Betting on your own games is bad enough. But just for good measure, a high profile Rainbow 6 Siege (R6) team has landed themselves right in the shit for deliberately throwing a game for better competitive seeding.
The Japanese head coach for CYCLOPS athlete gaming, Japan’s best R6 squad and a recent qualifier for the R6 November Major later this year, has absolutely dropped his team right into the thick of it. After smashing the second phase of the APAC’s North Division qualifier, with wins over Australia’s Fnatic squad, Cloud9, Giants Gaming and GUTS Gaming — basically the best teams in the bracket — CYCLOPS, otherwise known as CAG, dropped their final match 3-7.
It could have happened to anyone, but fans noticed during the game that the Japanese stars seemed a little off their game. And not long after the loss, CAG head coach Hibiki ‘XQQ’ Motoyama posted on Twitter that his team deliberately threw the match because of the way R6‘s competitive seeding system works.
The post was a reply to some calculations done by another member of the Japanese R6 community, who was working out the various permutations of the qualifier’s second phase. In competitive R6, teams earn points based on their final standings, which feeds not just into the prizes for that qualifier but also determines who goes through to the grand finals.
So some users gamed out what the worst situation would be. If CAG won their final game, but Cloud9 also won, then CAG would finish third and Cloud9 would walk away with more seeding points and money. If CAG lost, but Cloud9 won, the same scenario would apply. Mathematically, CAG’s best hope of a high place finish to lose their final game to QConfirm — who wouldn’t go on to qualify anyway, but would help push Cloud9 further down in the final standings.
The problem here is that the final placing in the qualifier also impacts seeding going into the grand finals, which is a huge deal. So a team coach admitting that they deliberately lost to improve their standing naturally isn’t on, and it’s even expressly spelled out in the official rules with a maximum fine of $US5,000 and 12 months suspension. Members of the R6 community, and sites like Dexerto and Stevivor, naturally went ballistic at the revelations, because it just utterly tramples upon every principle in competitive gaming.
Unsurprisingly, the resulting shitstorm did not go down well for Motoyama, who later posted that the decision might end their competitive career.
Motoyama hasn’t posted on Twitter since then, as you’d expect. An official sanction or ruling hasn’t been handed down by the league or Ubisoft yet, but surely you’d imagine that something will be done before the APAC League Finals and the November 2020 Major. Hopefully.