An investigation into the internal issues and subsequent break-up of Germany’s best Rainbow Six: Siege team
OrgLess. After failing to qualify for the season 7 playoffs of the Siege Pro League, the German squad faced major changes. Due to internal disputes, they subsequently left their previous organization, 1UP ESPORT. According to statements from players, promises were made by the organization that weren’t delivered. The roster decided to remain together and brand themselves as OrgLess moving into season 8 of the Pro League.
At the time the roster consisted of the following:
- Niklas “KS” Massierer (Captain)
- Jan “ripz” Hucke
- Lucas “Hungry” Reich
- Christian “PARAA” Can
- Maurice “AceeZ” Erkelenz
- Lasse “Lazzo” Klie (Coach)
Season 8 of the Pro League commenced at the end of June, implementing radical changes to the rule set. Operator and map pick and ban systems were introduced, as well as an alternating defense and attack round structure. Throughout the first half of the season, OrgLess were an adequate team. They would go the distance against the best in the region, but simply fail to close out matches.
The team, by no means, was considered soft competition in the highly competitive European region. They remained ranked fourth in the European region and the top German Rainbow Six Siege team in the world. By all accounts, the team seemed poised to become playoff contenders given minor improvements in their gameplay. What baffled fans was that the roster remained independently funded. Everyone was speculating about which next big organization would step into the scene and acquire the German roster.
The team also resorted to starting a GoFundMe page to finance themselves for DreamHack Valencia in July. Luckily, a nonprofit organization named “Charity Nerds” was kind enough to donate a majority of the funds needed. As a result, the German roster attended the tournament under the charity’s name. The fact that a talented roster such as OrgLess remained self-funded for so long could indicate that top-tier organizations were not ready to completely invest in the Siege scene yet.
Trouble in Paradise
Unbeknownst to the rest of the Siege community, internal issues within the roster had been simmering. After months of not being salaried and a lack of support, the team started to have disputes amongst themselves. The issue was first made public on July 28, when PARAA would tweet an abstract image:
— PARAA (@PARAAr6) July 27, 2018
Fellow teammate Hungry would tweet a reply with the following emojis:
— Hungry (@Hungry_R6) July 27, 2018
Fans of Siege all over the internet started to speculate that Germany’s top team was about to implode. On the same day that PARAA tweeted out the image, PARAA would release a TwitLonger post that officially announced his departure from the team, as well as his reasons why. According to the account, most of the contention stemmed from organization disputes with the team captain, KS.
The team’s coach, Lazzo, would release a statement the following day on July 29 that confirmed both PAARAA and Hungry’s departure from the team. The coach’s perspective was more neutral but did confirm that the team could not agree on offers from two different unnamed organizations. As well, Lazzo would attempt to debunk PARAA’s criticisms of KS, ultimately defending the ex-PENTA Sports player. Finally, two days after Lazzo’s TwitLonger, Hungry would release an entire six-page Google document that detailed the events that occurred leading up to their departures.
Behind the Scenes
Despite the anecdotal differences between the three accounts, there is an agreed narrative to this series of unfortunate events. An initial organization had made an offer to OrgLess, but due to past issues regarding payment and promises between the team and other organizations, the roster was skeptical of offers. KS especially appeared to have issues with signing contracts, unless he felt completely comfortable. The main issue PARAA and Hungry faced was familial pressure to officially sign in order to receive some sort of salary. The team has been playing for months without pay and it made sense that the two were expecting to finally earn an income.
After hearing negative accounts from past players and staff from the initial organization, KS would push to sign another offer. Two sides formed within the team based on whether they would sign with the initial organization or the latter. Unfortunately, a lack of good communication between PARAA and KS would ultimately lead to the two sides not being able to resolve their debate. In the end, PARAA and Hungry would decide that they could not play in an environment where KS had the final word and finally departed from the team. While some players would state that the initial org’s offer was superior, without knowing the actual contracts offered, that statement would remain subjective.
The European Shuffle
The few months following the OrgLess drama have been fairly uneventful. OrgLess would not have any appearances besides the Six Major Paris, where they would fail to make it out of groups. In the meantime, they would add Tom “Vale” Riedel and Lukas “korey” Zwingmann to their roster. However, the start of September would see AceeZ leave the team for an unspecified team. This could have been seen as a major hit to the team as AceeZ was arguably their best player. It would be revealed that AceeZ would join the French team of Millenium. PARAA would join the team T3H eSports, going into season 8 of the Challenger League. Hungry would go on to join Mock-it Esports, and have a strong showing at DreamHack Montreal 2018.
As the second half of season 8 of the Pro League approached, the European scene would see a major roster shuffle. The catalyst for all these moves was G2 Esports’ sudden acquisition of PENTA Sports right before the Six Major Paris. With the European scene having two top-tier organizations in the Pro League, many people expected more acquired rosters. Conversely, shortly after DreamHack Montreal 2018, PENTA Sports would obtain the Mock-it Esports roster. Almost as if these teams were dedicated to staying in Pro League, Mock-it Esports would go ahead and grab the OrgLess roster.
Ironically, the OrgLess roster would finally find a home but not without a prolonged roster swap. We might never know whether the pick-up by Mock-it Esports was influenced by outside factors or not. It is fortunate that all these skilled players have found a team and are still actively playing the game. As it stands, all three teams (Millenium, Mock-it Esports, and PENTA Sports) make up the middle-of-the-pack of the European region. Simply maintaining a strong standing in the Pro League was one of the best outcomes out of this messy shuffle. In the end, nothing really has changed in Europe except the names on the roster. Bridges were burnt and friendships were broken. That begs the question: Was this dissolution of Germany’s best team really worth it? We may never know.