An interview with Helbee

Aug 25, 23

What’s involved in being the assistant coach for Wolves’ Rainbow Six Siege esports team? What do you look for when preparing for a match? What advice would you give to players looking to break into the T1 scene?

We spoke to Helbee himself to find out.

How did you come up with your gamertag?

It happened on Xbox when I was in high school. Some friends started to try to find nicknames for everyone with their name or initials. Mine are LB.

Can you give us an overview of your esports career before joining Wolves?

It started pretty much at release by playing the game A LOT. But my full-time career really started with ‘I don’t know’ who would later become Team Secret after qualifying for the very first R6 Major in Paris.

After that project didn’t work following some bad performances and some key players moving away, I joined Team Vitality. There were ups and downs until we figured out a good player line-up that worked but having missed only one international Major in the history of Siege, we certainly figured it out!

Then after Vitality I joined Wolves!

The amount of research and analysis you do heading into every game is widely known and respected in the R6 community. Just how important is this and how big of an influence does the information you gather have on preparing for the game ahead? 

It depends on who we are playing. Some teams are easier to read than others which makes the preparation straightforward, and some change a lot of what they do which makes it less tangible.

In all cases it’s still possible to extract tendencies or logic in what they do and that’s what I focus on a lot. I think it has an impact mostly in the early game since we often start with a game plan according to what we discussed, and we often take the momentum.

It also allows us to take different personalities in game as a team which can make us less predictable and in the long term give us more tools in our toolkit to adapt to who we play. At the end of the day, it’s a cooperation between every member of the team. My influence in game depends not only on my analysis and how well I communicate it, but also on the problem-solving capacity of every player and how they can manage it on the day. It’s an everyday process and everyone needs to be committed to it!

When were you given your first shot in T1?

My very first real shot at T1 was offered to me by MeepeY, LeonGids, Lacky, Elemzje and sTiZze back in 2018.

They were looking for a coach as it was a role that was becoming more and more necessary, and they asked me if I would be interested to try-out for the Valencia Minor.

The winner of that event qualified to the Paris Major and we won it. I was offered to go with them officially as a coach in Paris not too long after and we signed with Team Secret.

What made you want to get into esports?

It’s not something that I really chased initially or even knew was a possibility. I kind of grew with the competitive community when it was just something done for fun.

My focus at the time was on finishing my business school degree and, after that, working in finance so Siege really was a recreational endeavour.

Only when I went to Paris for the Major and saw what it could become did I really want to make it a full-time thing. It’s been my full-time job since!

What has been the highlight moment of your esports career so far? 

While I only missed one Major, I missed most Six Invitationals as a competitor. Since the Six Invitational is the crown jewel of Siege and the ultimate goal, I have to go with our stage appearance last February for the very last Six Invitational taking place in Montreal, Québec, not too far from where I live.

What do you do for fun when you’re not working?

Most of the time I try to get away from the PC since we already spend an unholy amount of time on it!

Most of the time I try to go to the climbing gym. I’ve been doing it for many years now. I also ski in the winter, play soccer (yeah SOCCER), trekk, listen to podcasts or books, spend time with the family and, of course, still play some video games!

What did it mean to you when you signed for Wolves?

First and foremost, it was a sigh of relief and it meant stability because we had been without a salary for a couple of months at that point!

After that it was exciting to join something grounded in traditional sport. Something tangible and easy to relate to but professional!

What does an average day look like for you?

Wake up at around 6.30am, shower, then coffee. Scrims usually start at around 8am and go until about 4pm. That leaves time for extra work if needed afterwards and I have most of my evenings free. Perks of working from Québec with a European team!

We know you put in a lot of hours preparing for games and researching opponents – what kind of information do you look for/focus on? 

Two main things, quantitative information in map bans and operators played per bomb site to get a general idea of what the other team plays and where could be interesting places to look, and qualitative information to see tendencies and strategies other teams are playing.

What is your all-time favourite game outside of R6 and why?

I don’t think I like a single game more than a genre, I need diversity! I’m a RTS kid. When I’m not playing Siege, you’ll probably see me playing a Total War game, Xcom, Crusader King 3 or Civilisation 6.

What was the first game you played as a child?

Well I’m 30, it’s clearly a game from another generation but I do believe it’s Commander Keen 4: Secret of the Oracle on PC.  I was maybe four or five years old. The game that cemented my interest in gaming probably is Age of Empires 2 or Empire Earth.

If you could give one piece of advice to R6 players looking to break into the T1 scene, what would it be? 

Being good at what you do is the baseline. The hard part is to make yourself known. You can be the best, but if nobody knows you exist, you won’t get anywhere. Make content, offer insight on how you work, interact with the scene and more.

I was lucky I grew with the scene in a way so my name was known but I still went to some LAN competitions before I joined my first team to shake hands and interact with players.