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ESPORTS HUDDLE: ‘RAINBOW SIX: SIEGE’ LEGEND RETIRES FROM COMPETITIVE PLAY

Niclas “Pengu” Mouritzen, a legendary competitor in the Rainbow Six: Siege scene, has announced his retirement from the esport at the age of 23.

The announcement came via a livestream, but Mouritzen also took to Twitter on Monday to address the news, saying, “I’m really happy not because it ended but because it happened.”

Mouritzen earned just over $375,000 in his five-year career, starting with German organization PENTA in February 2016 before jumping to Spain’s G2 Esports in August 2018. With G2 Mouritzen won the Six Invitational in 2018 and 2019, as well as the most recent European major the Euro League 2020 finals in January 2021.

Incredibly, Mouritzen holds the distinction of never losing a match to a North American team throughout his five years on the competitive R6 scene, a fact that bolsters what many in the community consider to be the biggest rivalry in the sport in G2 vs Evil Geniuses.

Reaction to the news from the community has been far-reaching, most notably from G2 who released a three-and-a-half minute tribute video to YouTube recounting Mouritzen’s career and thanking him for being a part of the team.

His retirement means G2 will now have to fill a spot on a team currently consisting of Jake “Virtue” Grannan, Ben “CTZN” McMillan, Juhani “Kantoraketti” Toivonen and Aleksi “UUNO” Työppönen.

Meanwhile, streaming platform Twitch has released its 2020 Transparency Report, a 5,000-word report detailing initiatives taken to keep the streaming community safe. The document includes steps taken in three major categories: moderation, machine learning and community transparency. The company also listed listing specific actions taken throughout the year in each category. A companion blog post summarized the report while highlighting specific efforts, including how the service’s “offensive username detection model blocked 3x the number of offensive usernames” in 2020 or the creation of the “Twitch Safety Advisory Council, an eight member consultative body composed of online safety experts and Twitch creators.”

Elsewhere in the world of competitive gaming:

Call of Duty League Major 1 Bracket Set

The first Major in Call of Duty League history is underway after the first stage of qualifiers was completed during Super Week last week. The Atlanta FaZe earned the top seed in Pool A by going undefeated in the group, while the Dallas Empire won the tie-breaker over the Los Angeles Thieves to earn the top seed in Pool B. The New York Subliners, Los Angeles Guerrillas and OpTic Chicago round out the Winners side of the Major 1 bracket.

The first matches in the Losers Bracket saw the Florida Mutineers defeat the Seattle Surge three maps to one, while the Toronto Ultra dispatched the London Royal Ravens 3-2. Matches continue throughout the weekend, with the Major I Final scheduled for Sunday at 3 p.m. PT.

WePlay Esports Announces Recurring Tournament Series

Ukranian tournament organizer WePlay Esports, in partnership with fighting game hub DashFight, has announced a new tournament series called Ultimate Weekend Brawl, a recurring Mortal Kombat 11 series featuring events structured with marquee matchups in a boxing supercard setting. Each event will feature two best-of-five undercard matches with the winners earning $300 each, while the best-of-seven main event will earn the winner $500. The first Ultimate Weekend Brawl takes place on March 6, though the players involved have yet to be named.

Arc System Works Delays Guilty Gear Strive

Arc System Works has announced the delay of its upcoming fighting game Guilty Gear Strive from April 9 to June 11. The announcement came via the official ASW Twitter, announcing the delay and offering a lengthy explanation. “Since we have received valuable feedback after the recent Open Beta Test,” the statement reads. “We would like to make the most of this opportunity to provide the best game possible.” The delay comes ten days after I-No was revealed to be the final playable character in the game’s launch roster at the 2nd Japan Fighting Game Developers Roundtable on February 20.

Photo courtesy of Ubisoft

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