How The PENTA And G2 Roster Became The Greatest In Siege History
Compared to the likes of Counter-Strike, StarCraft, and League of Legends, competitive Rainbow Six: Siege is only in its infancy. In 2016, Ubisoft introduced a competitive circuit, which began with the Rainbow Six Pro League and later culminated in the Six Invitational. While this game doesn’t have the tenure of CS:GO or the massive fan base of League of Legends, it has still managed to create a healthy competitive scene just outside the mainstream - and in more than four years of competition, some teams have established lasting legacies. But what team can be considered the best of all time?
To be frank, there aren’t a lot of candidates to choose from. Unlike fnatic or Astralis in Counter-Strike, there just haven’t been a lot of ‘eras’ in competitive Siege. Teams have come and gone, maybe even stayed for a couple of months, but have rarely dominated the scene for over a year - with the notable exception of one particular team.
PENTA Sports were amongst the early adopters in the Rainbow Six: Siege space. They were already part of the scene when the first Pro League season rolled around, which they immediately set themselves on top of. With a 4-3-0 record, they entered the playoffs. After two straight 2-0 victories, they were crowned winners of Pro League Year 1 Season 1. The 2016 roster is almost unrecognisable now. Only Niclas “Pengu” Mouritzen remains as a top player.
For the remainder of the year, the team struggled to secure trophies or even attain high-place finishes. In early 2017, they even failed to make it to the Six Invitational after losing to EURONICS Gaming in the European Qualifier. But their luck turned around when they onboarded Daniel “Goga” Mazorra Romero, Fabian “Fabian” Hällsten, and Niklas “KS” Massierer. Almost immediately, the team was back at the top. They led Pro League Year 2 Season 1 and later won the Finals as well. In Season 2, they were crowned the first ever back-to-back PL winners after they had defeated Elevate in a straight 2-0 Grand Finals.
This was PENTA Sports at their most competitive. They hopelessly outmatched everyone else on the server for almost an entire year. But when they failed to make the Grand Finals of the Y2S3 Finals, a roster change was in store. KS was replaced in favour of Ville “SHA77E” Palola, a stand-out Finnish player from ENCE.
PENTA AT SI2018
Fabian and his men mounted a legendary campaign through the Six Invitational bracket. They went straight to the Grand Finals undefeated, only losing one single map to Evil Geniuses in the Winners’ Match of Group A. However, this was foreshadowing a gruelling last match for the PENTA boys. When they met EG again, they surely didn’t anticipate the Evil Geniuses’ to pose such a challenge. But two maps into the Grand Finals, PENTA were already down 0-2. At that point, they desperately needed a win, which they finally got on Kafé.
Their luck turned around, and suddenly they started sweeping the Evil Geniuses players off the server, much to the dismay of the home crowd. In the end, PENTA lifted the trophy after a perfect reverse-sweep. This was their biggest win to date and definitely cemented them as the strongest team of early Siege history. But they were just starting out.
JOINING G2 ESPORTS
A high-profile organisation wanted to buy into Rainbow Six: Siege and saw the PENTA players as a perfect opportunity. In August 2018, G2 Esports acquired the entire roster and sent them right into battle at the Six Major Paris. There, they faced Evil Geniuses in the Grand Finals again, but this time around, they absolutely smashed them on three straight maps. The Pro League Season 8 Finals were pretty much the same story, as G2 swept through the bracket undefeated. Winning DreamHack Winter 2018 as well, they concluded the year in absolute style.
G2 AT SI2019
Their success carried over to the next Six Invitational. Team Empire had emerged as the only legitimate contender to their throne, which made the Grand Finals hell for G2. On the first map, the teams made it seem as though they would continue to play overtime forever, but eventually, G2 Esports won out on a 12-10 scoreline. After that, Empire were very much broken. They conceded the last two maps to G2 for a back-to-back Six Invitational trophy.
For more than a year, the PENTA and G2 roster won almost all competitions, often times demolishing every team that dared to step in their way. But this era couldn’t last forever. In mid-2019, they started losing ground. At the Six Major Raleigh, they lost to Empire in the Grand Finals, which marked the end of their fantastic run. Throughout the year, they struggled to attain trophies. This weaker performance carried over to 2020 as well. This year, they only won the GSA Finals, which featured little to no actual competition.
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR G2 ESPORTS?
Nowadays, G2 Esports are somewhat of a mixed bag. In August, they were just a few rounds away from a Major victory, but BDS ironically kicked them out with a perfect reverse sweep. In Stage 2 of the European League, the squad even failed to make the Top 4 and were thus left out of the November Major. Looking back at their history within Siege, they’re arguably in the worst state they’ve ever been in. Out of the legendary core lineup, only Pengu remains as a constant for the team. As it appears, the likes of BDS Esport and Team Empire have overtaken them.
But they shouldn’t be dismissed outright. The new lineup is stacked with talented players, who are known for their incredible resilience and mental fortitude at offline tournaments. This squad’s history firmly cements them as the best Rainbow Six: Siege team of all time. The Six Invitational is their home turf. So when they return for SI2021, we might finally see them dominate the scene again, just like they used to.
Images via SiegeGG