After five years at the top level of Rainbow Six: Siege, G2 Esports player Niclas "Pengu" Mouritzen announced his retirement from the competitive aspect of the game today.
The move comes after he spent all five years competing at the top-flight and on the same roster.
Widely considered to be the 'face' of competitive Rainbow Six, as well as the best player to have picked up the game, Pengu's retirement does not come as a complete surprise.
Over the past few months, and even before, Pengu has often commented on the state of the game and his desire to take his leave from competitive play due to the immense stress and unhappiness stemming from the constant push for titles.
Pengu is the most decorated player in Rainbow Six, having won the Six Invitational back-to-back, four Pro League titles, one European title, as well as one Six Major and one minor. This is in addition to a few domestic honours and second-place finishes at the Six Major Raleigh and Season 7 of the Pro League.
His legacy in R6 kicked off about as successfully as it could have, with a title win in the very first season of the Pro League on PC. While this achievement would have been a career-high for almost every other player, it was in Season 4 where his career truly took flight as he united with Fabian, Goga, and Joonas to form the most successful Rainbow Six team to date.
During the entirety of Year 2, Pengu lost just a single game of note across the three Pro League seasons and the Six Invitational, which included the flawless Season 5 Finals (where PENTA won all three games 2-0) and the reverse sweep against Evil Geniuses (EG) at the 2018 Six Invitational, which remains the most-watched R6 game in history.
Year 3 started on a weaker note after his team was pipped to the Season 7 title by Team Liquid and then fell to "i don't know" at the DreamHack Valencia Minor. However, the newly-minted G2 Esports lineup, signed just before the Six Major Paris, proved it was still the best team in the world as it took down EG once again in the Grand Final with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-2 scoreline.
Following this, the team won the Season 8 Finals in another flawless run, as well as the DreamHack Winter Minor in the following months before its last international title victory at the Six Invitational 2019 -- the first title-defense of the world championship.
Since then, G2 has still been able to secure notable results, such as a runners-up finish at the Raleigh Major, and a regional victory at the 2020 European League Finals. However, its players have not been able to repeat this success at the international level after failing to qualify for the Season 9 and 10 Finals and losing to Fnatic and NiP at SI20.
Now, after five years on the team, Pengu has left R6 Esports.
Pengu will now be focusing entirely on content creation as a streamer for G2 Esports, but stressed that his future as a content creator may not necessarily be with the same organisation. He also confirmed that he will not be joining TSM.
However, he did not rule out a return to competitive Siege as an analyst, caster, or coach if he did not enjoy content creation.
In his livestream announcement, Pengu also revealed that he has been granted permission by Ubisoft to co-stream the North American League (NAL) and European League (EUL) for the 2021 season.
As well as being a massive announcement for Pengu himself, this also leaves G2 Esports without any of the players from their 2018 Six Invitational win, with Kantoraketti now their longest remaining player.
As the reigning European champions, G2 remains one of the standout favourite teams for May's 2021 Six Invitational, making Pengu's replacement a key player to watch out for over the next few weeks.