Canadian DarkZero Thinks Time Has Improved His Form — SiegeGG
Picture via Ubisoft
DarkZero’s 2021 season on the server has been a tumultuous one.
A pair of positive COVID-19 diagnoses at the Mexico Major crippled them in a quarter-final match against eventual champions Team oNe. They withdrew from the Swedish Major in the group stage after a very slow start. If you count the departure of Matthew “Hotancold” Stevens after the conclusion of the 2020 season, DarkZero fielded nine distinct players during the 2021 season. Alex “Skys” Magor’s post-SI departure to an analyst role to broadcast and then to Spacestation Gaming left a distinct hole in the team.
“To expect a team to be at the top of their game in three months is honestly ridiculous,” said Troy “Canadian” Jaroslawski. Indeed, Canadian, the final apparent piece of the DarkZero puzzle, wasn’t officially added until September. Each time a player is added, the roles have to be adjusted and the team has to settle in comfortably.
So far, this comfort has not fully materialized, but there are signs of life.
As far as NAL results go, DarkZero can hang their hat on an impressive 2-1 victory over Spacestation in the semi-finals of the NAL Finals tournament. “Domestic competition is not quite the same, all that matters is that you qualify for international competition,” said Canadian. He doesn’t place much importance on regional finals, but adds that the level of importance the individual places on it depends on the individual.
International competitions haven’t been going well for the entire North American region lately, for a myriad of reasons. NA teams underperformed in Mexico, sending two teams to the quarter-finals (both of which were beaten by the two Major finalists). Sweden were worse, only Spacestation made the playoffs, and they were eliminated by eventual NiP finalists.
While it’s not yet total disaster for NA, despite the constant chatter, jabs, and “Near Airport” copypastas, it has certainly sounded better in the past. However, the last two Majors were then, and this is now, and Canadian believes DarkZero, as a team, has settled into their roles. “We all have a better understanding of how we want to play the game as a team,” he said. “…Siege is a very situational game, so just understanding how to play situations with your teammates and how to help them without having to work out everything in theory beforehand…that’s a huge difference.”
Still, the hype and bluster won’t be enough to criticize NA teams. They are among the best funded and historically competitive teams on the scene. While legends from other regions have evolved or been removed, the NA titans are still around. Dylan “Bosco” Bosco and Canadian are two-time invitational champions, the core of Oxygen has been making waves internationally for years. With tenure and past success comes expectation – other former winners of the SI, Major and Pro League finals have faced similar levels of scrutiny when they underperform.
“I don’t think it’s the worst North America has been,” Canadian said. He elaborates by saying that discussing the place of the three non-LATAM regions in Rainbow Six Siege’s hierarchy is indeed pointless. All regions have their exceptional teams, but all are second fiddles to the current Brazilian dominant era.
What about the expectations of DarkZero, as a single team, at SI? Just to keep “clicking” as a team. “We just needed time to click,” said Canadian. “It was the same on SSG when I joined this team, things didn’t click for a while and then three months later we were playing really well.”
DarkZero will hit SI servers on February 8, the public start date of the Six Invitational.