The story of the week in the NAL is undoubtedly eUnited throttling the Susquehanna Soniqs, but other storylines gave them a run for their money.
TSM absolutely obliterated Tempo Storm, showing a terrifying new form as they are all back in their team house and looking as good as they have. Spacestation Gaming shouldn't be counted out either, they laid the hammer down on DarkZero as the two titans collided for what seemed like the millionth time. In addition, Disrupt fell to an Oxygen team that looks like they're back on track.
Stat of the week
That's how long it had been since eUnited took home a victory in a professional match. 166 nights, silently waiting in bed for another shot at victory. 166 days of scrimmaging, dry running, painstakingly going over things again and again to make sure that they had the best chance of winning.
166 days. No other team has had a drought that long. Arguably, no other team has been as lost in the desert as eUnited, no wins in sight to quench the competitive thirst. 166 days of being the butt of Reddit memes and Twitter clapbacks, 166 days of being a joke to most, of never seeing the old white, red, and blue logo grace predictions. 166 days of being laughed at, 166 days of hearing, "you have potential."
No more. There are tons of stats that are incredible this week, like how Tim "Creators" Humphreys went 5-0 on entry but only won 1 round in two maps against TSM. There's Alexander "Retro" Lloyd's big day on support, putting up team-leading stats in nearly all categories while relegated to Ace and Smoke.
EUnited's "days without a win" counter being ended trumps them all. Around 12 days ago, if you told your friends that come week 3, you thought eUnited would be up against DarkZero in a match to decide who goes to the upper group, and it isn't a DarkZero lock, they'd look at you like you'd begun speaking in tongues, Latin, or Old Norse.
The Rainbow 6 world has been hard on eUnited, and in some cases deservedly so -- they haven't been good at all in the past. At this point in time, we should doff the cap to them, clap them on the back and say "well done," because they did it.
Here are some things that lasted less than 166 days.
- Anthony Scaramucci's tenure as the White House Director of Communications.
- The 2000 Presidential Election Recount.
- True Detective Season 1's debut
- The time between Napoleon's escape from the island of Elba to the battle of Waterloo
- The war part of the Spanish-American War
- Ghengis Khan's Siege of Baghdad
- Tim Tebow's tenure with the New England Patriots.
- A typical Mount Everest climb.
- (Potentially depending on date accuracy) Alexander the Great's siege of Tyre.
- The Persian Gulf War.
- Kim Kardashian's marriage to Kris Humphreys.
- Four generations of the average housefly.
Well done to eUnited for breaking the cycle.
Clips of the week
EUnited's Leo "Alphama" Robine and Alexander "Yeti" Lawson are extremely good friends, from at least our point of view. When they took this overtime round and the series victory was within smelling distance, the moment that made myself and lots of others crack was their big hug. It was an emotional moment as you could physically see the tension evaporating across the map as they came back to put the Soniqs down 2-0.
We're not in NA right now, I know we're not in the correct region right now. However, it's good to take a step back and have some fun right now, especially in the social climate we're in right now. Here's a very funny clip right now. Right now.
00-Retro through the smoke with the knife secured Disrupt a 1v5 round. It's even more impressive when you realize he's on Clash and was likely making more noise than a jet engine powering up with his shield. Well played on this one, 1v5 clutches are hard to come by, and even in a Disrupt loss Retro's excellence should be recorded.
Storyline of the week
While we've seen the matchup quite a few times before, it's a little bizarre how little social media chatter Spacestation's massive victory over DarkZero got.
Chalk it up to the teams playing each other an absurd amount of times in groups and in the Mini-Major, chalk it up to everyone expecting Spacestation to bounce back strong, chalk it up to whatever you want: Spacestation whooped a very, very good DarkZero team in one of the most technically excellent matches of the season.
Alec "Fultz" Fultz was particularly excellent, notching a 5-3 on entry and a 20-12 K/D overall. Javier "ThinkingNade" Escamilla was excellent in his flank watch role as well, and had a match-high 82% KOST.
So yes, Spacestation knocked off the Mini-Major winners, and could keep the ball rolling en route to reclaiming their crown in North America. It's still bizarre how little this was discussed or talked about, despite being arguably the most "high-profile" match of the week.
The formatting is great, but perhaps the groups need to be shaken up in order to get a compelling matchup. It would've been more interesting had TSM played DarkZero, as the last time the two played each other it was in the Grand Finals of the Mini-Major.
Regardless, Spacestation is back on top, and along with TSM are locked in for the "top four" group. DarkZero will face off against eUnited on Monday for a winner-take-all match that will determine where they place in this phase.
Three smaller thoughts
Don't piss off TSM, ever: TSM are looking extremely strong as Bryan "Merc" Werzek appears to have returned to his MVP-esque form now that they're all together in a team house. They absolutely flogged a solid Tempo Storm roster 7-1, 7-0 in one of the most lopsided matches we've ever seen in professional Rainbow Six Siege. It's not just "The Beaulo Show" this time around either, Matthew "Achieved" Solomon leads the league in KOST% and Merc leads in K/D +/-. Could they possibly be ready to break the No. 2 curse and take home an NA title?
Soniqs disappoint: This was supposed to be their season. They had everything going for them, an allegedly-favorable matchup against DarkZero, the access to their full roster, preparation time, everything was coming up Soniqs. Now, they haven't even won a map. There are no asterisks for the Soniqs this stage, no logical reasons for them to be performing like this. They'll get a break to go back to the drawing board and to make a run at another qualifier spot, but this team had bigger aspirations. They'll have to wait to prove how good they think they can be.
Fix the servers: In an effort to not have this column be 100% complaining every week about the state of the game, this is relegated to a thought and not an official storyline. It's unacceptable that an esport that considers itself "tier 1" is having three separate lag outs during one map. It's unacceptable that sometimes grenades just, uh, don't work and people get stuck in doors. EUnited got a teamkill due to a grenade indicator not showing up. Something has to give at some point, something has got to get better.
Tweets of the week