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Icon01.02.2018 16:51 by Skully

Pengu: It takes someone to push you to really understand that it's okay to take the leap

imageRainbow Six Siege is shaping up to become one of the big titles in esports. Looking forward to the second annual Six Invitational, we've had the chance to have a chat with PENTA Sports very own Niclas 'Pengu' Mouritzen to talk about himself, the Rainbow Six Pro League, his time with PENTA and the general development of the games' scene.



escene.de: First things first, hello Niclas. Would you be so kind as to quickly introduce yourself to the community?
Pengu: My name is Niclas ‘Pengu’ Mouritzen, I'm a streamer and professional Rainbow Six Siege player for PENTA Sports. I've been competing ever since the beginning.
Throughout the last two years I've managed to pick up three Pro League Season victories, a DreamHack win and a 2nd place, and two German LAN victories making me the most award-winning player in the Pro League so far. I started playing the day I turned 18, and now am 20 years old. Oh, and I’m the only Danish pro player currently in the Pro League.


»the lineup was made with a very specific purpose: to be the best in Europe«


It has been almost two years since you and your team ReFL3X joined PENTA back in the very early days of Rainbow Six Siege in February of 2016. After the team was picked up, you proceeded to win the first ever Pro League LAN finals and PENTA has been a big name in the Pro League ever since. What is it that made you stick to PENTA for the past two years?
Sticking to PENTA started out as a ‘loyalty’ and also inexperience kind of decision. We didn't know how organisations worked, how much we were worth, or if anyone else would want us. We wanted to stay true to the organisation that first picked us up and believed in us (being PENTA). Now it's a mixture of loyalty and also comfort, PENTA has shown a massive interest in our well-being and they have succeeded to deliver on their promises on improving our conditions and contracts.

After the lineup at the time seemingly struggled to keep up with the competition for the rest of Year 1, you managed to secure spots in the LAN finals of every Pro League season in Year 2. Even further, you won both the first and second seasons and placed top 4 in the last. Do you think that, now that Rainbow Six is growing as fast as it is, you will be able to keep that high level of performance throughout Year 3?
I think as long as we continue to make wise decisions, we'll manage to stay top 3 in EU and hopefully top 3 in the world. We made A LOT of bad decisions in Year 1 which came alongside being first time pro players. The year two lineup was made with a very specific purpose: to be the best in Europe and compete at the highest level of play; a group of players who (the majority) would stick together and learn to improve, rather than replace someone when he became an issue. We picked up a coach to do all the administrative work and handle scheduling, and five very talented players, and I think the mentality remains the same in present time.



Adding to the part about the growth of the community: after the Evil Geniuses acquired the roster of Continuum shortly before the Year 2 Season 3 finals, we see more and more big names enter the scene with both Team Liquid and FaZe Clan picking up teams a few days ago. What is your take on the entire situation? Do you see any downsides to the internationally more well-known teams taking part in the Rainbow Six Pro League?
I think bigger orgs may seem very scary at first glance, but once you put on your glasses you realize it’s the exact same players with the exact same mindset, just under a different brand, representing a different name. FaZe / Liquid is no different, but at first it does seem very intimidating considering their big brands, followers and fanbases.
In terms of bigger orgs coming to Siege it will for sure grow the scene. We saw Rogue getting invited based off being a team with a big fanbase, 1UP getting invited to acquire the German scene (viewer-wise) and FaZe getting invited based off being a massive org.
With one, two, now three orgs showing actual purchase and investment in Siege, we quickly see others. NiP have been teasing for a while and numerous others have approached teams; it's an interesting time in Siege for sure.


»the dev team behind Siege has been extremely good at listening to community feedback«


Looking at other games like CS:GO, Dota2, League of Legends, and especially the newly established Overwatch League, are there things you would want both Rainbow Six and the Pro League to adapt from other titles?
I think the main thing we're lacking is talent. We don’t have previously experienced casters, they’re all self-taught in Siege (primarily). That, and we have an extremely poor spectating system, making for a very hard viewing experience and limiting our options outside of Pro League, since our spectator is a single person, not an automated program of any sorts.
Picking up spectating from CS:GO, casting talent from League or even Overwatch, and improving quality like from any of them, I think we'll continue to grow. But we need to spike up our stream numbers and hopefully all the orgs will help with it aswell.

On the other hand, are there parts of both that you are happy about them being different from other games?
I don't think there's directly anything Siege does better, but again Siege is very new and those are the biggest and most successful competitors out there. I think it would only be wrong if Siege did something better than those as of yet. If anything, the dev team behind Siege has been extremely good at listening to community feedback and they constantly strive for change, rather than being stuck in the same track, which is amazing.


»PENTA is worthy of winning at peak-performance«


With the end of Year 2 Season 2 you have published a video that was partially showcasing (and later another one analyzing) PENTA's ingame communication and play style during the season. Something, most professional players in other team-based games try to keep secret as best as humanly possible, to not give others an edge in the competition. Why did you feel comfortable giving examples of how the team works together?
I didn't feel that any other team could adapt our play style, and our communication is rather unique as nobody's mother tongue is English. We have a super chaotic, messy and limited communication. I thought it would be fun to share the experience and the journey with the people that watch our games, since it’s a very common topic and a lot of people have shown a lot of interest in how pro teams communicate. It was a risk, but a worthy one.

Rather recently, PENTA replaced KS with SHA77E. After being a stable team for almost a year, has the addition of SHA77E had any big impact on the team? If so, what changed the most?
SHA77E brought more diversity to the team for sure; a more fluid and adaptive play style and better decision making as well as communication contribution. Picking up a new player also messes with everyone else’s comfort-zone and forces people to try new things and potentially even new operators, so it was a nice mix-up for the team to have that ‘refreshing’ mindset overall; also in terms of play style. You often fall into bad habits when you play for the same team and with the same teammates for a longer period of time, and you rely on your teammates to do what you expect. Rather than actually communicating you’re assuming, which becomes an extremely poor habit to have.



Looking forward to the next year, your accomplishments in the past seasons earned you a spot in the upcoming Six Invitational and, just as any other team competing at the event, I’m sure you are aiming for the trophy. Realistically speaking, how well do you see PENTA doing at the event?
Realistically speaking, PENTA is worthy of winning at peak-performance. I think the team who is going to win is the one that brings their best and most consistent a-game. It's really up for anyone to take at this point.
We could go out in the groupstages if we get up on the wrong side of the bed, but we could also take the entire thing if we show up.


»I wouldn't have trusted myself to give it (going pro) a try«


Taking a step back from everything Pro League, you have one of the more well-known and liked streams the Siege community has to offer. How do you manage to play Siege as an outlet in your personal streams, when you already are as invested as you are by being a Pro League player? What is it that keeps you interested in the game even after two years?
I have a very one-sided way of working as a human being, in the way that I commit 100% to one thing, that one thing being Siege. Whether it’s interviews, streaming, scrims, Pro League, or playing ranked; the overall commitment is ‘Siege’. I have the mentality that if I don’t play as much as I currently do (10-15 hours daily), then I'm not worthy or deserving of my career and my position. I believe that respect and victories are worked for and deserved, and not given by luck or faith. So I commit all of this to be the best possible player and teammate that I can be, representing my brand, myself and my team.
I've accumulated over 8.500 hours of total play-time across the two years that Siege has been out and I hope to keep the torch up and lead the way as more and more players become full-time.

Rainbow Six Siege aside, is there anything you’d like to tell us about yourself? Any shout-outs?
Well, my mother was the one who pushed me into taking the risk two years ago, dropping my studies and pursuing the dream. She allowed me to live at home for a super small rent. I had money saved up that would last me 6 months, so I basically had half a year to make this work. It takes someone to push you to REALLY understand that it's okay to take the leap. Without her permission, I wouldn’t have trusted myself to give it a try.
Both my teammates and PENTA have been amazing so far. I'm a first-time pro player, so I've learned everything along the way and I know that I haven’t been easy to work with up until recent seasons so +1 to them for sticking with me.
Multiple people who were way bigger than me two years ago shared my stream and my name, and I can’t help but think that they played a big part of shaping my success in public areas such as streaming. They did a small gesture out of kindness and now my stream is blown out of proportion. I never expected to reach these heights.

That’s pretty much it! Thank you very much for your time and best of luck to you and the rest of PENTA for both the upcoming Six Invitational and the entirety of Year 3!
Thank you.
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Kai 'Skully' Engelkes
registriert seit 15.05.2016
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