UPDATE (13 AUG 2019) -- Merieux is back from the hospital and will assume his place against Team SoloMid (TSM).
Minutes before their opening Six Major Raleigh game against MIBR (formerly Immortals), the Japanese camp of NORA-Rengo has been rocked with the news that one of their best players, Tsukasa "Merieux" Asano, has been hospitalised due to an eleventh-hour illness.
Lacking a substitute or a sixth player in Raleigh, the team has been forced to draft in their owner and coach, Yasuhiro "Kizoku" Nishi. Especially unfortunately for them, he has no competitive Rainbow Six experience of his own and will be making his debut in the game as a player. The last-minute nature of the illness has also left the team with no room to prepare for the change in roles and strategies, and leaves them with a big disadvantage against MIBR. Now, the team will be keenly looking towards returning to full strength, with at least one more game awaiting them tomorrow.
NORA-Rengo are no strangers to having to fight illnesses at LANs, with their players having been in and out of hospital before while playing at a tournament. Previously, former captain Yudai "Wokka" Ichise has played in between trips to the hospital after a bout of particularly high fever at the Six Major Paris, and NORA-Rengo will be ruing a repeat of their misfortune almost exactly a year on.
The Japanese team's predicament is also rather similar to Fnatic's predicament in Season 8, where their coach, Jayden "Dizzle" Saunders, had to step in after team captain Etienne "Magnet" Rousseau was unable to travel due to appendicitis. That last-minute change in plans then forced Fnatic to reconsider their decision to run a lean five-man roster, and led to the addition to Jake "Virtue" Grannan as a then-sixth player, before Ryan "Speca" Ausden assumed that role after replacing Daniel "NeophyteR" An.
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