Is It Possible To Determine The Best Siege Player of 2020?
Rainbow Six: Siege has definitely lived a turbulent year. From Spacestation Gaming taking the Six Invitational 2020 trophy, over BDS establish dominance in Europe and quickly losing it to Empire, to Spacestation eventually losing their spot at the forefront to a total underdog, the scene has been in a constant state of progression. Oh, and there also was a global pandemic that completely ground all offline competition to a halt - but it didn’t stop the players from giving this game their all.
Now that 2020 is almost over, we can take a look at all the matches and tournaments that have taken place in 2020. But in trying to find the best players, we quickly encountered a massive obstacle. After the majority of events this year has taken place online and most even were region-exclusive, how do we compare the players across different continents? For instance, South Asian player Md “Taha” Ahnaf Khaled earned himself a 1.69 rating in his region’s November Major tournament. Does that make him better than Stephané “Shaiiko” Lebleu, who only earned a 1.02 rating at the European November Major? Obviously not, because the South Asian playing field is not nearly as competitive as the European one. But now that even NA and EU have been apart for almost an entire year, there is little to no possibility to accurately compare players across these regions without resorting to some kind of ‘gut feeling’. And even if we could, we’re still lacking an actual definition of what exactly makes a player great at Rainbow Six: Siege.
WHAT CONSTITUTES ‘BEST’?
This is one heck of a question to answer. In League of Legends, for instance, support players can get a lot of credit. This is because their roles are so well-defined that it becomes easy to compare them across the board. In Rainbow Six, however, this isn't as simple to do. While there are metrics, like KOST or defusers planted, that help with determining the performance of support players, this largely goes unnoticed in the grand picture.
People tend to talk about the frags, simply because they’re the most visible and easiest measurement to discuss. A player who secures lots of kills is great and maybe better than someone who doesn’t score nearly as much. But in a situation where ‘Player One’ opens up the site by breaching a reinforced wall and ‘Player Two’ then gets two kills off of that, who was more important? The mad-fragger was the one who secured the kills, but they probably wouldn’t have got the shot if it weren’t for the hard breacher at their side. This is still an ongoing discussion and the valuation of support players largely comes down to preference - although virtually everybody agrees that there wouldn’t be an actual professional game without them. So instead of naming the one ‘best’ player, we will highlight a bunch of great individuals who have outperformed their opponents in their respective fields.
THE BEST SUPPORT PLAYERS OF 2020
The name ‘Loïc "BriD" Chongthep’ is almost synonymous with support play at this point. When he joined BDS Esport, he instantly elevated this team into the upper echelons of European Siege, advancing all the way to a second place at the European League Stage 1. At the August Major, he won four clutches and secured a 72% KOST, which he even bumped up to 81% in EUL Stage 2. When it was time for the November Major, he was in beast mode. Despite BDS eventually losing out on the trophy, he planted 14 defusers for his team, five more than the next player in line.
Troy “Canadian” Jaroslawski is a mainstay of competitive Rainbow Six: Siege. He was part of Continuum, who won the first ever Six Invitational in 2017. Ever since then, he has struggled to get back to the top, which he finally did at this year’s Six Invitational. Under Spacestation Gaming, he made it all the way to the Grand Finals. There, his team was quickly down to a 1-2 score. But on Clubhouse, SSG turned it around and afterwards delivered a 7-3 scoreline on the last map for the Grand Finals trophy. This reverse-sweep in front of a home crowd will forever make him a legend of Rainbow Six esports. All throughout the year, he has struggled to post great individual numbers. But he makes up for all of that with his support play. Similarly to BriD, he has a high number of clutches and defusers planted. Oh, and he is also the in-game-leader for Spacestation Gaming - just in case the rest wasn’t enough.
THE BEST FRAGGERS OF 2020
This year, North America has been somewhat of a mixed bag in terms of player performance. While there is obviously lots of star talent signed onto the NAL rosters, almost none of the competitors managed to consistently hold up their level throughout 2020 - with the notable exception of Paul "Hyper" Kontopanagiotis. He attained #1 and #5 spots in the US Division Stage 1 and 2 ratings, respectively, another fifth place at the August Major, and the third-highest rating for the November installation. The Major MVP, Nathanial "Rampy" Duvall, for instance, only recorded a 0.93 rating for the entirety of Stage 2. Throughout the year, Hyper has not dipped below a 1.07 rating in any competition, mostly securing figures above 1.15.
No conversation on the best Siege player of 2020 can be had without mentioning Shaiiko. While it has never been resolved whether he did actually cheat back in the day, he is now a clean and well-respected member of the community, and he definitely deserves his spot at the top. He was one of the highest-rated players at the Six Invitational 2020, garnering a 1.21 rating with 0.99 kills per round. He continued this form throughout the year and while some players overtook him at certain events, they failed to attain star ratings throughout. During Stage 2, he was the undoubted best fragger, making an average of 1.12 kills per round. A 1.36 rating put him ahead of everyone, even the likes of Maurice “AceeZ” Erkelenz or Pavel "p4sh4" Kosenko.
In most esports shooters, players can usually be impactful beyond just raw killing hordes of opponents. This holds especially true in Rainbow Six: Siege, where there is so much utility involved. With so many roles in play, it is only fitting to nominate not just one player for the MVP trophy of the year. But from all the amazing competitors that have graced our screens in 2020, BriD, Shaiiko, Canadian, and Hyper stand out.
Images via ESL | DreamHack | SiegeGG