XSET will enter Rainbow Six Siege‘s NAL with a core of three players from the Challenger League RentFree roster: Tom “Tomas” Kaka, Xavier “Filthy” Garcia, and Adam “Drip” Kolodkin. They’ll be joined by Tim “Creators” Humpherys and Alex “Butterzz” O’Campo.
“So like all of us, we’re not here to just like say we’re here, we want to be the best of the best,” Kaka said. The roster believes that with time, they can challenge the top teams in North America. “I do believe 100% with this roster, we will be that that team that people speak about.”
XSET has been wanting in the Rainbow Six Siege scene for quite some time. Marco Mereu, COO of XSET, ran content company Frame Rate and noticed the numbers for the Rainbow Six content had particularly strong engagement. “We recognize you got a solid publisher, a terrific game, it’s continuing to grow a diehard fan base, and an opportunity to sign, you know, a team that really played their way into it,” said Mereu.
The RentFree roster was introduced to XSET through Ubisoft shortly after winning the second stage of U.S. Challenger League, which set them up to play a relegation match against the eighth-place U.S. Division team. If they won, they would join the NAL. The match was unnecessary, though; Tempo Storm and eUnited both left the scene, and their rosters were automatically relegated.
The sudden free agency of 25 percent of the NAL’s premiere division coupled with the Susquehanna Soniqs and Disrupt Gaming making significant roster changes has made this one of the more wide-open offseasons in Rainbow Six history.
“Thomas, Drip and I had our eyes on Creators for a long time,” Filthy said. “We’ve always known he was a phenomenal player. He was on the new look Soniqs. When we played them in Invite Quals, I kind of had to coax him a little bit to not sign with them. I’m like, yeah, dude, we have this here, we have the foundation.”
The next stage of the NAL will be played offline, the way the NAL was intended when announced back at the Six Invitational 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the NAL to move to online play, but recent offline events like the November Mini-Major and the U.S. Finals were played offline at the Esports Arena in Las Vegas.
XSET coach “Brycer” believes the LAN league could bring more parity to the top-heavy NA region. “Now there’ll be no teams that have a specific advantage due to having a team house,” he said. “We’ve seen this in previous Pro League seasons, where a team with a team house is much more likely to do well, because they’re all living together, they’re practicing more, they don’t have other jobs, things like that. So that’s going to give everyone that level playing field.”
There will be three stages of the NAL in 2021, and for now, the system will shift from its previous format to one similar to the ESL-run Pro League. There will be seven weeks of best-of-one playdays, with the final week consuming three playdays. There’ll be significantly more screen-time for organizations to build their brand and a new stage as well.
The offline competition in the NAL will begin March 24.