We speak to Barrage eSports owner Jeff Simpkins about growing the UK organisation, what games their involved with and their future plans.
Please tell us about Barrage and how it was set up.
Barrage was founded in 2014 by Joe "Hadshot" Hadley. We established a name for ourselves initially in CoD, famously beating Optic Gaming in 2015.
The organisation was sold at the start of 2016 and the new owners unfortunately did not do it justice. I then bought the organisation towards the end of 2016 and I believe we are starting to make a name in the UK scene again.
What games are you based in?
Currently we have teams in Rainbow Six Siege on PC, a Call of Duty girls team, CSGO team and a FIFA player.
"League is a game I am interested in; we actually spoke to a couple of teams going into the ESL Premiership about joining us, however nothing materialised."
What's been your greatest achievement to date?
It was before my time but it is hard not to say the Barrage vs Optic win. That's probably one of our best achievements.
Your Rainbow Six team recently qualified for the Pro League. What are your thoughts on your team and Rainbow Six as an esport?
The team has just undergone some roster changes prior to the start of the Pro League that I feel will be for the best in the long term. We have brought in Quantic and Jugger who played for Sad Boys in the qualifiers.
Siege is not the best organised esport, it has to be said. The lads only found out about the Pro League qualifiers a week before they had to play them. There was also no official streams of the closed qualifiers, which personally makes little sense to me.
It is however a great game and one I used to play competitively myself on Xbox, so it's close to my heart.
"It would be great to see more females playing in the Call of Duty World League and other major tournaments in the future."
You have a female CoD team, which has just qualified for the female pro league. Why do you have a female team, how important is it to promote esports diversity?
The girls team are a great bunch. They try extremely hard and they interact with the organisation in a hugely positive way.
The FPL that they have just qualified for is a great way of getting more girls into the game. There is still very much a stigma attached to girl gamers not being as good as the boys which is ridiculous.
We feel it is important to support females coming into the scene so that eventually we may be able to break the barriers that are preventing more girls getting into esports.
It would be great to see more females playing in the Call of Duty World League and other major tournaments in the future.
"Siege is not the best organised esport, it has to be said. It is however a great game and one I used to play competitively myself on Xbox, so it's close to my heart."
Please tell us your full team rosters
Rainbow Six Siege
- Fryky (sub)
- Sammy (sub)
- Nikki (team manager)
- Jamie (team manager)
What do you think of League of Legends? Would you get involved in that game, or other games in the future?
League is a game I am interested in having a team for; we actually spoke to a couple of teams going into the ESL Premiership about joining us, however nothing materialised.
It is something we will look at again in the near future and it's a scene that a number of our staff are big supporters of.
Anything else you'd like to add?
Just want to take this opportunity to say thanks to all our players and staff. We are doing great work and starting to make a name for ourselves again.
We have huge plans for this year and I can't wait to crack on with some of them.