It is now PENTA Sports' turn to have a look back at their year and at the upcoming Six Invitational. The European squad outdid its competition at the beginning of the year with two wins in the first two seasons of Pro League. The players did however not manage to secure the title in the last season as they lost in the semi-finals, which lead to the substitution of KS by SHA77E. It is Shad[O]Udas, the team's coach, who answered our questions.
After having won the first two seasons of pro league, you finished the year with “only” a vice-champion title at the world’s finals. Do you think that this little bump in the road has helped to in your preparation for this Six Invitational?
I think there was a bad taste in every PENTA players mouth coming away from Brazil. Our performance was far below our own standards, but It has allowed us to take honest stock of the team and to approach fixing the issues honestly and resolutely.
One month after this result, you replaced KS with SHA77E. Why did you choose the latter over someone else?
I don’t think the public knows how much of a difficult choice this was back at the time. After much discussion we had agreed that KS was our weakest player in-terms of team play. We still today think that KS is a great player and we hope that he can excel in 1UP however his comm’s and decision-making was not complementing the team’s. Given the role that was opening up on the team SHA77E was absolutely a perfect fit; the most renowned Mira player next to KS and one of the most consistent players in the European scene. I don’t think any roster changes on PENTA will be seen for a long time, SHA77E fits like a glove here.
Since you were already qualified after winning the first seasons of Pro League you didn’t have to fight for a spot for the Six Invitational. What are your thoughts on the format from the perspective of a team who didn’t take a part in the qualifiers?
Its exciting! We view this stage like a poker game; where teams are holding their cards close to their chest, planning on when to surprise their opponents. Therefore, group stage is extremely interesting; as a coach as I’m watching which teams show their cards and try to analyse the lay of the land going into playoffs.
Europe was by far the region with the fiercer competition, the participants had to battle until the last day to get a chance to qualify. For more than two weeks you had to train without all these teams. Did you have any trouble finding praccs?
PENTA has a history of being willing to play non-mainstream teams so although finding scrims was a little harder it didn’t affect us at all. Something I don’t think people have realised yet but RoomFactory, Supremacy and Vitality had to play way more ladder games to enter the closed qualifiers compared to other regions. That’s amazing and shows how strong the competitive drive is here in Europe for Rainbow6.
To kick of this Six Invitational you will face Team Vitality who qualified thanks to the community vote. Are you confident facing the theoretically weakest team of the tournament?
We are very familiar with Vitality; they do deserve respect, they are good players but will have a very, very hard time facing off against us first.
You will also cross path against Evil Geniuses or 1UpeSport. The former are here to defend their title from last year when they were playing for Continuum and the latter recently recruited your former teammate KS. What is your opinion on these two teams?
Evil Geniuses, like us, also had a very disappointing LAN in Brazil. I’m unsure if they would have resolved the team issues they were having back in Brazil however they have a lot of potential. We see E.G. as our main opponent in the group stage, however we are not fazed by them. It will also be quite a fun match-up as there is a lot of history between the teams; we are all close friends with Troy and BKN was our secondary coach in Y2S2.
1UP is a hopeful and strong team in comparison to how long they have been around with their current roster. They are going to be one of the strongest German line-ups in Europe if they are given the chance to mature in 3-6months. However right now they are heading into LAN with minimal experience on their players (apart from KS) and into a difficult group to survive.
What is your goal for this Six Invitational?
To set a standard of play that everyone else will aspire to… and of course to dominate.
Last question: which team should we look out for in your opinion?
Other than us I’d recommend people to keep an eye out on team Liquid. They have an extremely good roster and I think Nesk will be playing with fire in his heart as he’s just become a father (Congratulations to him).
As a reminder, PENTA Sports is composed of:
Niclas "Pengu" Mouritzen
Joonas "jOONAS" Savolainen
Daniel "Goga" Mazorra Romero
Fabian "Fabian" Hällsten
Ville "SHA77E" Palola
Thomas "Shas[O]Udas" Lee (Coach)
Our last interviews:
Team Vitality: "We will give it all"
Black Dragons: "It's gonna be one of the most difficult groups"
Team Liquid: "We can't underestimate anyone"
1UPeSport: "Our main goal is to get out of group phase"
Evil Geniuses: "We can beat anyone"