Rainbow Six Siege

Interview: NotLoading and Flynn of Mirage Esports Talk Rainbow Six: Siege

We are just finishing Week Two of Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Siege North America League Canada Division, and while it might not be playing out the way we imagined it would at the start of the year, we’re all just trying to make the most of it.

In order to get ready for another weekend of fast-paced action, I caught up with Rob “Flynn” Flynn and Chase “NotLoading” Neely of Montreal’s Mirage Esports. We connected by phone to discuss Mirage’s Week One victory over Nordik Esports, what its been like adjusting to a format where the fans are online as opposed to in the stands, missing the R6S community interaction and how Canada Divison is changing the Canadian path to pro.

Luke: Well, Mirage pulled out a very close win in Week One, where it seemed you guys really had to come together 100% — and hinged on some tight shooting from you, “NotLoading”, and “Silent”. let’s just chat about what went on during that first match.

Chase “NotLoading” Neely: Yeah, we knew we were prepared, but we lost our first map in Oregon. We thought we could close it out But we just had to come out shooting better in the two other maps.

Rob “Flynn” Flynn: As Chase said, we knew we were prepared, and we thought we could close that new map of Oregon out seven to three, but Nordik turned it around in OT, so congrats to them. We thought we were good, but we still have some growing to do!

Luke: This may go more to you Flynn, Mirage is powered by — and has a powerful — sponsor in Northern Battle Arena, which is well-respected in the Rainbow Six — and just the Canadian esports landscape as a whole. Would you say there’s a competitive edge to working

A headshot of Chase "NotLoading" Neely. He stands arms folded in a gray tee-shirt
Chase “NotLoading” Neely. Photo courtesy: Mirage

with an org like that, which has a proven history in R6S and Canadian esports in general?

Rob “Fylnn” Flynn: Yeah, I think you could definitely say that. I’ve known Carl [Edwin Michel, of Northern Battle Arena, RTETAKE and Squad State,] for about three-and-a-half years now, so since 2016-17. I’ve been broadcasting for Canadian Rainbow Six since the first iteration back in 2017, and we worked together on that. Carl has helped R6S and me so much through the tournaments and his shows and all his connections. So when he came to me and said I want to back this team, I knew he was the kind of guy you want backing you. Carl is a great support and he’s the friend you want in your corner.

Luke: Let’s just quickly build off that and talk about the fans behind you. I’ve been to LANs and conventions where I’ve seen the Mirage community come together. I don’t want to bring up the big “c-word” right now, but it’s made things look a little different these days. Is that impacting your play at all?

a headshot of Rob "Flynn" Flynn. He is on a white background in a purple suit with a pink dress shirt and red tie. He also has a headset over his head.
Rob ‘Flynn” Flynn. Photo courtesy: Mirage

Rob “Flynn” Flynn: It’s certainly a different world from the one we intended to be playing in. And coming from a casting background, it becomes a reliance for you to be at those events and have those fans and communities behind you. You are going to hang with your friends and catch up and play some games. And that becomes routine. It becomes something that you need. And it breaks your heart not having that. Esports is primarily online, but it breaks borders because you get to go to different places and make friends there. And we’ll see each other maybe five or six days a year at those events. But you really come to need those five or six days, and I miss those. I am looking forward to that coming back and top seeing the support again.

Chase “NotLoading” Neely: We’ve got fans of Mirage, and we’ve got our own fans of our streams that we see at these events, and we get to meet each others’ fans. They are always backing us — even now online. And they won’t let us down! And so we hope to be able to see them again soon.

Luke: When I spoke to Ubisoft’s esports manager earlier this year, we spoke about how he hopes this NA league and it’s Canadian and U.S. Division will help elevate players and partnerships. I know we are only a week deep, but are you guys seeing that happen?

Rob “Flynn” Flynn: Between the two leagues, it’s put a spotlight on players — especially in challenger — who may not have got it in the past model. The path to pro back then was far and few between. It was hard to reach your goals. In order to reach your goals, you need more opportunities, more branches and more paths for competitive players to reach their goals. And I think these new leagues do that.

Chase “NotLoading” Neely: Yeah, I guess this is highlighted by me. I’ve been in the U.S. twice before, and I haven’t really had a chance to shine there. But now I’m here in Canada, and I’m shining at the top. And it’s been great being a part of that. I’m really enjoying playing with this team and for this crowd, and I don’t want to let them down!

Luke: Is there anything else you want to add that I haven’t asked about? Perhaps a message for your fans?

Chase “NotLoading” Neely: I guess just thank you very much, and I hope to blow it out of the water in the future!

Luke: Okay, thanks to both of you.

Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.