Skip navigation (Press enter)

“It is an actual challenge in a different way": Fabian explains why he joined PSG Talon, what must change, and what should we expect from the Koreans

Fabian has joined PSG Talon's ambitious Siege project.

Banner Image: PSG Talon R6

When we talk about coaching and experience in European football, a name quickly pops into the fans’ minds: Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian competed as a professional player from 1976 to 1992 and has coached some of the most prestigious football teams in the world since 1995. 

With two European cups as a player and four Champions Leagues (the equivalent of the Six Invitational) as a coach, Carletto is one of the most successful managers in the world and one of the only seven people to win the Champions League both as a player and as a coach.

We only have one person to achieve something similar in Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege: Fabian “Fabian” Hällsten. The Swed won the Six Invitational 2018 and the Six Invitational 2019 as a player, and the Six Invitational 2023 as a coach.

If that wasn’t enough to set a parallelism between their careers, let’s go even deeper. In Dec. 2011, Carlo Ancelotti was unveiled as a PSG manager. In his first full season in Paris, the Italian brought David Beckham, the Swed Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva, and Marco Verrati, among others. His ultimate goal was to use his and the new players’ experience to bring the Champions League trophy to Paris.

The fans quickly fell in love with the Italian as he brought PSG its first Ligue 1 title after a 19-year drought, as the Parisians won the league with a 12-point difference over the second-placed team in the standings. While the coach couldn’t win the Champions League for PSG in his season and a half in the team, the Italian set the base for what was to come for the French football club.

Thirteen years after Ancelotti decided to join PSG, Fabian is going through a similar situation in Rainbow Six Siege as the former G2 Esports coach joined PSG Talon with one goal in mind: transforming South Korean Siege and getting as close as possible to the hammer.

What comes after winning everything there’s to win?

Fabian has always been a champion. In his first full season as a professional player, the Swed won two Pro League Finals and the Six Invitational 2018. Shortly after, he and his teammates were picked up by G2 Esports and won another Six Invitational, the game’s first Major, his third PL Finals, and one DreamHack.

Following an unsuccessful season with Team Vitality, the Swed retired as a player and became G2 Esports’ coach in Sep. 2022. Only five months after his appointment, the European powerhouse won the Six Invitational 2023.

Plain and simple, Fabian has won it all – inside and outside the server. What else is there to achieve? What can keep fueling his competitive hunger?

After his exit from G2 Esports in Aug. 2023, the Swed coach focused on his work as a desk analyst for Rainbow Six Siege’s esports competitions, including the Six Invitational 2024. Shortly after his last appearance in front of the cameras in Brazil, the three-time world champion traveled to South Korea to meet his home for the upcoming season: PSG Talon.

“It is an actual challenge in a different way, it’s not about taking an all-ready European super team and making them take that extra two, three percent up. We are talking of a team I have to take from the absolute bottom of the competitive ladder,” Fabian explained in an interview with SiegeGG hours after PSG Talon’s flawless victory against Beyond Stratos Gaming.

“This is not about winning every event. This is more about building up full regions, we start with PSG Talon, but if we start performing and we start doing really exotic stuff to them in practice and they start copying us and start learning from us, we are not only improving ourselves but we are improving an entire region.”

Technically, he’s right. South Korea was the worst region at international competitions with only three victories out of a possible 21 against teams from countries outside Asia. Overall, the South Korean rosters only won 149 rounds out of a possible 419 across Copenhagen, Atlanta, and Brazil, which meant they had the worst regional round difference (-121).

“When you go up against Korean teams you play your s*** maps, you don’t give a crap, you only play your s*** maps because you can hide stuff for further down the line, so if I can make it that they can’t hide stuff against Korea anymore but they actually take out serious maps, then I will feel like I achieved something,” he explained.

What goals do PSG Talon have?

So far, PSG Talon seem to have understood that the change they want won’t be achieved in a matter of weeks. They know the squad will need months to step up to the level required to go from being mere spectators at international competitions, to actually competing for glory.

As already mentioned by Fabian, this will be a “long-term opportunity.” Therefore, despite the team’s most recent results, we can’t expect PSG Talon to dominate the scene from the very beginning. There are some steps to take first, and the most immediate one is shaking DPlus and FearX’s dominance in the region.

“Short term is to start being part of that duo, I think we will overtake them quite quickly if I am honest, I think we will overtake both DPlus and FearX probably within the first three months,” the coach explained.

So far, it looks like PSG Talon could achieve that goal in the first split of the season. The Koreans top the standings with six points and the better round difference, while FearX lost their first two games of the season.

“We have clear goals in all of the different stages so, Stage 1 this year, do as well as we can,  Stage 2, qualify for the Major, and then we want to qualify for SI by doing decently as well; obviously that comes harder if we don’t qualify for Manchester,” the Swed explained.

When we remembered him about the possibility of qualifying for the Six Invitational 2025 through the regional qualifiers, Fabian was clear. “I don’t want to qualify that way, I want to qualify by actually being the best team in the region.”

“The long-term goal for me is to make Top 8 at any event, how we get there doesn’t matter, but making Top 8 is the first step, being a respected opponent is kind of the goal in a way, make Korea a respected opponent,” Fabian admitted. 

“We won’t challenge for SI hammers, we won’t challenge for Major grand finals and winning the titles, but… if we get there, what is there to actually stop us except our opponents? Because we will never be the team that’s in the driver's seat in terms of pressure, it will never be on us, the further we get the less pressure is actually on us because now the other team is going up against a Korean team and, how could they lose!”

“So for us is not about winning SI, the further we get the happier we are, but we are being realistic and, if we make it further, good job guys, but we will take that stage by stage,” he added.

First days with the team

When Fabian arrived in South Korea, the coach was welcomed with open arms. Not every day you have the chance to work with a three-time world champion. According to the coach, his first training with the team was on Mar. 6 – the South Korea League started on 

However, with the season beginning the week after his arrival, there was not much time for introductions. “I showed up to bootcamp without having really met the guys before,” the Swed admitted.

“We had one practice where I looked in, and I was like ‘okay these are the things I think are missing, can I have access to everything we have available?’ and there was so much missing, so much lacking,” Fabian explained.

“So I pointed out the things I can improve, and then basically we were both happy with what that was and on top of that we both wanted to do this project together, build in the long term with their investment and also pushing, basically, putting PSG Talon on the map, picking me up and Pengu, is there a bigger PR move you can make these days?”

With the addition of Fabian and Niclas “Pengu” Mouritzen to the organization, PSG Talon isn't only adding experience and knowledge to the team but also bringing European and American fans together. This is a smart move as international fans will pay attention to the brand’s next steps while also following the South Korea League. A parallelism can be found in traditional sports nowadays, with Inter Miami signing Léo Messi, Luis Suárez, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba, a move that has rolled many eyes from European football to American soccer every Saturday afternoon.

“It is a smart strategical move from PSG Talon to bring very experienced players that can provide a lot of that experience, a lot of structure, understanding of the current meta, and just, basically pushing through and play the game, because that’s what they are missing, they don’t know the basics... and we’re here to teach that.”

What does South Korea lack compared to other regions?

South Korea’s 2023 campaign was underwhelming, to say the least. Internationally, none of the two powerhouses (DPlus and FearX) could create a deep international run. Coming from such a negative season, every South Korean team decided to go through changes in the winter transfer window.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. We aren’t at the Six Sweden Major anymore and the South Korean teams, those with players who hardly speak any English, are now open to signing foreign talent to help them work on a more compatible international style.

So far, Fabian’s words about the region haven’t been the nicest as he knows there’s plenty to work on. “Korea is so far behind on how to play the game,” the Swed admitted. “I am talking genuinely from the basics of how to structure a team, how to play teamwork, how to play any sort of basic communication, communication as in play on my contact, so when one of your friends sees that and starts shooting, that means the other guy swings, those things don’t exist here,” the coach said.

“When I saw the stratbook, it was more like ‘Where is the stratbook?’ or ‘What is the basics for you guys?’ there simply isn’t any, so we’re talking about really building everything from scratch, it’s like starting everything over from 2017. They are lacking everything theoretically, everything strategically, everything structure-wise, and also lacking on the gunplay, they aren’t as good as the Brazilian players, not as good as the European players, and I don’t think they will in a long time.”

Despite the tough words, Fabian believes in the talent of his guys and the region as a whole. South Korea and PSG Talon just need time to elevate their playstyle and fragging abilities, something that can only be achieved with time – and that’s exactly what this long-term project is offering the Swed.

“I think it all comes hand in hand, I think you become a better mechanical player because you reached far enough into that strategical depth because you know you are so solid strategically that you have to be good mechanically to stand out,” Fabian admitted.

English in Korea and potential future imports

As a player, Fabian’s reputation is outstanding. Although he retired three years ago, his trophy cabinet remains one of the largest ones in Siege. However, it’s impossible for a person, even Fabian, to become a fluent South Korean speaker in a matter of days.

With the Swed becoming the head coach of PSG Talon, Kim “DongUk” Dong-uk is “working as a manager of the team,” according to the former G2 Esports player. Additionally, Fabian revealed that Pengu is also helping the team from time to time. “Although his main priority is streaming, when a competitive person gets along with the team, it’s hard to stick away.”

“It’s up to me mainly, and then DongUk will help with translation because he speaks English, and then we also have RoyBoy in the team who also speaks very good English, and I hope people would be interested in hearing RoyBoy in the interviews for the English broadcast on the Korean stream,” he explained.

“We are also looking to change to English language so we understand what they are saying in terms of communication in the game, which then also opens us to international transfers," he explained.

Despite the opportunity of signing imports could become an option in the future, Fabian isn’t convinced by the idea. “I am not looking to replace any players right now,” he said.

“It’s just a short-term fix, it will not fix all of your problems. It’s more important to build trust in your team. I don’t see replacements as something we go for likely, it has to be for when they are unfixable problems, problems that haven’t been fixed themselves over time, and I am not talking about fixing themselves as coming in blindly and just all of them disappearing, I think it’s important that we are open and honest with each other, so those issues that we experience from each other they can be improved upon and fixed, because once they are, your teammate will trust you more because you gave them the chance to improve, and you will also trust your teammate more because they actually showed that if you gave them the chance, they did change,” Fabian concluded.

PSG Talon’s first results since Fabian’s arrival have been rock-solid, including a 7-0 and a 7-2 win against Beyond Stratos Gaming and Before and After, respectively. On Thursday and Friday, the South Koreans will play against BlossoM and Mir Gaming.

SiegeGG is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more about how readers support SiegeGG.