Milosh and the broadcasting crew work hard to deliver a great show during the pandemic.

17:30, 17 Sep 2020

Ghassan “MiloshTheMedic” Finge is a renowned esports personality and currently hosts the desk for various Rainbow Six: Siege competitions. He has spent many years casting a multitude of esports titles, and has been knee-deep in R6 action for the past couple of years. The R6 team had grand plans for 2020, but the coronavirus has forced Ubisoft to scrap many of their ideas for this year. We sat down with MiloshTheMedic to see how he has dealt with the pandemic, and the changes to the Siege ecosystem throughout 2020.

First off, how have you personally been coping with the current situation?

It’s difficult to get anything done during COVID. Obviously, moving to Germany makes things better in some ways and more difficult - temporarily - in others. For instance, when you need paperwork done, or you need to prepare for moving. All of these ‘life things’ that you normally wouldn’t have to deal with, and on top of that, of course, your work life. You want to make sure that your show is the best it can be, you have to prepare with people that are in different time zones. So all of those difficulties add in. It makes it more complicated, but I’m happy to see that, despite the limitations we have between myself and the entire crew, we’re able to really deliver a great show every single time. 

It doesn’t feel the same way. I’ve been working in a studio for the past three years. It feels weird not going to events anymore, but you know what? If it has to be done for a bit, then so be it. We’ll just make sure that people are enjoying their time, and it’s not like we haven’t got great games in the meantime. 

Can you share with us some of the things that we might have experienced if Ubisoft had been able to continue with their original plans for 2020?

Well, the original plan, first of all, was to have all of the casters that you now see working on EU League move to Europe and to be able to easily travel to Paris. For instance, I won’t be moving my residency there, but I’ll be working in Paris for the studio shows. So the goal was to have everyone in Paris, or at least on this continent, by May or June 2020. Have everybody signed on the program, have everybody in, have rehearsals in early June. A couple of weeks of preparation, maybe some big meetings, storyboarding, all of that. You know, the good stuff that our ‘colleagues’ at LEC do. I like to say colleagues because they’re just so good at what they do. Seeing how they do things, well, this is what we want to do. A lot of things when it comes to managing talent and what we do day to day was supposed to be something like that.

BDS had a big authority and personality problem at the Six Invitational.

But currently, it’s difficult with COVID, even shipping everybody over. Living in Berlin is different from living in Paris. Not just life cost, but also Paris as a city. All of those things factor in, and had to be taken in mind when, suddenly, the decision was ‘oh well, we can’t really take anybody anywhere’.

Usually, I don’t speak in other people’s names, but it’s a very common thing. We would all rather wait until it’s all safe and good before we start doing anything too crazy. We want everybody to be safe and healthy, and that’s something that Ubisoft has definitely pushed forward many times.

After the discontinuation of Pro League, a lot of famous faces have exclusively left for the North American League. Are you getting along with the new broadcast squad?

I worked with z1ronic, Jess, Dev... I also worked with dezachu. It was DreamHack Valencia, his first-ever Siege LAN and his big break, basically. I was desk host at that event, which was last summer. I hadn't worked with Geo or Fluke before, although I've worked with Ace at Red Bull Gaming Sphere in April, I think. I've even casted with Jacky. We used to cast Counter-Strike way back in the day. So Geo and Fluke are the only ones I hadn't worked with before the show.

I'm just very happy that Fluke was a part of our show. I hope that she'll be part of more things in the future, because you saw the energy, the personality, the way that everybody was working together. I don't think anybody can deny that the personality of the team and the individuals is so great and fits so well together. Everything was done in the moment, there was nothing really pre-planned. It was all very human, very real. I really love working with my co-workers, I think they're super fun.

Most recently, you crowned BDS Esport as the winners of the European Rainbow Six Major. We've heard you and the analysts discuss this victory already, but just in short: how did they manage to win this event?

BDS had a big authority and personality problem at the Six Invitational. Their former player, rxwd, was not fitting. It was very loud, very angry in comms. I sat next to them, and I know what that's like. Elemzje is an amazing in-game-leader, I have to say. In my opinion, he's the real key, but I don't want to take anything away from the players, or from their coach, who they just recently signed on. They had a coach trial for them during the Major, and because they got so far and won the whole thing, that coach was hired, deservedly so.

Their coach had a big impact in allowing them to scout what their opponents have. This is, of course, a big power for teams like DarkZero in NA, or a team like G2 in EU. But this was the missing part, a coach, and secondly, a hard support that you can always rely on in BriD. BriD was a great addition, Elemzje can now finally do his work correctly, Shaiiko can frag out when necessary, and you have a coach. You also have players on the squad who will do everything necessary for a victory. 

Heading into EUL Stage 2, there have been a few roster changes to the teams. Do you think that they will play similarly, or will another team rise to the top spot?

There's a decent chunk of roster changes, for example, the Chaos roster change. I know you mentioned EU League, but I want to turn the people's focus onto EU Challenger League. Because a lot of the changes with NaVi and Chaos, for example, are going to have a big effect on EUCL. All of those players either have to find a home within EUL or go to Challenger League. That's really something that people have to keep in mind. If you can't make it in EUL, that makes EUCL even more exciting than usual. Not only do you already have great teams that are national winners in their regions, but also players that have a lot of experience coming in, maybe helping certain CL teams that would have needed this in the past. I'm super excited to see where the players for EUL fall off into Challenger League. 

Image via ESL

Turning the focus back to EUL, who do you think will be the four teams to make it to the next Major installation?

Rogue, definitely. I still think that they can make it through the online season. It’s just that when they get to the Finals or a LAN event, that’s where it gets a bit more difficult. So Rogue, BDS, G2, definitely. I think NaVi should make it up to those Top Four. showed that they’re a really good team. But they still have to fix some things, their start to Stage 1 was not good. So if they’re able to fix that, I could definitely see VP in the Top Four again. I expect a repeat of the same teams that made it in this Major to also make it to the next one. But I wouldn’t be surprised if an overhauled NaVi might give us a better showing. 

Last question. Ubisoft have recently announced the third phase of their esports programme, dubbed “R6 SHARE”. What do you think about this? Is this going to improve the R6 esports landscape?

Definitely, there’s a reason why esports organisations are signing up for all of this. Now, this is going to include over 40 teams. Pretty much everybody is going to have a spot within the system with different tiers. The size of your org and your investment in Siege will correlate with the tier you have within the system. I think it’s very fair.

For those who don’t know, it’s very expensive to run an esports team. Usually, a lot of esports teams run at a loss for a long, long time. So I’m not surprised that teams will be all over something like this. Because what do you want most as an organisation? It’s to have your name not just out there for everybody, but literally in a game. Physically present in a video game, where everybody can take a look at you, see who you are and what you do. And pay money to support you and your players. 

Images via SiegeGG | ESL

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