Regarding the ESL statement.
It was clear half way through the season that to compete at the level in which I desired we would have to make changes to our current roster. We had a meeting and after looking at what NA talent was available, I made the suggestion we should also look at EU. I am new to the Rainbow Six competitive scene, and did not know that region transfers where an uncommon thing. Transfers are normal in most scenes I have worked in. Onto my radar came Slebben and Gomfi. After just a short conversation and realizing their current unpaid situation I was more than willing to pay the fees and bring them to NA to compete for the Soniqs. The feedback we got from this was fantastic and I thank all of you for that. I would not expect players to pick up and move their lives to a foreign country without making sure everything was provided for them. I signed the players on a two year deal which included a P1 (professional athlete) Visa and accommodation for the next two years. I was informed by ESL that the players would need a long term visa and proof of accommodation which I was more than willing to supply. This was early August. After applying for the visa, the government requested additional information. This is not uncommon in esports as it is still a relatively new scene! (nothing I have not dealt with before). I requested the additional information from Ubisoft and ESL. Towards the end of August I got most but not all of the information requested by the government. Due to the time frame we were given we had to submit this information for us to be given any chance of getting a visa in time for the pro league to start.
Unfortunately the information that was not given to us on our additional request is still being required in order for the visas to be accepted. I was informed that B1/B2 visa would be sufficient as a long term visa. However, this is unacceptable to our organization’s high standards. I would not expect the players to move to the USA on a six month tourist visa. Securing the long term future of my team in Rainbow Six is a top priority of mine and as anyone who has worked with me before knows the players welfare is always my number one concern. Our lawyers who are handling the process have informed us that the players are legally allowed to compete under their 3 month visa (and the players want to compete!). However this does not meet the ESL requirement of at least a 6 month visa to be allowed to compete. I did argue the fact that I have proven my commitment to the league and the players and that their current visas would allow them to lawfully play out the rest of the season by which time the additional information originally requested could be obtained. I will respect ESL decision that this rule is in place to “avoid non-dedicated participants coming to the country for a short time to play and then go back” but disagree that this is our intention.
I thank ESL and Ubisoft for their continued hard work behind the scenes in helping us obtain the correct visa so the players can have a future with our team in Rainbow Six. I am thankful for John and Jason (Avian and Ghxst) for stepping back up to our roster on short notice, we are lucky to have two professionals willing to step up for the team.
I personally will continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes to make this happen. The time frame was short but that did not deter us. I am sorry to the fans who were excited to see this come to fruition. Please know that we have done everything in our power to make this happen in the time frame provided. The outcome is out of our control. We love the game and its community and look forward to a long future together.
Darren “Tribizzle” Moore