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Do You Know What It Takes To Be A Competitive Esports Player? An Interview With Rainbow Six Siege’s FoxA

After a long stint in CS:GO, FoxA transitioned over to Rainbow Six Siege and has played at a high level ever since.

Davide "FoxA" Bucci is a 21 year old Canadian esports competitor and caster, and has played various games at, including Dota 2 and CS:GO. The latter is where FoxA spent much of his early competitive time. Years later, FoxA transitioned over to Rainbow Six Siege and has played at a high level ever since.

FoxA recently spoke with TheGamer and gave us some insights into the competitive scene, the Rainbow Six Canada Nationals, and his rigorous training routine that keeps him at the top of his game. Readers might be surprised to learn how much time FoxA devotes to practice, and he offers his opinion on how younger people should approach their own competitive esports goals.

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Via: esix.fr

Thanks for taking the time to chat today. Can you discuss your experience with the Rainbow Six Canada Nationals?

Coming from a competitive team, the Canada Nationals was a lighter way to enjoy the competitive level of gameplay. We played against another group, against friends, and I think it made me look at Rainbow Six in a different way, and I didn’t need to look at it in such a crazy robotic way.

Via: siege.gg - 2018 Rainbow Six National Finals

What did you look forward to most at EGLX this weekend?

Nothing in specific, but I wish I could have gone to help, to cast something in the event. I like how it’s becoming a thing in Canada, I have a couple friends there, Jarvis and Bryan and other pro players, and I wished them the best of luck.

How do you see the esports scene for Rainbow 6 evolving in 2020? As in, do you expect there to be any significant changes, either in how you play, or other teams play relative to the current meta?”

I believe that every season is a tossup of what can happen. Not only are there new operators that can change the field, but maybe a new map, or certain differences that really change the outcome of things. Japan, US nationals an invite, each team will be trying to come up with new playstyles in the upcoming months and there are big changes coming with everything, and this will change for the better in 2020

With the current state of the game, what are some changes you would like to see, either as a buff or a nerf to weapons?

I’ve been playing since the game came out. A well-deserved nerf would be on Ash, to beef up her hitbox, so her hitbox actually works. Otherwise from the beginning to where it is now, level design, operators, etc., that’s all great. More things I would like changed don’t not necessarily matter to ordinary players, like hit register, little bugs, anti cheat, all to improve the game. And you know that most big games don’t have issues with those (bugs or hit reg) but I feel like any good game needs that for a good backbone.

Where the changes made to Nomad healthy for the game, looking back almost a year ahead? The air jabs were so strong, do you think a nerf was necessary, or is that utility of play healthy?

I’d say it's in a good direction, in a First-Person Shooter game like this, being knocked out where you can’t use your guns at all is far fetched or work that well. I haven’t seen too much of Nomad being broken in the past, and it’s better to see it now. As long as they [the charges] are visible, at least you have a chance to destroy it. With the addition of Gridlock you see two operators do kinda the same thing, and its healthy. Nomad is not as bad as Lion or Blackbeard when they first came out, and it’s cool as long as its monitored and tweaked properly. As long as they don’t just do something ridiculous and make Nomad OP and unable to be countered.

Via: rainbow6.ubisoft.com

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Which operators are most broken for you?

I’ve got two for this. The most broken is Ash, just because her hitbox is so small that if you master her movement and know how she moves, it’s almost impossible to get hit when you’re in a gun fight. But that’s something that could be easily fixed. Dokkaebi is broken still, being able to globally call on the phone - which was permanent before but now limited. Having a global ability where you can sit there, press a button and have everyone get something that’s way to strong, too overpowered, hopefully they’ll find a way to tone that down, global abilities are hard to tweak in a game like Rainbow.

On the more creative side, what would be your ideal operator, if you had to design one?

I guess anyone who knows me knows that I’m a creative person. I have ton of ideas for operators. We need a different, altered version of Jäger, and a different version of Twitch and Thatcher. [An] operator that is kind of an alternate version of Jäger and Castle together, like with invisible Castle charges. Which, lore-wise, would be legitimate through an electronic fence to deploy on a door or window. Everyone’s been driving a drone through a window, and this would stop a drone or grenade until Ash or something comes to bash it off. An invisible net that you’re able to jump through but stops grenades, but can be broken by other characters.

The other idea is a mix of Twitch and Thatcher, as an EMP operator who does not destroy electronics but disables them. Instead of having a Thatcher EMP break things, it would be a giant pause on everything, which would add a whole new element to the game.”

What are your favorite games outside of Rainbow Six Siege?

I keep up with every scene where I can be at the highest level. I play Overwatch and am at Grandmaster rank, and CS:GO, but I’m not good at DOTA [2], League of Legends, and Apex Legends. I enjoy not playing games but still being involved in the scenes is what I like and being able to watch at a competitive level and understand exactly what’s happening.

I want to talk a little bit about the effort needed to become a top-tier esports competitor. When you’re prepping hard for competition, what does your training routine look like in a week?

Of course, any athlete needs a day off or time to relax. Out of a seven-day week that we will be doing for Japan soon, we have a day off out of the week, usually Friday or Saturday. I spend time with family or friends because while playing esports, other people have normal lives and work all the time, so you need to make time.

Every other day I try to wake up around nine, have breakfast, and get to practice around noon. We do a scrim block (scriming meaning focused, competitive trial runs, to practice like the game were a live competitive match), focusing on 3 or 4 maps for about four hours. Around four we have a break for an hour, and then get back to another scrim block for another four hours. Depending on how we feel after scriming, we often play ranked. Since I’ve been practicing all day, we might as well have fun and wind down. Bed before 1AM, so you can get enough sleep.

Via: gaimer.net

RELATED: Team Canada Dominates Rainbow Six Siege: Canada Nationals At EGLX

That sounds like an intense day that must be hard on the body since you sit for what sounds like about ten to twelve hours a day. How do you deal with the physical toll that must take on the body?

For me personally, a couple months ago I was playing a lot of Rainbow Six Siege and Legue of Legends, and both require a lot of clicking with the hands. Out of nowhere, my hands starting to be sore, my wrists as well - as if I got hurt. In reality it was from playing. I learned that I have to stretch more as I get older. Do your hand stretches, arm stretches, be able to be flexible will help you avoid pain. One of my teammates wears arm braces to prevent carpal tunnel, to help with the same issue.

As for back pain, I used to have that when I sat on a bad chair, but for the past 2 years I’ve had a good chair and stand up often. Working out is a big part of staying healthy, when you spend your whole life in front of a computer screen its a good idea to go out, interact with people, and see the world. I try to run every day, a mile or so, to stay active.

With your busy daily routine and the demands on your time and body, what advice would you give you a young person who asked about how best to get into competitive esports?

Don’t! (laughs) I’ve been asked before, and I always say that being an esports player is tough. It’s a small margin to get into, when you have to break that already established barrier. I got lucky because I got into Rainbow Six Siege when it first established, when it was growing, but no one has that luxury of playing when coming in now. Most kids are playing Fortnite now, which is worse. But play what you want, and you’ll know if you’re good at it.

I know people are trying to pay for gaming lessons or teach how to play, but if you’re good you know. I say focus on school first, at least for me, midway through high school I had a lot of concussions and head injuries so I focused all on gaming, thinking I’m going to be the next big esport player, but I got really lucky because Rainbow Six Siege came out at that time. Now that I’m here, I can see that not everyone else made it. I had friends in the same boat who are not exactly doing the same thing, and they had to go back to school. You don’t want to squander something like education and miss out, only to wish you could go back and do it. Finish school first.

Thanks to FoxA for his time. We wish him and all of Team Reciprocity all the best for the upcoming Pro League Finals in Japan this upcoming November 9-10.

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