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A 1,000 days after Europe’s last Major win, we’re back in North Carolina. But is EU back?

Heroic, BDS, Wolves, and G2 have a lot to live up to as they travel to the States.

Image via SiegeGG

1,000 days ago at the Six Raleigh Major, the European region recorded its most successful event ever. Team Empire claimed the title in what was Pengu and Fabian’s final game together on stage in front of a crowd. All five European teams in attendance were knocked out by other European rosters as Secret and forZe were the other semi-finalists, and Giants Gaming exited the quarter-finals to forZe.

At this point, forZe had still to even debut in the Challenger League and yet had finished third-fourth at a major event. Team BDS, meanwhile, was not really on anyone’s radar, having first come together just two months prior. The post-G2 future looked bright for Europe as Team Empire were perfectly in line to replace them as the next great Siege dynasty with three global grand-final appearances in a row, a feat only they and G2 have ever recorded to this day.

Four months later, Europe had their worst-ever performance, with all three European teams -- G2 Esports, Team BDS, and Team Secret --  being first-rounded at the OGA Pit Minor. Since then, a year of LATAM dominance has been sandwiched by two North American Six Invitational titles, all while Europe has won nothing of note in terms of international competitions. 

The Siege world now returns to North Carolina, and 1,000 days on, Europe is desperate to regain some success that the first three years of the game had gotten fans used to. 

Over this period, the European hopes rested firmly on the shoulders of the Empire as fans waited for them to add to their tally and continue the promise they showed when G2 seemingly passed the mantle to them in Raleigh. To their credit, they did come the closest of all European rosters, falling in the grand-final to Team oNe at the Mexico Major and to TSM at the most recent Six Invitational. Now the team is out of the picture, and likely won’t be able to challenge for any title before taking another shot at the Six Invitational in 2023.

With the Russians not able to claim another victory on American soil, the European scene has somewhat reverted to the year two regional dynamic as the French and Nords took control. 

For the second Six Major running, half of Europe’s representatives in Charlotte will be francophone rosters. Prior to this, you had to go way back to the Six Paris Major to find any francophone roster other than BDS qualifying for a global event. The Paris Major itself was a turning point in France’s regional dominance as just three months after the event, two of the four francophone rosters -- one of which was coached by Heroic’s Murat "Mrofficer88" Motevalli -- were relegated from the Pro League while the other two moved to communicate in English. 

This collapse meant 2019 was a fairly desolate time for the French scene. SI 2019 included just four French players across two teams, both of which failed to escape Group D. By Raleigh, this fell to three. The success of BDS from SI 2020 onwards, including the semi-final finish in Mexico City, kept France on the esport’s map but now with a repeat performance from Wolves it’s fair to say, France is back. 

Mrofficer88 himself is also truly back this stage and he brought Vikings with him. A Danish organization, Finnish and Danish players, and a Finnish substitute join the Norweigian coach as part of the EUL stage one champions, Heroic. 

Across the pond in NA, Heroic’s other half, Astralis, has conquered the North American scene, while at home five out of the 10 EUL rosters include at least one Nordic member when coaches and managers are factored in. 

Now coming off back-to-back Swedish LANs, both of which included the very first Nordic caster at a major -- Niclas "Pengu" Mouritzen --, it’s fairly safe to say that Charlotte marks the return of the Nords to the global scene for the first time since 2019.

Finally, we have G2. In an article talking about Europe’s history, it’s impossible not to consistently mention G2 Esports, as while Europe has had numerous world-class teams, it would probably take another decade of competition for players to overtake the trophy cabinets of the original G2 roster. 

As we come toward Charlotte, the newest G2 roster may not have won the European League but they will definitely be the most talked-about team in attendance. Some of the best players in the European, Asia Pacific, and Latin American siege scenes have united with the goal of finally living up to the G2 name.

This is effectively the fourth iteration of G2, and all four have qualified for global events. Making it to Charlotte was the absolute minimum requirement. While the French and Nordic scenes have finally come back from their 2019 lows, if this roster wants to prove that G2 has finally bounced back, then they have to take Europe back to the very top. Where better to do it than North Carolina, where G2 lost their crown 1,000 days ago.