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Fnatic / Interview

Rainbow Six Siege: RizRaz and Lusty prepare for Milan

On May 18th, Fnatic’s Rainbow Six Siege team will step onto the stage in Milan for the Pro League Season 9 finals.

Standing in their way of the semi-finals is Nora-Rengo who are currently the only APAC team to have ever made an international semi following their win over us at the Invitational.

With revenge in mind, we spoke to Ethan “RizRaz” Wombwell and Jason “Lusty” Chen during their bootcamp in London to see how the team is feeling ahead of the finals.

Starting things off, how is the London bootcamp going? Are you guys getting good practise ahead of Milan?

RizRaz: “It's been really good! We spent the first couple of days resetting our sleep schedules but now that we're on track we've been getting in a lot of practise against some of the really strong European teams so this trip has been treating us pretty well.”

Lusty: “We've been screaming a lot, at least six to eight hours a day. Playing the European teams has been really different, compared to Australian teams they're a lot more experienced and there are more teams here to scrim against. It's been great!”

Australia held a large CS:GO event with IEM Sydney recently which had a great crowd show up. How are you finding esports are developing in Australia?

RizRaz: “It's so slow in Australia, I don't think the country has recognised esports at all yet. Our internet alone is one of the worst in the world in terms of speed so streaming is incredibly difficult, it's extremely hard for pro players to get their name out there.

IEM Sydney is a huge step in the right direction, I think that's the biggest esports event Australia has held. If that happens consistently every year, maybe more companies will realise the Australian crowd is very passionate and there's a lot of opportunities they could invest in. But for now, it's really slow.”

You guys have now been with Fnatic for over a year, how have things changed for you since joining the organisation?

Lusty: We're super honoured to be a part of Fnatic, everything has been so much better since joining. It's allowed us to have more bootcamps, they've given us salaries and a lot of support not only financially but with other things like mental coaching too.”

RizRaz: “I feel like ever since we joined the org, we've been a lot more respected by the other teams. When we were under other names, people would assume they could deal with us easily. People still do that a little bit because we're from APAC but ever since having the Fnatic title, we've been recognised as a threat.”

Moving forward to Milan, you guys are going to face Nora-Rengo who you've played against a hell of a lot. Is there a rivalry starting to bloom there and how confident are you in beating them?

RizRaz: “When they stopped us from getting to the semi-finals of the Invitational, they had Wokka who was arguably their superstar at the time. They no longer have him and when we beat them in the APAC finals, I think it showed that he was a very key part to their structure. They seem to be our kryptonite beating us here and there though we fight back.

“I think ESL want to see this rivalry go considering they've put us first game against our best friends but we're confident going into that game, after beating them recently we think we've developed an understanding of their play-style and how they keep their momentum in games. We think we understand how to tackle the beast that is Nora-Rengo that beats us all the time.”

Lusty: “I think we're pretty confident going into the game, obviously being a fellow APAC team we know all of their strategies. I think we'll do fine, this our seventh or eighth time facing them and I'm really looking forward to it. With the bootcamp we'll definitely be prepared.”

Now you guys have a lot more experience at international events, that's surely got to be a huge boost going into Milan. If you can defeat Evil Geniuses with your coach playing, you must feel like you can do anything.

RizRaz: “Absolutely. The more events we attend, the more we play, the more confident we are for the next one. No matter the outcome, we forget it and move on.”

Lusty: “The first time we went to an international event was the Invitational in 2018I think. When we went their we weren't very structured and it showed. I think we've improved so much since then.”

An APAC team hasn't won an international major yet, how confident are you guys that you can change that?

RizRaz: “With this upcoming tournament, arguably the best Rainbow Six team G2 aren't attending. I think we have a really good chance of winning this time and a lot of people think the same. With G2 gone, it's really close and there's no clear winner. It could be LeSteam, it could be Empire, it could be us, EG have always been a second place team losing to G2 but they've also lost to us before. With it being able to go either way, we've got a great chance to push things in our favour by utilising this bootcamp and playing well.”

After the interview, both players wanted to give a message to the fans: “A big thank you to our fans, you're always behind us whether we win or lose. The fans back in Australia, Japan and the entire APAC region, you're a huge driving force behind our success and we really appreciate it.”

You can cheer on Fnatic when we face Nora-Rengo on Saturday May 18th at 01:00pm CEST. With both teams knowing each other so well it promises to be an amazing match, you won’t want to miss it!