Local servers in the region have, in the past, caused huge headaches for the passionate players of the particular title. With a relatively small player base the country struggles to fill lobbies and wait times become exorbitant on local servers. The skill level is also capped. However, chatting to local players, many have said the local servers have, in the case of Rainbow Six Siege, not been detrimental to the game. Match waiting times are reportedly not too long and the playing experience is pleasurable.
Arguably one of South Africa’s best Rainbow Six Siege players, 18 year old student Rowan “Xhosa.NiBBLE” Steyn agrees, saying local servers have helped grow the competitive scene. It has also allowed players to stop using VPNs to host low ping lobbies. He says he sees a bright future ahead for the South African siege scene.
Xhosa.NiBBLE has been playing Rainbow Six since 2016, when he started playing Operation Red Crow and brags around 5000 hours in the game. He says he got into the title after watching YouTuber CaRtOoNz play the game with his friends. He watched the YouTuber for around 6 months and his parents took note of how much he enjoyed watching the videos. They then encouraged him to buy the game and play it on the family computer. He says Rainbow Six’s unique map destructibility and gun-play was what interested him in the beginning, but the relationships he made through Siege is what has kept him coming back.
Despite the hours he has clocked in game, Xhosa.NiBBLE only started playing Rainbow Six competitively little more than a year ago. He says the move to competitive was mainly because he wanted a more structured experience over casual or ranked games. He started his journey by searching the internet for R6 South Africa, saw a couple of YouTube videos on the Pan African Gaming Union’s channel and contacted the players of the teams in the videos via Uplay:
“Luckily, there were quite a few teams interested in picking me up.”
Xhosa.NiBBLE says the South African R6 landscape currently brags a bigger console scene than PC, even though PC is the preferred platform for international competition. He’s also optimistic about 2020, saying that the scene is steadily growing with major talent popping up. He also believes there will be many opportunities this year with a few new leagues and events in the pipeline.
Despite much of the local community highlighting him as a player, Xhosa.NiBBLE is coy when it comes to accepting the title as one of the best:
“R6 is a team based game and has so many different facets. It is impossible for me to say which individual players are the best. I’m in the fortunate position of playing for NiBBLE Hypnotic and I am confident in saying we are currently the strongest team in South African Rainbow Six Siege. However there are so many exceptionally talented teams including Ladon, Raging Deltex, NiBBLE Oryx and Evolution Tactics. They always keep us working hard at refining our strategies and staying at the top of our game.”
Attempting to enter the competitive R6 scene in South Africa isn’t as hard as some might think. Xhosa.NiBBLE says players wanting to progress to competitive should join the tournament and team discord servers and mention they’re looking for a team. He feels if you’re good enough and make sure to consistently queue ranked matches or casual games, you will be noticed by teams and eventually picked up.