Two Rainbow Six: Siege players for Susqeuhanna Soniqs in the North American Pro League have been barred from playing until they get the correct visa.
The Susquehanna Soniqs are a middling team in the North American Rainbow 6 Pro League. They made a run to the playoffs of Dreamhack Montreal, finished in 7-8th at the Raleigh Major qualifier, and qualified for their first Pro League season in these last few months.
In an attempt to remain competitive at the top level of Rainbow Six pro play, the organisation signed two new players from Europe - Alex ‘SlebbeN’ Nordlund and Santino ‘Gomfi’ de Meulenaere. However, ESL has blocked the players from playing in Pro League due to visa issues.
The Soniqs announced the transfer on September 1, with the expectation that the players would be available to play after the Pro League break finished mid-month. ESL rules state that players must have valid documentation to stay in their new country to play.
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“Changing regions requires obtaining a valid long term visa, defined as more than 90 days, as well as evidence of long term habitation,” it states.
Before they were set to play their first game on September 23 with the new lineup, ESL released a statement regarding the player’s eligibility in Pro League, saying that they had not received the required documentation to play.
“Soniqs informed ESL on September 20 that (they) have not obtained such documentation in time for their debut, and thus they will not be able to play until they provide it,” said the statement.
— ESL Rainbow Six (@ESLRainbowSix) September 23, 2019
General Manager of Susquehanna Soniqs, Darren ‘Tribizzle’ Moore, released a response to ESL’s statement, mentioning that he requested additional information from Ubisoft and ESL but is yet to receive it.
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“Unfortunately, the information that was not given to us on our additional request is still being required in order for the visas to be accepted,” he said.
SlebbeN and Gomfi’s move to the North American organisation was the first major cross-continental trade of its kind in Rainbow Six esports. The duo used to be a part of GiFu eSports in Europe, and had played for the Soniqs roster at DreamHack Montreal.
It was part of the team’s commitment to the game, as well as an attempt to salvage their Pro League season to avoid relegation.
“Securing the long term future of my team in Rainbow Six is a top priority of mine, and as anyone who has worked with me knows, the player’s welfare is always my number one concern,” said Tribizzle.
— Soniqs (@SoniqsEsports) September 23, 2019
The team were forced to play with members of their dropped lineup - John ‘Avian’ Ackerly and Jason ‘GhxsT’ Luu - in their matchup against powerhouse roster DarkZero. They lost the match 7-1.
The Soniqs have three more matches in Season 10 Pro League, with their next game set to take place on September 25 against Luminosity. They currently sit in last place with one win next to their name.