Rainbow Six Siege’s Lion rework works wonders
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G2 Esports explain how Lion's new rework shakes up Rainbow Six Siege

Pengu and Shas[O]Udas of G2 Esports, the reigning world champs, discuss Lion’s overpowered past, the operator’s recent rework, and how he’s now a niche and strategic choice in Rainbow Six Siege.
By Adam Fitch
5 min readPublished on
Ever since he was introduced with Operation Chimera, Lion has been a somewhat cheap and unfair choice in Rainbow Six Siege – whether that’s in casual play, ranked, or in the Pro League. His ability to ping a map and see the locations of players was helpful but, for many, incredibly unfair and meant he had no place in the game. Ubisoft reacted to this by banning the offensive operator for the first part of the Pro League’s ninth season in November last year – giving teams a moment of relief.
“To simplify it, he made you unable to play the game,” says Niclas ‘Pengu’ Mouritzen, a player in the dominant G2 Esports line-up. “When he used his gadget, there was a three second duration where if you move you will be spotted through walls and you literally cannot play the game. It was the most frustrating thing ever to play against, but playing on the team of Lion, it was just beautiful. You were wallbanging people and it was gratifying, but not being able to move is genuinely a competitive killer.”
The news of Lion’s competitive vaulting was received almost universally well, of course, as Rainbow Six Siege is a game of strategy and position – two components that were almost thrown out of the window whenever he came along. On March 20, Ubisoft confirmed that a drastic rework for Lion would be heading to the test server, but how did they decide on what would be a viable replacement for his exploitative capabilities?
“G2 Esports worked pretty closely with Ubisoft specifically to work with them on a fix that makes it viable in the sense of being useful but not being overpowered to the point where he needs to play every round – making him more of a niche pick,” says Mouritzen. “We wanted to give them a purpose but not make him become mandatory, nor did we want him to be useless to the point where if you pick him you're trolling; we had to find that middleground. I think we've done a pretty good job of that actually.”
Players from G2 Esports – a team that has won every event it has competed in under the organisation – attended workshops hosted by Ubisoft, and during the latest venture, they looked at the final concepts of the rework. Questions were floated around regarding how his ping should work and what the operator should actually track, but ultimately, the amendments were all made with one common goal: making him a fair and viable choice in the game with a tactical purpose.
Having a deep operator pool allows more strategy to be employed in matches, as if you’re constrained to the same few operators then, naturally, the ways they can be utilised will be limited. Bringing Lion back into the competitive operator rotation with a specific purpose allows for new strategies to be constructed and implemented, making the game more competitive and the viewing experience even better for fans.
“We tested him pretty intensely at the latest workshop and we came up with the conclusion that you could actually even buff him a little bit, but he’s viable in his current state. In a perfect world, balancing should mean that there is room for improvement as well as a nerf; you don't need to be on either edge of the spectrum that includes being overpowered or useless. The operator can be in the middle and have a little bit of wiggle room for the future.”
Lion now fits into the current meta in his own ways that are unlike any other operator; he’s no longer a universal choice that can work in practically any draft or situation. Like a lot of the other operators in Rainbow Six Siege, you now have to have a set plan that requires his particular skill set for him to be a viable choice.
“He now has his specific place within roam hunting and in control,” says Thomas ‘Shas[O]Udas’ Lee, the coach for G2 Esports. “There are three similar operators in Jackal, Lion, and Dokkaebi – the last of which is somewhat countered by Mute. Lion now plays a similar role, it gives you the pings but it's also countered by Mute, and then you have Jackal which has to generally get into the building to find pings but is not countered by Mute. It’s all about strategy.”
G2 Esports lift the hammer after their impressive win at Six Invitational 2019.
G2 Esports win big at Six Invitational 2019
Making Lion a more balanced pick in Rainbow Six Siege doesn’t only help the esports side of the game, but it can affect the casual aspect too. Changes that are made in conjunction with professional players – who are genuinely among the best to ever play the title – filter down into every pocket of the game and, hopefully, make it a better experience for everybody who decides to load it up.
“No question at all, this is a positive move for Siege, the mechanic before with the outline was just too overbearing,” says Lee. “It was one of those things where if you refuse to use it – which my guys did in some cases because they hated it so much – you're just putting yourself in such a disadvantage and that's not what you want in a strategic game. You want the depth to make different choices which are all viable for different reasons.”
Some players will say the rework was a long time coming, but for the folks at G2 at least, their involvement is a positive indication of Ubisoft’s commitment to making every operator a legitimate choice when playing the game at all levels.
“The rework itself is immense,” says Mouritzen. “I wish we did it faster, of course, but the sense that we got to help rework an operator is a good sign, like one thing we could look towards is Tachanka. The operator is a meme. He’s more like the mascot of Siege – we use him for videos and whatnot – whereas Lion was more like the plague or downfall of Siege. So Ubisoft being willing to make changes to operators that need to change is really positive.”