Let us now have a look at one of the two APAC competitors, Australian team Mindfreak. While they already participated last year on Xbox One, their roster has changed a lot since then with only one of their ex-players still being in the staring line-up. The team had taken part in the first season of APAC Pro League where it finished second the ANZ area. During the inter-regonial phase, they had managed to beat Japanese team Nora-Rengo before falling to mantis FPS, which prevented them to going to the Pro League world finals.
Even if APAC only got its own Pro League in Season 3, you had already been under the spotlight at the last Six Invitational on Xbox. Since then, things have changed, as only Acez is left on the main roster and Dizzle has become a coach. Would you have imagined seeing Mindfreak in Montreal this year?
Acez: After the first Six Invitational, we knew there was going to be a potential spot for APAC at the next major world event. With the knowledge of Rainbow Six Siege Pro League moving solely to PC, we made it our mission to successfully transition over from console and qualify for the second Six Invitational. We feel that this our strongest roster yet and I would've been surprised if we didn't qualify as one of the APAC Teams.
You will not be the only team representing the Xbox platform, as both Elevate and Supremacy will also take part in the competition. Those two teams have however been a lot more stable, with two players being swapped in the American roster and only one in the French one. Was the transition from Xbox to PC more difficult for you?
Acez: The transition was certainly more difficult for us. We received our PCs four days before our first ANZ PC competition and we also needed to fill a couple of rosters spots. This was made more difficult as we have such a small region of players to choose from. After four months, a few roster changes and finding the right roles for our players, we have finally put together the best roster in ANZ and showed up at the APAC Six Invitational Qualifiers in Sydney.
A lot of people believed you would have much competition at the APAC Pro League finals. After a close match against the Japanese team Nora-Rengo, you fell short when facing the Koreans of Mantis FPS in the semi-finals. Did the differences in the meta with these countries surprise you?
Kngz: Definitely the two metas at the time were a huge shock. How Mantis was playing took us completely by surprise as we previously had never played them nor any teams outside of ANZ before the lan.
Following the creation of APAC Pro League, do you feel players work harder now they can hope to, one day, reach a big a international competition?
Kngz: I can’t speak for everyone in APAC but in Mindfreak, there was a sudden drive to work for that dream of playing on a big stage with a huge crowd. It’s what kept us striving to improve every single day.
A few days ago, you said you were looking for scrims against European, American or Brazilian teams. Have you ever managed to practice against such teams while being in Australia, and if so, did you feel a real difference (beside the ping)?
RizRaz: We do manage to scrim teams outside our own region, however the only region besides APAC we can scrim is North America. The ping to Central US hits around 180 which is bearable for the most part, but is still a struggle during firefights.
You will start off by facing Rogue, who are used to high-level competition on the international scene. You will be outsiders just like for most of your other games at Montreal. How will you approach this game?
RizRaz: There isn’t much else we can do other than start confident and play to the best of our ability. Although majority of us are unfamiliar with high level competition on an International level, we understand the basics that come down to playing on LAN such as keeping calm, relaxed and focussed on what's in front of us.
You will then be put against either Team Liquid or ROOM FACTORY. Would you rather face the Brazilian team to embrace the event and fight one of the best teams in the world, even if it means going out early, or play it safer and face the Russians who should be more in your reach?
Either way we will have to face both of these teams in the group stage. However I think it'd be better playing the Brazilian Team Liquid first so that we can learn and improve before facing the Russian team, who we believe are more at our experience level. With the knowledge gained from playing Team Liquid, it would increase our chances of beating Room Factory.
APAC teams have struggled a lot during the first Pro League World finals. Do you hope to raise the bar, and do you have a set objective?
Magnet: We definitely hope to raise the bar at the Six Invitational. We believe we have been somewhat lucky in what teams we have in our group, unlike Eins which has extremely strong group. Our goal is to make it out of the group stage and into the top 8, from there anything can happen. We need to prove to the world that APAC deserves to be at the Six Invitational.
To finish things off, what team do you think will win the Invitational?
Magnet: I honestly don't think there is much difference between the top teams in the world that play Siege right now. There really is no clear winner. The team that will win will be the one that performs on the day. LAN can be unpredictable as seen in the past and anyone could walk away with the trophy.
As a reminder, Mindfreak is composed of:
Matthew "Acez" McHenry
Etienne "Magnet" Rousseau
Jason "Lusty" Chen
Connor "Kngz" Wickham
Ethan "RizRaz" Wombwell
Jayden "Dizzle" Saunders (Coach)
Our last interviews:
Supremacy: "BriD brought a lot to the team"
ROOM FACTORY: "Do our best and enjoy the moment"
PENTA Sports: "SHA77E fits like a glove"
Team Vitality: "We will give it all"
Black Dragons: "It's gonna be one of the most difficult groups"
Team Liquid: "We can't underestimate anyone"
1UPeSport: "Our main goal is to get out of group phase"
Evil Geniuses: "We can beat anyone"