London-based Fnatic joins Rainbow Six Japan League
16 March 2022
UK esports organisation Fnatic, one of the biggest and most successful in the world, is making moves to consolidate its position in the Asian market. With a team consisting almost exclusively of Japanese players, the organisation will be competing in the Rainbow Six Japan League and Championship. Fnatic has signed players Yura, Lily, Merieux, and Li9ht from GUTS Gaming, the former Japanese esports team that ceased to exist in January of this year. This was announced after Fnatic released two of its own players, Patrick “MentalistC” Fan and Jason “Lusty” Chen just a few weeks ago. An interesting move for the team itself as well as for esports in the UK in general.
Replacing GUTS in the Japan League
The signing of these four players also means that Fnatic will be taking the place of GUTS Gaming in the Rainbow Six Japan League and the Rainbow Six Japan Championship this season. The Japan League is starting on Saturday, March 26th, while the Championship is planned for later this year. Joining these competitions fits the organisation’s strategy of getting more involved in Rainbow Six: Siege esports. The dedicated fans and the high viewership have convinced Fnatic that this market can play a significant role in their growth on the short and long term.
Besides the previously mentioned players, the up-and-coming Japanese talent Ryuya “Chibisu” Hamasita, who was also under contract at GUTS, will be joining Fnatic’s roster at a later point as well. The Londoners also managed to sign a new Strategic Coach and Analyst in Théo “Phenomene” Hentgen, who is a well-known name in international esports. The Frenchman was previously a member of GAMMA Gaming and The Last Dance, and he won several prizes with those teams, including two consecutive Benelux Leagues (2020, 2021) and two Benelux Cups (2020, 2022).
“We’re excited to finally begin our journey into Rainbow Six Japanese esports,” said Fnatic Head Coach Jayden “Dizzle” Saunders after the announcement, “We have a new roster of incredible homegrown Japanese talent who we’ve signed from GUTS Gaming and can’t wait to kick-start scrimming with the roster ahead of these two all-important competitions. We’re also delighted that Mag will be returning later this year - a player who believes strongly in this project and our vision for Rainbow Six esports in Japan”.
Prize pool announced
Around the same time that Fnatic announced their spot for this season’s Rainbow Six Japan League, the tournament’s organiser X-MOMENT, published more details about the upcoming event. The national-level tournament for 2022 will feature a total of ten teams, including Fnatic, and a total prize pool of no less than ¥37 million, which comes down to roughly $320,000. On top of that, each Japan League player this year will receive a fixed annual income of ¥3.5 million or just over $30,000. The Rainbow Six Japan League 2022 will be spread over 49 game days between March 26th and November 27th.