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The Panix drama shows Rainbow Six esports needs a change

It’s been a week since the European Rainbow Six Siege pro scene was shaken up by the Panix drama. Dimitri “Panix” de Longeaux and coach Tony “fiskeR” Geoffroy were removed from BDS esports after qualifying for the Six Invitational 2020. It’s clear that Ubisoft and ESL need to change pro scene rules to protect other players from being used by orgs.

What is the “Panix Drama?”

Swiss-esports-player-Dimitri-Panix-de-Longeaux-former-BDS-esports-Rainbow-Six-Siege-player
Source: PanixTV

Several stories came out surrounding the removal of de Longeaux and Geoffroy from BDS,  De Longeaux had suspected he might be removed before the Invitational in a Twitlonger. There was no bad blood and no performance issues to blame, de Longeaux said. Instead, he states his ex-teammates simply wanted to bring in Team Secret’s Bryan Elemzje Tebessi. He was forced out to make way for Tebessi, who de Longeaux claims is a “friend” of his former team.

It appears that BDS esports as an organization did not want either of them to leave the team. Neither player nor coach had anything to be blamed for, and the two are examples of professionalism, the team said on Twitter.

“Despite our desire to find solutions to appease the situation and keep the current team, unfortunately we cannot find a way,” the statement reads.  The decision was made out of respect for the remaining players’ wishes to have the two removed, the team stated. Geoffroy backed the claim up with his own tweet stating the org was not to blame.

Stéphane “Shaiiko” Lebleu is the only BDS team member to mention anything publicly regarding the Panix drama. The community only has one side of the story, Lebleu said in a short and vague tweet.

Why this matters for Rainbow Six Siege esports

De Longeaux worked hard to qualify for the Six Invitational, regardless of who is telling the truth in the Panix drama. Being removed from the BDS roster may also deny him a claim to prize money. De Longeaux may miss out on a bare minimum of a $20,000 split from winnings. He may also not be eligible to join another Pro League team until February due to ESL’s rules regarding roster swaps.

Orgs using players for qualifiers – only to pull them from the roster – is unethical and unfair. It forces players into tough positions, and allows roster swaps for the Six Invitational on a whim. While the issue is not common in Rainbow Six Siege’s pro scene, it’s still a concern of player treatment. Thankfully, another esport has already dealt with this issue before.

Lessons to learn from CS:GO

Counter Strike Global Offensive official artwork

ESL should take a play from CS:GO’s stratbook to prevent others from being used like this. Valve ruled rosters can’t be changed once a team has made it through a CS:GO Major qualifier until after the tournament. This forces orgs to keep rosters intact, and offers players some form of job security. However, this in turn has been criticized in CS:GO as it forces dysfunctional or toxic teams to stay together for months at a time.

Ubisoft and ESL should make changes to balance player’s well-being and team rights. However, teams should be allowed to change Pro League rosters while letting players participate in tournaments they rightfully qualified for. This option allows orgs some flexibility, while stopping players from being disposable.

It’s on ESL and Ubisoft to ensure players are treated fairly, without forcing org’s to lock rosters for long stretches. Ironing out  these issues is just one more step for Rainbow Six Siege’s growth as an esport.

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Matthew Murray

Matthew Murray is a Canadian writer, journalist and public relations specialist. PC gamer, fan of FPS and RPGs. Follower of several esports titles including Rainbow 6, Overwatch and CS:GO. Every software or game he touches will magically have inexplicable issues somehow.
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