The news of Troy ‘Canadian’ Jaroslawski’s retirement from Rainbow Six in March stunned the community. Now he’s back for one final ride with Spacestation Gaming at the Six Invitational, although it doesn’t quite feel the same as it did last year in Montreal.
16 February 2021. Canadian’s Spacestation Gaming was down 2-1 and on the ropes against Ninjas in Pyjamas. It was for all the marbles at the Six Invitational 2020, and the charismatic leader rallied his troops to an unforgettable comeback victory.
It’s hard to believe that game could have been the last Canadian ever played on LAN. After taking home his second Sledge Hammer, he pushed through the online era to try and claim more titles for himself.
However, by the time March 2021 rolled around, with the Six Invitational 2021 being delayed, Canadian called it quits. He had fallen out of love with playing Siege, and couldn’t push through another year of online play.
It’s surprising to see him on stage just two months later then, like nothing ever changed. The only reason he’s with Spacestation Gaming now in Paris, fighting for his record-breaking third Sledge Hammer, is because fill-in Luke ‘Luke’ Slota’s passport expired before the event.
While he’s competing, Canadian admitted he “doesn’t feel the same” compared to this time last year.
“I spoke on some of the things that I missed that kind of affected my motivation for the game [when I retired] and a big thing was LAN events. This does bring back international competition which feels really good to play in again, but it doesn’t feel the same as it once did,” he said in a press conference at the Six Invitational after his team’s 1-1 start.
“I’m pretty motivated. I wasn’t intending to play at this event, so there’s that. It’s not like there’s any lack of motivation or I’m not fully invested [though]. I made the choice to stop playing.”
Canadian could easily slot back into his past roster and fill the massive void left by his initial absence, sure. But he knows that this Six Invitational is his last.
He didn’t even touch Siege for two months in the lead-up to the world championship. Canadian had only a week and a half to prepare for the multi-million dollar event, but he’s passing the test with flying colors.
His 1.30 rating is tied-fifth for the best in the competition so far, and second-best on his team behind Nathanial ‘Rampy’ Duvall. If there were any concerns he’d be washed, they’ve been silenced.
“We’ve only played two games in groups and there’s five left. There’s so much that can happen in groups and only one team can be eliminated in our group. There’s a lot that could still happen, and the games aren’t too punishing,” he said.
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“I don’t think my capability went anywhere. I just wasn’t in the right place mentally to keep playing and I think a little bit of time off helped that. I think I’m in a better place mentally.”
His mere presence has also helped transform Spacestation Gaming, who headed into the Six Invitational a bit wounded after a 3-4th place finish in NA Stage 1 2021.
“There was a distinct difference when Troy retired in our mood and teamwork. It’s a big adjustment to make when your IGL retires,” Dylan ‘Bosco’ Bosco said.
“For Stage 1, things were a bit different, but once we found out we’d be playing with Troy again and he’d be coming to the Invitational, it felt like he never left.”
While a long-term return to Siege is off the cards for now — even if Spacestation Gaming go back-to-back in Paris — Canadian and the rest of Spacestation Gaming is confident they can send him off with the farewell he deserves.
“We are here to win, and Troy is helping us out,” Rampy said.
“We’re still the best team here. I’m not afraid of any other team, but we’re not going to underestimate anybody.”
“We have the strongest players for their roles. We have the two strongest entries [Fultz and Rampy], the best flank watch [ThinkingNade], the best IGL [Canadian]. Everyone is at the top of their role,” Bosco added.
“We want to go against the best and prove that we’re the best. Whoever that will be, we will be ready.”
The Six Invitational 2021 runs until May 23.