Rainbow Six esports saw some insane moments in 2019 and not all of them are impressive for the same reasons.
With 2019 coming to an end, we wanted to take a look at some of our favorite plays from this past year of competitive play. The criteria for choosing these plays weren’t limited to simple fragging or last-minute clutches. Instead, these plays were selected based on the raw talent displayed and their larger implications for the esport.
Here are some of the best Rainbow Six plays of 2019.
AceeZ’s risky Nøkk play gives operator a future
Maurice “AceeZ” Erkelenz was a top earner for Giants Gaming in season 10, but his use of Operation Phantom Sight’s Nøkk was nothing short of amazing. Nøkk released to some stark criticism for her terribly underpowered loadout and so-so ability to temporarily deceive defender cameras. It didn’t help that the operator was also comprised of recycled abilities that basically made her an offensive amalgam of Vigil and Cav.
Where most players saw risk and weakness, AceeZ and the rest of Giants saw potential. Exploiting G2 Esports’ reliance on information operators and cameras, AceeZ was able to maneuver his way around the map picking up frag after frag. AceeZ’s use of Nøkk to catch G2 off guard and clutch up to secure the second seed in the Japan Finals was a huge surprise.
Nøkk seemingly had little to no future in the Pro League before AceeZ took her and ran with her gadget. Now, because of AceeZ, fans are seeing more Nøkk plays and the operator has become an interesting back pocket play within the league. That ending ledge vault kill was also a nice cherry on top that shows that AceeZ isn’t afraid to flex his creativity.
Beaulo ace with plant inside of 10 seconds
There was an understandable amount of hype when it was announced that Jason “Beaulo” Doty would be joining the Rainbow Six Pro League. While he and TSM underdelivered overall in the regular Pro League season, the content creator turned pro has been a consistent force overall.
This particular matchday 14 ace clutch by Beaulo stands out for several reasons. By this point in the season, TSM and Soniqs had all but cemented themselves at the bottom of the North American standings, with Rogue just barely hanging on to their Pro League slot in sixth. While Beaulo’s ace didn’t clutch out the match, it showed that although he was a rookie in the league, Beaulo is capable of keeping composure in tense situations.
Beaulo aced out the round and did so as he got the defuser down inside the 10-second mark. The dying seconds of any Pro League match are chaotic at best but Beaulo maintained composure and balanced the weight of picking up the remaining frags, securing the defuser, planting, and out-gunning the final Rogue player.
Mint’s back against the wall one-vs-five ace
Of course, DarkZero Esports are on this list. While Kyle “Mint” Lander’s ace may have taken place outside of the regular season, the USN Eastern Conference was no joke and proved to be a tough gauntlet to traverse for many Pro League teams.
Mint’s one-vs-five ace forced the pro to put himself in several precarious situations to get the job done, which is something that Parallax Gaming just didn’t expect. Standing in front of open windows to pick up the defuser and re-peeking angles showed that Mint isn’t afraid to do whatever is necessary to get the job done.
This is what a professional tier ace clutch looks like. Mint isn’t overusing the leaning, he isn’t running around in a panic, he’s taking calculated risks and capitalizing on every opportunity he can seek out.
Hungry’s face-meltingly fast Ying ace
PENTA may have gotten the boot from the Pro League at the close of season 10, but that doesn’t mean much in the highly-skilled European region. While the team faced some issues this past season, Lucas “Hungry” Reich’s inside of seven seconds Ying ace is the best-case scenario of a rush play.
In this clip, PENTA were down 3-0 to NORA-Rengo and the squad desperately needed to find some footing. Hungry’s use of Ying surprised pretty much everyone. It isn’t so much that Hungry used Ying to the fullest extent of her ability so much as it was how fast he was able to execute an ace.
Entering through a hole made by Ash, Hungry used up the Candelas when entering Armory on Border before he surgically snapped on every NORA-Rengo player. The ace took Hungry all of about seven seconds, melting everyone’s faces right off.
Goga’s Echo ace shows that support players can frag out, too
It’s only been about a month since Daniel “Goga” Mazorra Romero was let go from the G2 Esports roster. Many fans have decried the roster change, saying it was the wrong move to make.
Goga is a support player who does the jobs nobody else wants to do, like carrying the defuser or watching cams. Goga does it all, but he can also frag out when push comes to shove. Fans need to look no further than this clip from matchday 13 of season 10, which was one of Goga’s last Pro League matches with G2.
Ace clutching as a three-armor, one-speed intel operator is a tall order when the chips are down, especially in a one-vs-four situation. What sets this ace clutch apart from the rest is that Goga plays it incredibly smart by prioritizing targets, not giving his position away with random prefires, and making CHAOS come to him in the end. It’s the type of play that exemplifies why Pro League fans are upset by Goga’s removal from the roster.
LaXInG makes Warden work in Pro League
Team Reciprocity’s Gabriel “LaXInG” Mirelez is a strong player across the board, so his appearance on this list is no surprise. What’s surprising, though, is that LaXInG was able to make such a solid play on server stairs with an operator that was practically DOA.
Operation Phantom Sight gave fans two lackluster operators in Nøkk and Warden. Much like how AceeZ gave Nøkk a leg to stand on in the Pro League, LaXInG seemingly did the same for Warden. While the stakes in this match were considerably lower, LaXInG put on a masterclass performance on how to hold server stairs. LaXInG finessed this hold so well that it looked like he wasn’t even trying, but he was seemingly able to pull off this hold by using Warden’s Smart Glasses.
It’s a simple-looking hold that many pros fail. Other pros would attempt this hold with Warden in the following matchdays but none looked quite as successful as LaXInG’s hold. It was an unexpected move to put Warden into play but it was even more unexpected that LaXInG made the operator work for his team.
Gotcha steps up for Evil Geniuses
Fans will say what they will about Aaron “Gotcha” Chung, but there’s no denying this flex by the coach turned player. Gotcha stepped in for Emilio “Geoometrics” Leynez Cuevas several times in season 10 of the Pro League. While fans have seen a coach step in for a player on several occasions, none played as well as Gotcha.
Going against the unpredictably aggressive Luminosity on Villa, Gotcha really met them on their level. An aggressive second floor Castle roam paid off in spades for Evil Geniuses and added insult to injury by pushing a 6-0 scoreline. Gotcha didn’t regularly play at this point, but he flexed massive map knowledge that really paints him as the best of both worlds—part coach, part player, and the frags to top it off.
Seeing a coach step up for his team was a huge surprise and has changed Gotcha’s trajectory in the Pro League. After a stint as TSM’s coach followed by filling in for ex-TSM player Sam Jarvis, Gotcha has found himself replacing Geo on the EG roster. This play against Luminosity is definitely one of the reasons the org was keen on picking him back up as a player.