relegation from Pro League. Auto-Relegation saw the bottom-ranked team in each division get bumped back down to the Challenger League.

Along with the removal of the Auto-Relegation system comes the removal of the Challenger League Playoffs. Now, the 7th and 8th ranked pro teams will square up with the top two Challenger League teams to see who deserves to snag a Pro League slot. This change makes a lot of sense—especially considering that the Challenger playoffs were particularly busted in terms of the top-ranked team not always getting to relegation matches due to pointless playoffs.

The last major change comes in the form of a map pool move. Oregon is now out of rotation and the newly reworked Kafe map will take its place. While Oregon is sometimes entertaining to watch, it ultimately has a rinse-repeat style of gameplay due to the shallow strategies that are constantly used. It isn’t that teams can only figure out one way to win, it’s that the map does not allow teams to shake up their strategies in impactful ways. Oregon could use a rework, so hopefully, that will come in Year 5.

Kafe has been reworked—to many fans’ delight. Boasting more top-floor entry points, an unrecognizable first floor, and a new Bomb objective, the map is in great shape and should be a welcome addition to the rotation. The good team graveyard is finally gone and now maybe teams can find a new and more balanced level of comfort on Kafe.

With all of these changes hitting in one day, it’s a lot to digest. These aren’t small changes, these are league-altering switches from the formula. Just the release of Lion alone is a massive change, but his pick-and-ban rate might stifle those concerns going forward. Mozzie and Gridlock could shake things up in a refreshing way, but again, they’ve been out for a whole season and pros are likely already able to adapt to having to go against the new ops. With the removal of the Auto-relegation system, it gives teams a fighting chance to prove themselves after a shaky season.

Season 10 of R6 Pro League kicks off Monday, June 17 at 11:30am CT. As usual, fans can catch all of the Pro League action here.