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Eskaa: "People will probably underestimate us, but that's on them and we'll make sure to prove them wrong"

Ahead of the Six Invitational 2021, now confirmed from May 11 to 23 in Paris, SiegeGG caught up with Parabellum player Eskaa.

Eskaa: "People will probably underestimate us, but that's on them and we'll make sure to prove them wrong"

Once known as Altiora, the Canadian-majority roster of Parabellum has had many obstacles in its push towards the top-flight and the Six Invitational.

A very different Altiora roster had joined the one-season long Canadian Division in the North American League, though the Squires roster had only been signed by Altiora about a week after the start of the 2020 season.

That first iteration, of which only team captain Zachary "SpiriTz" Dionne remains, finished third in Stage 1.

Stage 2 was when the Canadian roster we know truly came together, with all of Xavier "Eskaa" Avoine, Brandon "Euphoria" Sathongnhot, Keagen "P3NGU1N" Smith, and Logan "Sonar" Parker joining.

Stage 2 went a lot better, as they qualified for the Canadian Division Finals and then the Six Invitational 2021 NA Closed Qualifier. A Best-of-Three against RentFree and then a long and bloody Best-of-Five against beastcoast later, Canada had its first Canadian team at a Canadian Invitational.

Or so they thought. With the COVID-19 pandemic raging across the globe, the event was first shifted to Paris, then postponed three months to next month's event.

But, in the meantime, there were a lot of trials and tribulations for these five players. The Canadian Division was first folded, with Altiora choosing to join the new, 2021-planned 10-team North American League. However, its Canadian roster would not be joining them and would play its last games for Altiora at the Invitational.

Altiora would then exit Rainbow Six entirely, but with the Invitational postponed, Ubisoft would reassure the team and the public that the five players would keep their place at the Invitational and take up a Challenger League spot.

Parabellum, however, would come in and sign P3NGU1N, Eskaa, and Spiritz, while Sonar and Euphoria would be replaced by Jameson "KoolAid" Lancaster and Loïc "Luiz" Langlais for the Challenger League. The duo of Sonar and Euphoria would have the option to join the team for the Invitational, though.

That option would eventually be taken up, as coach Matthew "Okward1HP" Smedley would be suspended in April after "inappropriate comments" to a minor, while Luiz would be banned in-game for using exploits and then suspended without pay by Parabellum.

Now, as the dust clears, Parabellum heads to the Six Invitational as one of the 'weaker' teams.

As such, SiegeGG spoke with Eskaa to find out more about his team's preparation.

Well, it has been chaos in your ranks recently, with Luiz ‘blindsiding’ your team and the Okward situation. It’s far from an ideal situation to have when approaching any match, much less those at the level of the Invitational. Has this been a major distraction?

I don't think it has been a distraction. At the end of the day, we're focusing on improving as a team and that's it. We will show what we're made of and how we react to adversity.

You had mentioned that Sonar and Euphoria had always been set to play at the Invitational, correct? How does playing and practicing with two different rosters for the Challenger League and the Invitational affect preparation? I imagine that chemistry would take a big hit.

We haven't been scrimming with Sonar and Euphoria for that long and when we started splitting up scrims, Luiz got banned, so now we're always practicing with the SI roster.

Two wins and two overtime losses in the CL so far, for you guys. Is that form a worrying sign, or are you (perhaps like many other teams) hiding the best for the Invitational?

I don't think going to overtime against the two best teams in our group was a sign of worry. Of course, we could have played better and we were definitely not happy with our perfomance, but it was with an arguably different roster.

Even though we are prepping for SI, we're still trying to show we are the best team in CL.

Obviously, your team is thrilled to be going to the Invitational -- the biggest Siege tournament each year. But how disappointed are you that you are going to the one Invitational that will not be on home soil for you?

I'm not going to lie, I'm really sad the Invitational isn't on home soil because I live right by the venue (Place Bell) we had for the past two years. However, I think not having on home soil will allow me and others to travel to Paris, which will be a great experience, even with the pandemic going on.

What is your opinion on the changed format for the Invitational and how do you rate your chances in the group, being the only other team aside from Mkers to not be playing in the top flight (yet)?

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Regardless of Wildcard Gaming not being able to make it to Paris in May, I think we have great chances of making it out of groups! People will probably underestimate us, but that's on them and we'll make sure to prove them wrong (again)!

How has your team been preparing for what will be your second-ever tournament (after the NSGxDZ Pro-Am) and first ever international LAN, aside from the league-system CL?

We're focusing on ourselves for the moment, making sure our teamplay is up as well as our strats are working accordingly! Also, SpiriTz and I have played multiple LANs where we live. Of course it was against lesser competition but we still got the hang of it and are eager to show what we're capable of.

What is your goal for the Invitational and how confident are you that you'll achieve it?

As I previously said, we're really confident we can make out of groups! Our goal is to win SI, nothing less. We're not coming at SI to be tourists and just play our games, we're here to win, give people a good show and make Canada proud!

Is there anything you want to say to your fans and maybe your competitors?

To the fans, thanks for sticking by our side, even after all the drama. Your support is greatly motivating us to improve!

To the competitors, watch out because we're coming ready and eager more than ever to win it all. Finally, shout out to all my IRLs, both friends and family, who supported me throughtout this journey!

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Catch Parabellum next in action on the 12th of May at 8 AM ET (UTC-4), when they take on Oxygen Esports live from Paris.