This Is 6Mans - Impact
Love it or hate it, 6Mans is an integral part of the Rocket League esports scene. It's a highly competitive alternative to ranked matchmaking. Players queue in their separate ranks until six in a given rank have thrown their digital hat into the ring. In a twist on ranked matchmaking, the players have to hop into their team's designated voice call, which encourages more communication. Matches are best of five, as opposed to best of one, and the match winners take a step towards ranking up. In this, the second and final article of the series, I explore 6Mans in its current form and its co-dependency on the competitive ecosystem.
- Read More - This Is 6 Mans - Origin
Aspire, the main developer for 6Mans told me a little more about the tightrope walking required to maintain the balance:
"I'd say the hardest issue that can never be solved is keeping the community happy. The main objective of 6Mans is providing a competitive environment alternative to ranked and, especially in the higher 6Mans ranks, there is a lot to be done in order to ensure that competitiveness. We're constantly managing higher ranks in order to ensure the highest possible level of competitions and practice."
Some of the methods the platform uses to achieve this are rank checking and the highly divisive council system.
We constantly try our best to keep that in check by muting and banning people.
Rank checking allows players who have not played 6Mans before or for an extended period of time to start at an appropriate rank. Only the very highest ranks (S and X) have councils, and they decide who should and shouldn't retain their spot or be promoted.
"Related to that arise issues like toxicity, which is one of two big issues we incessantly work on. We constantly try our best to keep that in check by muting and banning people (depending on the offence) in order to provide a safe and welcoming environment for everyone."
Gianluca “sosa” Petrozza of Plot Twist has been both a rookie in the 6Mans system and an active member of the NA council in the past, and I had the pleasure of talking with him about his experiences:
“It [promoting into the highest ranks] was a scary prospect, but I was confident in my ability to prove to the members that I was worthy of the rank, and I knew that even if I did demote I would improve while grinding it no matter what.”
Sosa at the WGN North American Championship
“My time as a council member was good, I liked grinding the rank for over 60 series a month, so I knew that my judgement would be like no other when it came down to voting on the players. That being said, and although there were five members to the council, I would take the most criticism because I would play the most on the council, do the announcements for who demoted and promoted, and took all the questions and answered them from people who wanted to know more about the reasoning of the votes. People would come to me directly acting like I was the only one voting on them.”
Sosa and Aspire aren't the only ones who have voiced issues with 6Mans though: In talks with other pros and bubble players, I've received complaints ranging from a bias towards mechanical players to a lack of anonymity while queuing. Dignitas coach Virge was particularly scathing:
"You put the power of making or breaking someone's career in the hands of players who are still very young and immature. This allows for bias and creates an uneven playing field for players to obtain their goals because other players are the ones voting them in and out of the highest ranks."
In addition to this, recent tweets from Endpoint's virtuoso and Spacestation's Tri House encouraging Psyonix to overhaul the Standard and Solo Standard ranked modes have attracted 2,000 likes between them. If implemented, those changes could draw players back from 6Mans. Needless to say, 6Mans has tough times ahead.
Despite everyone's personal gripes, the consensus is that a lot of pros and bubble players would not have reached where they are today without 6Mans:
Psycho (Los Spanneros, B+): "An essential way to increase your potential opportunities competitively, should you progress well through the system. Also, a great platform to track your competitive progression."
Blaze. (Butter!, B+): "It's definitely helped out my name as its turned me from some random ranked player with pretty nuts mechanics but no name whatsoever to someone who's able to use their mechanics effectively at a higher level."
Speed (Team Liquid, Pro): "I got out of this bubble scene through 6Mans. I found fruity originally on The Bricks with Shakaron because we were three high-level rank X players in 6Mans. I think the impact of 6Mans on the bubble scene is massive."
Thanks to Aspire, Plitz, sosa, Speed, Psycho and Blaze. for their time and stay tuned at GGRecon for more Rocket League esports news, interviews and features!
Images via 6Mans | WorldGaming Network