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Five years on, will history repeat itself?

As we are set to return to Germany once again, Renshiro and Kanto are in a very familiar position.

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Later tonight, the regional play for Stage 2 will come to an end. The final European League play day will determine the last two teams that will compete at the upcoming Six Major in Germany.

Exactly five years ago, Europe was in a very similar position, as a delayed play day meant that on Aug. 1, 2017, the Siege world was waiting to find out who the final teams would be at the ESL Pro League Season 5 Finals -- also in Germany.

Now, we return to Germany for the first time since, and the Siege landscape is almost unrecognisable. But two things have remained constant; the presence of Juhani "Kantoraketti" Toivonen and Olivier "Renshiro" Vandroux.

Back in Season 5 of the ESL Pro League, Renshiro was the only player on Millenium who was a mainstay on the roster after it won France’s first and only tier-one PC title during Season 2. Bastien "BiBooAF" Dulac’s Supremacy had attended the 2017 Six Invitational six months prior, but Millenium was set to reassert themselves as the number one team in France with Vincent "Falko" Baucino rejoining the squad.

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Renshiro a year later at the Six Paris Major.

Kanto, on the other hand, was in a very different position. While the all-Finnish ENCE roster had qualified for all five prior tournaments in Rainbow Six Siege history at that point, this was just Kanto’s second season on the team.

On Aug. 1, Kanto had already qualified for the Finals but still had the opportunity to clinch the first seed if ENCE upset PENTA. Not only did they do this in a very unexpected upset result across three maps, but Kanto was the top-rated player on the classic Ash-Jager roles.

Renshiro, meanwhile, still had a spot to win as Millenium faced Supremacy for Europe’s third Pro League qualification spot and to prove they were the best French roster at the time. This game was a slaughter, as it ended 10-2 in round count. Renshiro was the best-rated player with a kills-per-round figure of 1.42 on Blackbeard and Mira.

While PENTA went on to win the LAN Finals without dropping a map, both Millenium and ENCE went out in the first round. While a somewhat embarrassing result, ENCE were crowned the Season 6 Pro League champions three months later as Kanto won his first of four titles. Millennium meanwhile, were solidified as the French champions for years to come and went on to win the DreamHack Austin Minor in the following year.

Since then the Millenium team changed organisations and players numerous times and is now known as Rogue, Kanto’s current home in his second season with them.

Kanto will hope to repeat history on this new team, but though he once again already holds a qualification spot to the German event, the odds of winning first seed are very much stacked against Rogue. Rogue sit two points shy of first place and are set to play NAVI, while the league leaders, Wolves Esports, will play Outsiders.

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Kanto a year and a half later on G2 Esports at SI 2019.

Renshiro on BDS is also yet to win a spot at the upcoming event, but his path looks much tougher now than in 2017. Even assuming BDS smash Team Secret, they also need MNM to get nothing against last-placed PWNZ and may also need Heroic to steal at least one point from G2 Esports. A 1.42 KPR may not be enough for BDS after a weak start to the season.

Unless the tightest of margins come to pass, Wolves will be the only Frenchmen in Berlin, and it seems that five years on, BiBooAF has undoubtedly reasserted that his team is the best in France.

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BiBooAF at the Six Paris Major.

Back in Season 5, APAC wasn’t even involved in global events, and Europe’s dominant streak was just kicking into gear. Obviously, a lot has changed since, yet the consistency of these players has remained constant. The EU League kicks off at 6 PM CET tonight as we find out who the two final teams travelling to Germany will be.

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