ESPORTSREPORTER.COM / BENJAMIN LITVACK – STAFF WRITER / MAY 3RD, 2021 /
Welcome back everybody! We’ve covered the EUL Rush week and now we’re moving on to cover the next biggest region in the R6 pro scene and that’s North America. Yes there’s been two back to back rush or “super” weeks. This article is also going to be a little different because we’re going over the standings and covering how each team has fared getting to this point and why they are where they are in the standings. Let us know in the comments of this article if you like this new style. Before we get started it is very much worth pointing out two very crucial things. One the Soniqs had a bye on playday 6, so they’ve been static at 10 points while the standings changed around them. The second is a win in regulation is worth three points. The top four teams of the league will go on to play in the major and the current fourth place team only has 9 points. With only three playdays left, any team from 6th place and up could very realistically end up in the major. Mirage in 7th can also make it, but they can only win in regulation from here on out while there must be some crazy combination of losses from other teams ahead of them. That’s how close the NAL is right now. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
1st is Oxygen Esports (OXG).
The current kings of the NAL. OXG sits atop the leaderboard with 12 points total. The main story to takeaway here is that OXG have won when they needed to, and have at the very least made sure they walk away with points in their games. OXG had a shocking upset to DG on playday 3, but then they lost to the Soniqs in overtime in playday 4, then won in overtime against SSG on playday 5 then beat TSM in regulation on playday 6. Unlike TSM, OXG has been able to either close out their games decisively or at the very least make sure they walk away with something in every game they’re in. It also doesn’t hurt that you have breakout rookie star Kyno playing as a SUPPORT player. That and the fact that really any member of OXG has proven that they can and have stepped up and clutch out rounds in various games. Despite being in first, OXG can’t get complacent. They’re in first by a single point, yet as long as they make sure they continue to walk away with points after every game, you expect to see OXG competing at the upcoming major.
2nd is DarkZero Esports (DZ).
Let’s be real here, no one is surprised to see DZ in the top four of the NAL, currently sitting in second place with 11 points overall in the standings. Despite their standing though, it hasn’t been smooth sailing for DZ these past four playdays. DZ won handily against Beastcoast 7-3 on playday 3, then lost to Disrupt Gaming 7-3 on playday 4, then even more shockingly gave XSET their very first win on the season on playday 5 with a score of 7-5. They managed to stop the bleeding though on playday 6 with a convincing win over SSG, 7-4. Let me be clear DZ is a great team, with talented players, an amazing support staff, and a huge strategy book, yet even DZ can struggle with roster and role swaps. With DZ choosing to drop longtime support player Hotancold and picking up entry fragger nJr, it’s been clear that the team as a whole has been needing time to reorient themselves and right the ship as their losses to Disrupt and even more-so XSET would indicate. With that said though, they’re still in second place which is a testament to how good this team is even if they may be struggling.
3rd is Susquehanna Soniqs (Soniqs/SQ).
Yes, yes they’re in 3rd place with 10 points but only because they had a bye, I know. Every team has a bye day though, the Soniqs just had theirs. As the old saying goes, “a win is a win”. That’s the motto the Soniqs have been living by these past four playdays. With a regulation win against SSG on playday three, then overtime wins against OXG and TSM, the Soniqs are looking red hot right now. For a team that benched four of its five players at the start of the season, and then fusing itself with the remnants of the old EUnited roster in the offseason, the Soniqs are looking good plain and simple. It is worth noting that both of those overtime wins were max overtime and came down to the absolute wire, but like I said at the beginning a win is a win, and that’s why the Soniqs find themselves for the first time ever, sitting in the top 4 of the NAL.
4th is Team Solomid (TSM).
TSM are a very good team, they won the last major and have been a member of the Top 4 club for a while now. Yet TSM is also the biggest victim of the new point scoring system. It’s hard to say they’re a victim because TSM have: let games go to overtime that shouldn’t, lose games in overtime, and/or don’t force the games into overtime when they need it. They won in regulation against Mirage, then won in overtime against SSG, lost in overtime to the Soniqs, then just lost to OXG. The win against Mirage that was expected, nothing extraordinary there, moving on. SSG on the other hand, given their current poor state should not be forcing TSM into overtime. TSM won the game, but they still only walk away with 2 points instead of 3. They failed to win in a down to the wire game against the Soniqs. To be fair to TSM, that game was a literal coin toss where each team only won one attacking round in regulation. Against a better team like OXG, TSM couldn’t force the overtime to at least walk away with one point. TSM is a very good team, yet 4th place with 9 points is not good enough. Beastcoast have 8, and Disrupt have 7. TSM need to get it together and do it now otherwise there is an incredibly real chance they won’t be at the major and that isn’t acceptable for a team that has proven to be significantly better than this.
5th is Beastcoast (BC).
For being a brand new organization to the pro scene, BC have been having a very respectable debut season as they sit right on the cusp of being in the top 4 with 8 points. Beastcoast lost to DZ in playday 3, beat XSET playday 4, loss against Mirage playday 5, then won in overtime against Disrupt on playday 6. Beastcoast record has been as wild as their playstyle is: lose to DZ, win against XSET, lose against Mirage, and then win against DG. Beastcoast is the only team in the NAL that didn’t make any roster changes coming into the league, and so far it seems to have been paying off. Beastcoast has some of the best synergy and executes out of any team in the league. When they’re flowing good luck stopping them. They’re dismantling of TSM is evidence to that. Yet getting in that groove and keeping it going has been the struggling part for BC this season. They need to improve on their consistency if they want to break that barrier and find themselves in the top four with a spot in the major.
6th is Disrupt Gaming (DG).
Disrupt Gaming is a weird team. They sit in 6th place with 7 points. Here’s why they’re a weird team: they didn’t just beat OXG, they stomped OXG 7-2 on playday 3, then beat DZ 7-3 on playday 4. They had a bye in playday 5, then lost in overtime to Beastcoast in playday 6. DG also have a loss against SSG from playday 2. DG can and have beaten the current best teams in the league, and beat them handily, yet cannot win against teams that are supposedly at their level or below them according to the standings. DG’s success is determined by one factor: does someone else other than Shuttle have a good game? Shuttle has only one negative K/D game on the season so far and that was in the loss against SSG. Other than that, he has been playing absolutely out of his mind. The best example being in the overtime loss against Beastcoast where he went 22-8 K/D. You read that right. He singlehandedly carried his team to max rounds against Beastcoast, yes it was a loss, but he will be haunting the dreams of Beastcoast for a while after that performance.
7th is Mirage.
The sole surviving team from the merging of the Canada Division with the American division, Mirage have gone through the gauntlet in the first half of the season which is probably why they sit in 7th. Let’s start from playday 3 though. A loss to TSM, then a bye on playday 4, a win against Beastcoast on playday 5, and then finally an overtime win against XSET on playday 6. Mirage are arguably a solidly middle of the pack team as they’ve lost to the teams that are sitting at the top of the leaderboard, yet have beaten teams like Beastcoast and XSET. Hotancold from DZ joined this roster in the offseason and has been working overtime to show what his old team lost when they dropped him. Yet Siege is a team game and he can’t do it alone which is why Mirage are where they are. Part of the problem has definitely been the lack of good play from one of their players Loading, as he had one of the worst ratings in the entire league going into playday 5. That was also when Mirage’s fortunes began to turn around. Loading’s performance on playday 5 was better than every single one of his past performances this season combined. Hotancold still continued his reign of terror that day as well as into playday 6. There is upside to Mirage, the stars would have to align for them to make it into the top four teams, yet they’re doing better than SSG and XSET, so it isn’t all terrible right now.
8th is SpaceStation Gaming (SSG).
From best team in the world to almost last place in the NAL, it has been a long and hard fall from grace for SSG as they sit in 8th place with 5 points. SSG lost 7-2 playday 3 against the Soniqs. It is worth noting that their losses to TSM and OXG in playdays 4 and 5 were overtime losses and still earned SSG very valuable standing points, but losses nonetheless. That losing streak continued into playday 6 falling against DZ 7-4. The main reason for SSG’s fall is without a doubt the sudden retirement of Rainbow Six Siege great and IGL, Canadian. As a result of Canadian’s retirement, SSG analyst Luke has been subbing in as SSG’s fifth player. Let me be clear, SSG’s recent performance is not Luke’s fault. He is not a pro player, that wasn’t his role in the organization so he’s doing his best given the circumstances. It remains to be seen if SSG will keep Luke in his role because he has improved significantly and any roster change will require even more time for adjustment, or if they’ll look for a new player to complete their roster when the transfer window opens again. But until then, SSG have to make do with what they got and unfortunately that’s only good enough to be barely better than XSET.
9th is XSET.
It has been a rough season for the newcomers as they find themselves sitting at the very bottom of the leaderboard with a measly 4 points. XSET didn’t play in playday 3, yet lost quite convincingly to Beastcoast in playday 4, 7-3. Going into playday 5, hadn’t won a single game on the season. Yet when they beat regional titans DZ in regulation no less, everyone except XSET were stunned and XSET proved that there is a glimmer of hope for this team and their future in the league. XSET then fell to Mirage on playday 6, yet they lost 8-7 pushing Mirage to the absolute limit. It’s very clear that XSET haven’t been doing well, and it hasn’t been entirely clear what the main issue has been. Yet XSET has showed that they can win, and there is hope for them. Is it too little too late though, that’s what remains to be seen.
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