Ghassan "MiloshTheMedic" Finge a accepté de répondre à nos questions portant sur sa carrière, sa fonction d'host officiel et l'actualité de la scène Rainbow Six. Apprenez-en plus à nos côtés sur l'host officiel des plus grandes compétitions de Rainbow Six à l'international.
Ghassan "MiloshTheMedic" Finge: I'm not telling you *aAa*'s name, but you're going to teach them yours: could you introduce yourself and you career in esports ?
Hello. My name is Ghassan Finge. I'm a Lebanese expatriate in Europe for now, I live in Europe since nine years or so. My love for esport started when I lived in Belgium, in Brussels. I followed all the Counter-Strike, StarCraft scenes and as things progess, I knew Rainbow Six. I played the beta and felt in love with the game in 2016, during the French Cup. I worked at Paris Games Week the same year with ESL on a promotion thing, Scok was still casting with Backlash, Jeremy Somville, who is still working at Ubisoft. I watched the show during my break and felt even more in love with the game. I was hanging with NeomeTrixX, one of my best friends back in Brussels, which the french community has probably heard of. That's why I started casting things in Brazil, etc. I launch myself in big tournaments with the Six Invitational 2017 qualifiers, then my first even in may (the Pro League Season 7 Finals at Atlantic City, ed).
What is the best memorie of your career?
I'm thinking about three wonderful moments. The first was a the 2019 Six Invitational, when I could speak a bit about the history and background of Rainbow Six with the operators and the creative direction of the game. Another, one of the best in my career, was back in Tokoname, Japan (at the Pro League Season 10 Finals, ed), when I lauched the grand final with the 4000+ japanese crowd. It was a huge event, really, a wonderful audience. I loved the experience. And I have to mention the 2020 Six Invitational and the grand final between NiP and SSG. We were in the heart of an illuminated arena with light waves from the crowd, chanting and dancing during the game. It was memorable.
*aAa* attented it on-site, it was the first international event for the majority of the members of the staff, they were like children experiencing this show and the enthusiasm of the crowd...
Honestly, to the ones who have never attended a Rainbow Six event, national or international, you are missing something. Of course, for now, there is none event for the end of the year. It is in the hand of the europeans governements and depending on the evolution of the health crisis. I'm not a Ubisoft spokeperson, but seeing how they was dealing with us as a talent team, the first priority is to ensure the safety of everybody. They will never put you in danger. It is safer to ask your people to stay home and do something at home. When everything will be fine, we will come out.
Credit : Ubisoft
Since a while, we didn't see you casting, but only hosting at the desk. Why?
I always wanted to be apart of the desk, I always prepared myself to become an host, but when I joined Siege, it wasn't ready. Fall 2018, Ubisoft got closer to me and offered me an host position at the 2019 Six Invitational, and possibly more events in the year. I wanted to become a host. Casting since december 2012, it's a while, I thought that I reached a ceiling and... speaking of the R6 community, there is always the favorite duo. To be fully transparent, I wanted to get out of the shadow. I've always been in the shadow and I didn't want to be this person anymore after so many years casting in working, in esports or in general.
As a person who have this seniority experience, I thought it was more realistic to go for a position conferring me a bigger development margin. Besides R6, it was also a personal development saying I hosted shows on Stage, but also casted and analysed. It was an important topic of the discussion I had with Ubisoft preparing the Invitational, we didn't wanted a talent team being a simple talent team. In a host role, I spend more time with the creative teams to design the shows. It's a different position because as a desk host, I can distance myself from certain things to devote myself to more creative things, more than if I was casting or analyzing, cause there are different jobs.
How do you prepare your performances as a host?
My preparation is based on storylines and hype. I ask myself what do my analysts want to say and how I can ask my questions to insist on their expert quality. The main part of my job turns on my conversation with the audience and the things the analysts want to introduce during the show. They are the experts, altought I know the game and casted it for years. My job is to show the thousands of spectators that my colleagues are experts in what they say and that they have to take their words in an educative way. Then, I can decide how generate and moderate the conversation. I have a more direct role with the production team, because it is her job to show the assets who show the details the analysts are speaking about. It's an intermediary role between the talent team in the one hand, and the production and management teams in an other hand.
We imagine of course that you have a common thread, but do you use improvisation or millimetered cards ? For example, what was your preparation for the Six Invitational 2019?
We had a big meeting with the Ubisoft teams who told us wat they wanted to achieve. At the time, I could go directly with the ESL production team and spend time with the producer of the show. I got what he had in mind, and once again Ubisoft's ideas for the show. With that, I probed my analystes to find out what they wanted to talk about and asked for assets to illustrate these stories. Now, it's more dynamic because the whole graphic system is set in house at Ubisoft. Face-It does a bit of management, but as far as the show is concerned, it is in the hands of Ubisoft and their partners. Ubisoft's boss come to me, shows me all the graphics they've prepared and asks for my opinion. That's all. We have of course a runoff show, characteristic of television or radio productions. We know exactly what we are going to talk about and have a schedule for each subject.The head of Ubisoft arrives, presents me the plans asks me what and how to change to have something correct.
We of course do a lot of improvised stuff live, but there is an opening letter talking about the situation related to COVID-19 and welcoming the spectators which is it prepared in advance to have a more unified image with the rest of the système. In general, we are very flexible with what we do. Ubisoft has a priority to have a flexible production system that is valid for change. If the talent team gives opinions and proposes changes on a point, the Ubisoft teams take the comments and act accordingly immediately. This is something we take care off seriously and shows that Ubisoft puts a lot of effort and places a lot of trust in me and the whole talent team. If we can not talk about the players, show the history of the teams correctly, the assests and analysts are useless. You have to get a unified system that shows the idea you want to convey to viewers. This is Ubisoft's priority and of course ours, because we are the ones who are on TV.
Is this work different between online and LANs?
The approach to work is not going to change, but the way of working will be different. At the Six Invitational, we can all be there physically, talk about the teams and the points to be addressed. It's much easier to do when you're there. Right now we have to do everything from home. We spent ten days in Paris at the beginning of August to prepare and perform the Six Major APAC show. To compare it with the EU tournament, we spent a lot of time in the studio in terms of rehearsals, technical preparation, meetings with the production teams... It's much more responsive to work in the studio, whereas when we are working from home, we don't really have that flexibility.
It is more difficult to bring about changes from home than when we are present, can talk and show each other our idea directly. It's also different with the casters, who have to deal with the delays with the streams. This is why the casts are sometimes out of sync. In the studio, we don't have that. As a host, i look at my analysts, I let my eyes speak with them to make them understand that we have to move on to another point or that the production asks something from us. I'm happy to have a team of sound engineers who were able to redo a system so that i could communicate more easily with the production team during shows in the studio.
Using your words, you leaned towars a role of host in order to come out of the shadows. Was this separation between the EU an NA talent teams the opportunity for you to shine and stand out as you whished?
In terms of work and personal development, yes, altought they are real friends with whow I have worked for 3 years. These are people I have spent a lot of time with, we have worked on some of the best events in Siege history. The thing is I had to chose between mooving to the US or staying in Europe. The question was quickly answered for me, I would not have enjoyed myself in Vegas as in the United States in general, i prefer Europe. I have a good relationship with the artistic direction of Ubisoft EMEA in Paris and my choice was quickly made as my girlfriend is European and I wanted to continue my life with her, here. Now is the time to start a little different personal development after these three years or so. It is not super cool to lose these friends, but it had to be done and it was done. I am sure that our paths will cross again in events, we will see in the future where all the talent teams from the different regions will be gathered, perhaps at the Six Invitational. But for the moment, you have to wear your mask.
Do you have an anecdote from an event to share?
Oh yeah ! I think of one thing in Raleigh. During a desk show, the z1ronic microphone did not work for a little while. By the time the production put everything in order, i got very close to him. He is a Danish and the Nordics are not really "touch-touch" [laughs] and he blushed a lot, he was really embarrassed. I also think of something that happened during the Six Major APAC show. Fluke was pronouncing my name "Miloosh" instead of "Milosh" on purpose, Geo followed suit and they started calling me that with their strong British accent, an accent they see as super trashy in their country [laughs]. Now, the person handling our feedback and developement with Face-It knows me as "Miloosh" instead of "Milosh" because all of this [laughs].
Credit : Ubisoft
How did you approach the 2020 online Six Major, and how did you give it its soul despite being disputed online?
There was no other choice. For our part, we were lauched into the idea that we had to put on the best possible show while accepting that it was not possible to do it otherwise. We played the APAC show at the studio because the sanitary situation allowed it. It was the big reveal of the studio, we put a lot of emphasis on the teams, their development, the future of Rainbow, instead of talking about Major, Major and Major again.
It was necessary to bury the situation which made that the organization of a Major wasn't possible, in fact...
Exact. You had to show that it was difficult not being able to make a Major, but that it was also possible to do it differently. We had to tell viewers that we were there for the entertainement they were looking for despite the circumstances and I think the message got throught. The case of the EU Major was all the more complicated as we were doing the show from home. What we could do in APAC was more beautiful and detailed, the stats are richer in Europe compared to other regions, but we could not highlight them as we wanted.
We had to give the feeling that we were serious, even if it is visible that we remain relaxedand that we want to adopt this style. Just looking at the studio, it is a lolf. It is Rainbow Six in France. People watch for the game, but also for the personality of the talents and their interaction outside of the games. Our focus is on showing everyone that we really are a family and it's not something we do for the show exclusively. We're like that, and still, there are things we can't afford to do on air [laughs]. As friends, we are good like that, being able to go out to dinner together in the evening. It feels when a crew's dynamic isn't real, but it aslo feels when it is spontaneous. This is what we want to show everyone and I think it went well.
The LoL World Championship will be held in a few weeks in one and the same city, in lockdown, in Shanghai. It seems complicated and damaging to hold the Six Invitational the way the summer Six Major did - let's skip the Six Major scheduled for November, but is there a way to organize, the way Riot Gaming did it for LoL, a cocoon in LAN but without an audience for our World Cup? What do you think can be done?
In my opinion and I insist in my opinion, this has nothing to do with Ubisoft, I do not think it is viable to travel to North America at the moment. Even in the next six months, the situation there will not be comparable to the one in Europe. Personally, I wouldn't be reassured if someone told me to go there. Im not just talking about the political situation, but especially the health situation with which I'm really not comfortable and I wouldn't want to be part of such a gathering. For me, we should use the casting studio in Paris. You should know that Riot work with Shanghai as the city of Shanghai, the Chinese authorities are part of the system and will help to accomodate the teams and staff in a correct way, adapted to the health context. The actors will be tested before their departure for China, on their arrival and then on their departure from China, in full lockdown. Doing it just to have players and talent in the same studio, I don't think it's worth it, in terms of monetary cost, to do it.
I think we have to let the months go by and, the day when it will be possible to welcome spectators, talk about the Rainbow Six event again. For the moment, we do not know how things will turn out and I do not want to have a paper from Ubisoft saying "you owe your rights", in case the event cannot be held and where the people are not compensated, or that Ubisoft declines all responsibility if COVID-19 was contracted during the event. I think that it isn't worth it for a big company. As long as it's enough to have the talent team in the studio, that's cool. I also think that another option to hold the Six is a bit like the NA style, which is to have the teams in bootcamp. This is the only secondary solution that I find correct. Otherwise, I don't think there is another realistic system for the situation.
So you really advocate a regional Six Invitational like what was done for the Six Major?
Yes, either that or push back the SI. Perso, it still remains at the discretion of Ubisoft and especially the Montreal teams who are working specifically on their product which is the Six Invitational, if they feel that the situation is not favorable, do not take any risks. It is a big event that requires a lot of mobilization from Ubisoft and its production partners. I still hope the Six Invitational will be held, but will the health situation be safer in six months ? No one can predict it. We also need to know if people will be traveling to Montreal. Lots of people attend the Six, Europeans, Japaneses, Russians, there is a lot of multiculturalism on the Rainbow Six scene and it is not just the event, but the whole idea of Siege. If it is impossible to do this cultural manifestation during the SI, I personnaly say that it is not worth the cost. If it's just to have the players there, it won't be impressive, just a little grim. It would be even better to say that the Six Invitational is going to be six months late, or even the year after, and to be able to show everyone that we have been able to create something that is even better than before, that we really invested even more in the game and the event and that it was worth it. We're back, bigger and stronger than ever. This is what we want. Nothing happens in any esport and it would be reckless to do an event with an audience right now, even in the next six months from my perspective.
Credit : Ubisoft
Do you see any development prospects for your host career? What do you aspire to in the coming years?
I would like to host in other games. I don't really have exclusivity with Ubisoft. If I go and work for another show on another game, I have personnaly acquired experience. Ubisoft is invested in the personal development of their collaborators. If I could, I would like to diversify, spend more in the talent development side to find new talents as welle as in the creative direction of the show on the creation side. It's really something that inspires me more and more.
Finally, it's time for prevention. According to you, we must therefore wait until the heath situation allows the reception of an audience to organize the next R6 event. What message would you carry if you were currently at the twitch.tv/rainbow6 desk?
Like I said during Elemzje's interview after he won the EU Six Major with BDS: wear your mask, be vigilant and stay home if you have nothing important to do. For the moment, this is the only solution. Talking about mass immunity is wrong when you are dealing with a disease that have the capacity to overwhelm European or even global medical systems. Stay at home, don't move if it's not worth it. Doing this is actually really good. In a few months, we will have a vaccine and the situation will improve.
I speak of course of my privileged position, not everyone is so lucky in the world. I hope that people will continue to vote, because it is the democratic systems that will help them in situations such as we are in this one. I work with my German papers and I am very happy, as I did in Poland, to pay my taxes in Germany because if there are people who are experiencing difficulties in life, I want them to be helped and accompanied. I would like these systems to exist everywhere and for everyone. I don't need it today, I hope it still wille be the case in the future and I don't wish anyone else needing it. We must also remain vigilant and do our best to ensure that COVID-19 and its consequences disappear within a year. Everyone must walk hand in hand. I saw a lot of not super cool stuff in Paris, people who don't wear masks, crowded places with unmasked people in it, come on guys, make a little effort and we won't be talking about this thing in a year.
Thank you for your open-hearted answers and your availability. It's the tradition at *aAa*, the final word is yours.
Thank you very much for the interview. I have known *aAa*, a great french organization for 10 years know and here you are celebrating your 20 years, happy birthday! I hope we can see each other personnally one day, but it will take a little while. I hope that everything will be ok and the future of Rainbow Six will only be better, that's for sure. Sometimes it is difficult with the recurring problems of the game, but the Ubisoft teams have been working on it for years, COVID-19 does not make it easier for them. The game, esport, talents, the situation impacts us all, but we will do our best for the moment and are always opened to feedbacks from the community. The show is and will always be dedicated to the entertainement of spectator, it is their show and it is up to them to tell us what they would like us to add to it.