Chiefs ESC announced on Aug. 31 that they have left Rainbow Six Siege "indefinitely" and have dropped their team ahead of the start of Stage 3.
As a result, the Chiefs' roster has also disbanded, with all five players and the coach becoming free agents effective immediately. It is unclear what will thus become of the eighth spot in the APAC South Division.
"We’ve loved every minute of what has been a very competitive league, however, the dwindling regional support and handling of core issues to us makes it hard to justify staying in the title at this time," said Chiefs CEO Nick Bobir in their official press release.
The Chiefs' Operations Manager, Michael Stewart, also criticised the handling of the league's issues with latency that saw ANZ teams play with 150ms ping, or more.
"These tech issues have been a concern for a long time and we continued to have faith that they would be addressed and relevant solutions explored, particularly once borders began opening up.
"However, this year was notably worse, especially with deteriorating OCE server infrastructure, which even caused us to receive fines from the league in a situation we believe was unjust and mishandled. Ultimately this left a sour taste about the league and is a core factor in our decision to depart," he said.
The issues Stewart referred to came to a head in the APAC Playoffs in Stage 1. Three Korean teams, DWG KIA, SANDBOX Gaming, and Talon Esports had been affected, alongside the eventually Charlotte-bound Chiefs.
According to Chiefs ESC coach Todd, latency issues had surfaced during the team's APAC South game against Elevate but had been mitigated to a "normal level" by ESL-provided VPNs. However, the issue resurfaced again in the warmup prior to Chiefs' game against Talon in the playoffs.
According to Todd, the Oceanic players were barred from using "personal VPNs" that "could reduce the ping". In lieu of that, ESL-provided VPNs were used in the following week, after Chiefs' 0-2 loss to Talon. These VPNs worked to "balance latencies" between teams so that one would not be at more of a disadvantage than the other.
The "balancing" of high latency through VPNs is also used in the APAC South Division itself, with every team required to use them.
In Stage 2, ESL had approved the use of personal VPNs such as ExitLag. ExitLag is a gaming-focused VPN that improves internet routing to game servers. With it, estimated Todd, his players will have latencies down to 90ms to 130ms instead -- still not ideal, but a far cry from the previous figures.
"It’s hard to commit to a league that seems to be an uphill battle at every turn," said Stewart.
Chiefs had attended both the Six Sweden Major and Charlotte Major, though they made two roster changes in between. At both, they could not progress to the playoff stage but won one game in Sweden. In Charlotte, the ANZ team got close on various occasions, but never converted a strong position into a win.
With the five Chiefs players and their coach all disbanded free agents now, it is possible that other APAC South teams snap up hot prospects, though Raine "Dgtl" Wright later announced that he has decided to "[leave] the game for a bit" and will no longer be actively looking for playing opportunities.