Japanese Rainbow Six Siege team accused of match throwing in APAC North

23/10/2020 Ubisoft has stated that the throwing allegations are currently under investigation.

A Rainbow Six Siege esports team playing in the APAC North division has sparked a massive debate over the tournament’s structure after appearing to intentionally lose a game in order to qualify for a major.

The second and final phase of APAC North Stage 2 concludes today, October 22, but Japanese team CYCLOPS athlete gaming found itself in an unusual position earlier due to the competition’s complicated format. Essentially, if it were to win its fixture against Thai team QCon and Cloud9 were also to win, CYCLOPS would be out of contention to qualify as a top seed for next month’s regional Six Major. However, if CYCLOPS were to lose, it would actually guarantee a top two spot in the APAC North standings and qualify as a top seed, meaning it would head straight to the semi-finals of that tournament. SiegeGG’s Shikhar Gupta clarifies how this is actually possible here.

CYCLOPS went on to lose against QCon. The team’s coach, Hibiki ‘XQQ’ Motoyama, then caused a stir in the pro community after quote tweeting a breakdown of the possible outcomes of the match with the caption: “For anyone who [was] wondering why we played like that.”

The following fallout saw XQQ also tweet it was the “worst day” of his competitive career and that it could be his last game as CYCLOPS coach.

The original tweet is now deleted, but it was captured and recirculated by analyst Jack ‘Fresh’ Allen. This then sparked a debate about morals, competitive integrity in Siege esports, and whether APAC North’s system is fit for purpose.

G2’s Niclas ‘Pengu’ Mouritzen is one of the most high-profile players to wade in and sympathises with CYCLOPS’ situation.

“If losing puts me in a BETTER position, it’s arguably my job to do so?” suggests Pengu in response to Fresh’s tweet. “YES it’s my job to be a professional, but if the system works this way, why on EARTH would I risk my own spot at major/invite by WINNING when I can lose?”

Meanwhile others, such as ex-pro, caster, and content creator Alex ‘z1ronic’ Dalgaard-Hansen, are dubbing CYCLOPS as “disgusting” for being unprofessional and disrespectful to the competition.

The general consensus appears to be that CYCLOPS deserves to be punished in some form for what looks like intentional throwing, but that the team’s decision to do so was due to the complicated nature of APAC North’s format.

The official rulebook for the competition states that intentionally losing matches can land teams a maximum fine of $5,000 and a suspension of up to 12 months.

When asked to comment on the matter, an Ubisoft spokesperson told The Loadout: “The allegations are currently under investigation with the help of our partner in the region.”

The Loadout has also reached out to CYCLOPS staff.