From Navy to Siege, Lycan's life revolves around family
Lycan competing for SpaceStation Gaming
Lycan competing for SpaceStation Gaming | Provided by Spacestation Gaming

From Navy to Siege, Lycan’s life revolves around family

A long path to Siege
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Justin Woods didn’t like to spend a lot of time eating in the mess hall of the submarine he was stationed on. That’s why his shoulders tensed up when his commanding officer pulled him out of line.

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What did he do wrong? Absolutely nothing came to mind during the 50-foot walk from his food to the chief’s quarters just down the hall where other officers were waiting. When they arrived his chief picked up a piece of paper. Woods had seen other sailors receive disciplinary notes and the paper didn’t look quite right. His eyes locked with the piece of paper and he realized it was an email. A little relief flooded through his shoulders.

The officer slowly sat back in his chair and told Woods that he had an important email from his wife. She was pregnant with their second child.

The relief turned to happiness as every officer in the room burst into laughter. They congratulated him before sending him off to spread the good news.

Lycan’s path to Siege took a detour

Family man. Navy veteran. Rainbow Six Siege coach. Woods, who goes by Lycan in the Rainbow Six Siege community, couldn’t have imagined these being the tentpoles of his life 15 years ago, when he was drinking his way through college at the University of Central Missouri.

Lycan’s life now, as the coach of the 2020 Rainbow Six Siege world champion Spacestation Gaming (SSG), is all about supporting the family around him, whether that be his three biological kids – Connor, Liam and Jackson at home – or his five Siege kids – Nathanial, Dylan, Alec, Matthew and Alexander – that make up his team on SSG.

Lycan at the Six Invitational 2020
SSG came out on top of Ninjas in Pyjamas 3-2 to take home the trophy at the Six Invitational 2020. | Provided by Spacestation Gaming

“We were always super tight-knit when we were younger,” Lycan said of his sister and brother. “It’s also driven me to coach the way I coach. The team and I are a hardcore family.”

Lycan’s life has always been about family. That’s what drove him to his success, his failures and a good number of meaningful decisions in the last 33 years. He swam in high school because his sister did, enlisted in the Navy because his brother took the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery and started playing Rainbow Six Siege because his brother gave him a beta key.

“Oh, cool,” Lycan had said to his wife, Kat, when she got pregnant for the first time, and his thought process was similar the second time around. He was happy, still, telling everyone on the ship about the news. Once he made his way around the football-field sized capsule, he went to the back to the engine room to use the ship computer to send a message to his wife.

“I call him the emotion robot,” Kat said from her home in Blue Springs, Missouri. “He’s so even-keeled most of the time. There aren’t huge fluctuations in his emotions. It’s all sort of with this overlaying of chill on top.”

Lycan, Kat, Liam, Jackson and Connor celebrating the holidays.
Lycan, Kat, Liam, Jackson and Connor celebrating the holidays. | Provided by the Woods family

That even-keeled personality helped him fight through the early days of Siege, where some tournament organizers wouldn’t pay out winnings until three months after a tournament ended. It helped him go over every angle on every map, from Clubhouse to Consulate, to craft the perfect game plan for every match. It helped him fall in love with coaching at DreamHack Austin in 2018, where he realized he was a strategist at heart.

Once you get past that stoic outer layer (one fueled by sarcasm and logic) you’ll find a softer core. A core that acts like a cat for his second oldest son. A core that brings snacks to Paris to make sure his players are fed when the hotel is serving them rotten fruit. A core that values personal relationships above all else.

Lycan’s two sides make for a perfect Siege coach. One whose stoic and logical character makes breaking down complex tactics second nature and whose soft side makes friendships, built within the grind of competing at the highest level, as tight as the routine on a Los Angeles-class submarine. His commitment to Siege, his lengthy career and his players has made him a cornerstone of the Rainbow Six community.

Author
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Aron Garst
A guy who likes Fortnite and Animal Crossing.