The Story of KiXSTAr: The Heart and Soul of Rainbow Six Siege

 The Story of KiXSTAr: The Heart and Soul of Rainbow Six Siege

The Story of KiXSTAr: The Heart and Soul of Rainbow Six Siege

Name:            Kix star
Occupation:  E-Sports Player

Gender:         Male
Birth Day:     November 11, 1997

Age:    23
Country:        England
Zodiac Sign:  Scorpio

          Michael "KiXSTAr" Stockley (March 9, 1997 – October 11, 2021) was an American Rainbow Six Siege caster and former player. During Pro League Year 1 Season 3, he became a member of the official Pro League casting crew

         kicks were at the very beginning of the game probably the top five most well-known most popular most-watched people he was the first one to have great movement and great mechanical skills out of anyone that I saw retiring from a pro to be a caster because the casters we had weren't that great at the time trying to fix it from the inside out. only needs two more and they're both still very low he can deny the plant with the evil eye and just keep himself alive with 19 bullets so he's got to be careful with that ammunition counter and here's the denial seconds and the cameraman has to rush will he land the shots incredible he lent legitimacy to rainbow six because this is the first professional player that gets to talk about it there's so much influence that he had he was so passionate.

         it's because he had so much undying love for the game and what it brought the plant going down Bio has to cover and he's gonna do a great job of it but no Jarvis drops from CEO bio still has time to win the fights but why are you sprinting bio pretty much single-handedly save siege you know.The Rainbow Six community and the esports world as a whole lost a great with the passing of Michael Kickstart Stockley you know kicks we lost you know community members like a pro league caster like the void will never be filled I mean I don't know what rainbow six esports looks like right now without kicks I don't it's really hard to put into words exactly you know what.

        what we lost when Kicks passed away but um yeah we lost someone really special Michael Kickstart Stockley had been around since the very beginning of Rainbow Six Sieges and I mean the very beginning what made me get into Rainbow Six Uh it was an fps game that had just come out well it hadn't come out. it was in beta I liked playing fps games and I saw the game and I was like I'm going to play that fps-obsessed 18-year-old Kix who hadn't just spent virtually every second of his adolescence immersing himself in shooters he obsessed over them I think I started playing fps games when I was like 9 or 10 years old you need to invest time and keep going at it to become good at video games,

     unfortunately, kicks were the product of a truly tumultuous childhood for him gaming was less of a pastime and more of an escape my mom met some douchebag some prick this guy was he was and oh my god he was and he was verbal.

    Today two mix videos just uh as a sorry you know apology for not uploading for a whole month I hope you guys enjoy them but it wasn't until the end of 2015 when Ubisoft's messy yet revolutionary Tom Clancy-themed tax shooter entered beta that you could truly say kix found his calling any pro player will tell you the same story um really with this sort of thing it's like you kind of just pick up on the intrinsic value of siege when you first play it you can just kind of feel but this is that game and um I just had that same kind of thing as everybody else you were like you were nasty at the start of the game I remember because.

       It's you know you get a decent name and stuff like that but you can get by a lot on like like you know just using your brain using strategy using the gadgets in the game but kicks had like the whole package he was really smart he had awesome like usage of gadgets and stuff like that and just his he was the first one to have like great movement and great mechanical skills out of anyone that. I saw for a community that was just coming into its kicks wasn't just a figurehead he was a trailblazer a teacher someone from whom players knew and experienced alike could learn the ins and outs of siege and a lot of the things that people now do today right like getting valkyrie cameras in like prime positions and running out of them.

         I mean a lot of that was like kicks and the other people did do it too but that was like like a lot of the early starts of like like that was like a pioneer in the game like the aggressive ash plays like those were that was a lot of that was him like he was like one of the first people doing like those kicks were at the very beginning of the game probably. Top five most well-known most popular most-watched people at that exact moment there was no bolo King George wasn't kinging George at the time you were in North America you watched kicks that's it you watched kicks you wanted kicks to succeed by march he'd made his way onto orbit and was competing in the inaugural season of ESL pro league where his roster secured the first overall seed in North America and a top-four finish internationally and by season.

 two they managed to claw their way to the finals unfortunately after falling short in that final and watching as his roster sort of fell apart kix found himself in a bit of a tough spot despite flirting with retirement kicks played out half a season with Orbit's spin-off or less before calling it quits for real and then. he was presented with a new opportunity one that changed everything I retired in the middle of the third season not being comfortable on the team that I was playing with at the time and one of my good friends Pinky jumped on one of my streams and in the chat he's just like hey you want to commentate.

Haven't seen a whole lot of Hereford I have no idea like this is this is gonna be this is who knows maybe uh Flipside can bring it back and bring it to a tied game that'd be pretty awesome he lent legitimacy to Rainbow Six because this is the first professional player that gets to talk about.

        what's gonna happen next is he's gonna go ahead and open the stock drop because there's not a whole lot of reason to open the moto drop and the construction drop although I've seen some teams do it I'm curious to see how they handle this attack honestly I could always go back and like re-watch our pro league games and stuff.

       I was like okay I agree with every single thing that Kix is saying he understands what's going on he's able to break down the plays that we have you know he understands like the strategy behind what we're doing and what the enemy team is doing mistakes that are made mistakes that are not made like he's he was the reality.

      The first person to be able to do that and as a caster by 2017 he'd been recruited to cast Siege's first-ever UbiSoft-hosted world championship the invitational let's welcome the rest of the caster team we have pinky and kickstart Thanks Matt Hey how's it going it's good as soon as si came to close kicks went all-in on casting.

          he relocated to Poland to cast pro league from the comfort of the ESL studio and threw himself mind and body into his craft I wake up at midnight to go in at 1  a.m. to cast the North America pro league until 6 a.m I cast the North American pro league in the beginning of the week and the European problem at the end of the week, unfortunately, this meant that he wasn't always the easiest to work with kix was a very young caster.

         who in addition to being away from home and somewhat anti-social by nature had had a pretty hard life it wasn't always easy to get the best out of him he was hard to work with I mean nobody's gonna deny that he does not have the greatest reputation here in Poland when he you know moved to Katowice to work on the in the studio yeah.

         he wasn't super social he had a hard time making friends and you could tell from the atmosphere in the studio that he didn't feel super great there he's reserved she kind of keeps to himself and he will randomly go off and do his own thing, uh you're like walking around having a chat and he sees something off in the distance and he just walks someone out to.

        it you know and checks it out or just starts dancing in the street singing something nice and this is this was Michael you know he's all over the place there's so much happening at the same time in his head he had this very very hard shell once you want to manage to break through this shell and see his true self he was a completely different person lovely you know full of energy caring person but also that had to you know he had to evolve over the years...

        I didn't stream back then like, and no one did it was honestly pretty much probably like kicks in serenity at the time there was no one else streaming so he was the first one to be like hey like there are cool things you could do in this and I'm going to record. I are going to share it with the world and you know help this game grow and help people understand that there are limitless possibilities with everything you could do in this game with his content creation skyrocketing almost as quickly as his casting career little did kicks no by the end of that year.
         I am joined by a new addition to our roster in Terrell Bang how is it going in terra bang how are you feeling about your first day of pro league casting I'll be honest and just say get out of the way it is a little nerve-wracking but I am extremely humbled and very appreciative to be given this opportunity to say that kicks and enter had chemistry would be an understatement it.

        wasn't chemistry it was magic and he'll obscure that theory he gets a kill on the neck rocks but NBK can get Wilkie first Bootsy gets softened up and it's just chance who's fighting at full force here they spray into the smoke Canadian and he spies one another as down goes Canadian he shoots at the corpse as Bootsy eliminates him and now Shantae.

        runs it he's gonna go for the plank onto the mirror but as NBC picks up yet another kill it just shatters the kappa tower peeps around the corner he out duels bc but it's still a 1v2 and they have control of the hatch above this is going to be different the attackers do have the hatch or do have the plan it will go down nvk second left patrolling above the diffuser should go down quite easily but now Shantae backdrop that's one a huge round from Shantae he could clutch this out.

         it's just young left will we be able to see one around from him and hence steals it away from eg one of the greatest clutches I have seen especially on this final shot day we talked about he needs to step it up for them to win this match and he certainly did kix pretty much has as much knowledge as you could have on the game right of all the operator's gadgets pro plate takes strategy usage trick like any anything you could pretty much name off the top of yours.

         head kicks have that and enter can just talk and talk and talk and talk and he's good at it he is okay I'll give him credit requests too he's good at it so that combination of being able to talk forever and that having someone actually like give you things to talk about and get and you know back up like the knowledge on what you're talking about that's a great combo right there you can see psycho he's got that top west side control.

         he's going to continue to try and clear out these roamers but it's just continuing to stall cancer Kenny the first kill of this series the second kill of this year the third kill of this series takes out Giulio and Pad before he gets a refract from kamikaze what an amazing roam from cancer rickety he's taken almost all of the wags help down as well he's gonna get pushed by kamikaze is he gonna be able to get out that's the fourth kill for Kanto there's only one left standing in the way between.

         the entire team doesn't have very much health left but neither does Wag and Ents coming off strong or rather Kanto coming off strong you'll see now though wag will move and he'll get as far away from the Villa of Canto right as he can no age for you and he will fall inside of garage but Nixon and taro were more than just a casting duo they were comrades kindred spirits dear dear friends brothers.

         everybody that he cast with up until that point he was never friends with right it was more like a working relationship it was they were colleagues and some of them he just outright didn't particularly like for a variety of reasons I feel could be that next cinderella story yes where excellence was a Cinderella story.

          last season this season I have that potential yeah I thought he was a total oddball but he was entertaining I thought he was exceptionally smart and we got along quite well and we had a lot of mutual interests and I think when we first started talking before we even knew we were gonna cast together I think he was just drawn to having a friend.

          I think he was in Poland he was isolated he was lonely and I think he saw in somebody hey this guy's relatively normal and I can get along with him and I think that went a long way I went to Vancouver but I was like five so I was like two years ago this is what I live with this is what we live with fair enough and after years of commitment to competition kicks made commentary his focus at the end of 2018.

         right as the game was starting to explode I don't think Kicks ever really viewed himself as a caster until our casting scene started to grow around mid to late 2018. up until that point casting in Rainbow Six you didn't get a lot of publicity Rainbow Six wasn't the talk of the town it was an export that kinda lay in obscurity the players were the real stars, not the casters and he had an opportunity to leave in 2018 that was presented to him to go join an up-and-coming org and maybe get back into the playing component probably not but at least.

         be back in the action as a coach or a general manager strategist analyst whatever role they had for him and I think he was drawn to that because up until that point, he saw himself as still a pro player who had been kind of down on his luck you know he had some bad luck with teams he got booted off the left teams because he didn't like them and he always wanted to go back because.

        competition amongst casters started heating up I think he realized hey I can move my energy towards this because there are far greater challenges in front of me as a commentator than there are as a player narrow shot on an s but ness won't miss him and on full HB he's gonna have full control of the projector and because of that ability to take down Giulio psycho.

       whips out the SMG pistol but the nade from Sexy will shut him down kamikaze the last defender but he can't make it happen what a round from Cesca and one round from Liquid to take it Michael when is your wrap-up album dropping I don't what are you talking about you went full rap god on that one this dude could seamlessly jump from the expert.

        analyst to surgical shout caster at the drop of a hat Vanessa's getting shot from behind c4 comes out but it's too late 9xt two kills in this round and he's being a big factor for his team dark zero down too hot and cold who's managed to light up the lion and map only one full hp attacker left but it's the same story for hot and cold.

         there goes Cameraman it's one shot for 9xt one shot for Mav and hot and cold will win this out only 26 bullets left in that Alda but that's plenty and he knows this low HP he could use his evil eyes to win this there's still 40 seconds left so this is not a rush situation for faze they will pick up cameraman the build-up to the hotel is perfect.

        the actual casting of the clutch is good it's great but what I actually think is better is how he sets it up when Haunting is on the main stairs and he has to rotate through tellers and archives into a small office where he paints the scene beautifully he sets expectations he states win conditions.

       while talking about player positioning denoting the time giving a sense of urgency given how dire the situation is for both teams and what's on the line and then immediately pivots to play-by-play effortlessly and gives it the energy it deserves he is his color and play-by-play for the final 30 seconds so we're back to a one-on-three the tension is huge well evil eye going to be a massive factor here for hot and cold if he can play this correctly.

         he cannot vault this so he'll prep it but that'll give away his rotation and his intentions it doesn't seem that 9xt has noticed this though it doesn't seem like there's a camera and there's a nice kill for hot and gold and he passes off to himself in just like stunning fashion he doesn't miss anything there's nothing missed I don't know how you put that you go to a lab and create the best casting possible for that scenario and I don't know.

        how the result that we have now is improved upon he only needs two more and they're both still very low he   can deny the plant with the evil eye and just keep himself alive with 19 bullets so he's got to be careful with that ammunition counter and here's the denial oh my [Applause] incredible but it wasn't just kicked and Ontario's elegant interplay that fans adored.

        it was their hilarity I saw him deploy after he didn't make that sick goal with his hand don't I see him deploy that gesture ever again he did the shield thing stop why what is wrong with your brain you could tell that they had this amazing chemistry they just know exactly.

        what the other person wants to say they knew their sense of humor and no you could tell on camera that they are friends by the time 2020 rolled around siege was undergoing a much-deserved blowup and with excitement around the game reaching a fever pitch kicks and Ontario cemented themselves as one of esports's most in-demand duos psycho's gonna have to clutch up hard gets the second to die only 20 seconds left for that plant.

          it's a stick from Rafael so a one-on-one effectively here psycho wins it and now another one on one as Raphael's at the post-play there it is 4k and ninjas and pajamas the 7-4 taking the map and the series Europe's gone let him forward, unfortunately, the toll that David took on the siege was significant with everything moving online kix was afforded the chance to relocate back home and spend some much-needed quality time not just with his family but with himself.

          then he started caring about his appearance and he started getting tailored suits and he started you know getting imported jackets and he started looking at watches and he started wearing rings and all of a sudden he's caring about his appearance he's caring about things outside of gaming and his whole world opened up to him over.

         the next year and a half kicks grew as both a caster and creator expanding his horizons like never before nothing excited kicks like world-class siege and nothing tilted him like subpar siege his praise was coveted and his criticisms carried weight he's like the Hassan Abu of rainbow six he's always getting away with it the plant going down bio has to cover.

        he's going to do a great job of it but no Jarvis drops from the CEO bio still has time to win the fights but why  are you sprinting bio he likes to understand the game he understood the strategy at a fundamental level and he understood that people are making mistakes so like yeah he has like the like like like license to say.

        I guess but it's for a good reason it's not just like he's just saying it to say it just to criticize he doesn't like someone or something it's just true first right there that's where he's up you see it he got down you see that he up the first problem with withstand since it's only on this operator is that it gave him another opportunity.
 it gave him a buffer of like you can pick up one time but these guys can't pick up one time you can not them and he had that credibility that came from being a player that he could call out teams and he could call out bad plays where none of the other casters could do that and that brought this weight to the broadcast this legitimacy.

 because he was a former pro the Siege community revered and respected kickstart like no other he'd stood side by side with the game on every step of its journey and had played a pivotal role in helping it to blossom into a globally successful sport it's not an overstatement to say that without kicks siege would not be what it is today.
 what he did for the scene was insane, uh you know he is one of he's pretty much single-handedly saved Siege you know retiring from a pro to be a caster because the casters we had weren't that great at the time trying to fix it from the inside out you know he sacrificed a lot of his dreams so that he could.

          I guess by building a better future for the game that he fell in love with kix was finally reaping the benefits of  the years of hard work and the sacrifice he'd helped Siege become the sport it promised to be all while inspiring countless players' content creators and casters alike but in the fall of 2021 as he signed off his stream to go for a customary late-night drive he did so not knowing it would be for the last time thank you for watching everybody it was a pretty uh pretty stream. today but I mean I had fun anyway so uh thank you for making it fun and uh yeah see you tomorrow bye bye I woke up uh the morning that I found out to a DM on Instagram from somebody who wasn't following me all it said was hey parker I'm sorry to have to tell you this but your friend Michael died.

 I was the first person at the scene I was the first person to call the cops I'm here if you need to talk to me sorry and I was just like yeah sure you know just send me proof along with thinking like okay this is where the joke falls apart and throughout the next like an hour or so this guy started sending proof that was impossible to verify without this being a complete misunderstanding orbit was true the police had called and left a message at 5 30 but because. it came in as an unknown caller I didn't see it I didn't pay attention and um I didn't find out till Tuesday morning uh probably like 11 in the morning when somebody was at the door the dog was barking uncontrollably I opened it up and there are two officers and it's like oh he crashed I know he crashed.

          we knew he hadn't come home that night and then I looked at the officer's badge and saw one of them said  coroner and that was the oh it's weird knowing before the parents knew because I knew before they did and when they're like hey so you're probably wondering why you're calling why we want you to call us and I was like nope I know why.
it's a very it's an awful feeling that nobody should have to go through on October 11th, 2021 Michael Kickstart Stockley passed away in a tragic and unexpected car accident to say that his friends family the siege community, and esports at large were inconsolable would be an understatement yeah okay cause we lost you know community member uh like a pro-league caster like the void will never be filled for pro league for casting ever like.

          it doesn't matter who's there just it'll never be the same it won't and obviously, you know we lost someone who was you know a great like an ambassador for the game and just a great all-around guy and like a good friend to siege loses a family member a friend an advocate a pillar a foundational pillar.
 it's really hard to put into words exactly what you know we lost when Kicks passed away but um yeah we lost someone special kickstar was in no uncertain terms a part of the very soul of Siege one of the game's most iconic indispensable and irreplaceable figures I mean I don't know.
he's like the good job he's like from eighth place to first in the world he's like congrats so it was like it was definitely like really good memory and it was like uh it was definitely like a moment too because I still remember back then as well it was just like yeah everyone thought that we were like terrible.
 it's like you go from being like the literal last place to going to go in the first place and having like kicks like I guess uh you know like validate that for you too like on top of it like you know that's like where you know it's like okay okay now it's official it was kind of like the final part you know like he said.

        what he said is gospel kicks his streams were like group therapy sessions I would sit in them and I would listen to them and I would you know he'd sit back waiting for a cue and spend 20 minutes you know ruminating about his life and talking about things that had gone wrong and things that he wished he'd been able to do in the future and what he wanted to accomplish and then you know the countless clips that were shared after his passing about how frank he was about mental health and suicide and depression I'm not more depressed than anybody else okay like when I was.

       when I was seriously going through depression it wasn't like other people were experiencing the same daily it's an ongoing struggle for tons and tons of people and there's no reason for me to I got you everything's going to be okay in that headspace why would I so happy to have heard that in his last days, his whole response was I'm just feeling good I'm happy because that wasn't Michael when he first came to paul he wasn't happy he didn't know.  who he was some months ago felt he was just gonna open equipped he pulled out of it that takes a lot of strength and energy very very proud to have been part of that a fixture such as kicks can never be replaced the man was a legend a titan a foundational father a constant never-ending force of comfort and assurance in an e-sport that needed it I feel like a lot of people in gaming um you know suffer from their personal.


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