Beastcoast 7-4 XSET
Beastcoast started the Sept. 7 play day off with a bang, defeating XSET with a dominating 7-4 scoreline.
Alec "Yungalec" starred during the match, his NAL debut marked with four kills during his first official match. Beastcoast swung the momentum from a powerful 4-2 attacking half on Kafe Dostoyevsky into a very solid win.
"I knew we were going to do well," said Yungalec during an interview on the official NAL broadcast.
Additionally, beastcoast appears to be massively improved from its previous stage, although its only result so far has been against XSET -- the other statistical worst team in the league. Beastcoast did not win a game during Stage 2, and its last NAL win had been on April 14.
On XSET's side, it'll have some soul-searching to do after losing arguably the most winnable game during the stage.
Stage 3 results matter for relegation play, and XSET will need to claw several wins from the clutches of skilled, experienced opponents to breathe easily. The debut of Christian "Prod" Gauch and the return of Nathan "nvK" Valenti could have gone worse, but not by much; XSET can ill afford many more losses against beatable teams.
Spacestation 7-3 Mirage
Spacestation utilized the full operational power of its newly-assembled Death Star to wipe Mirage off Clubhouse with a 7-3 scoreline. Particularly, Spacestation excelled on their attacking half. New hard breach support player Alex "Skys" Magor excelled statistically, and Spacestation looks like they're primed to continue their regional dominance in the North American scene.
Mirage looked solid, but Spacestation was clearly a step ahead, especially on their attacking rounds. Newcomer Tomas Kaka was solid for Mirage, but it wasn't enough to score the crucial defensive rounds on Clubhouse that are necessary for victory.
Spacestation hasn't lost in NAL play since June. Mirage had an excellent start to the year with a third-place Stage 1 finish, but slipped to seventh in Stage 2. Mirage will have a chance to right its ship against Oxygen tomorrow, but an 0-2 start in Stage 3 play could be a tough hole to dig itself out of with Major spots on the line.
Oxygen 7-3 TSM
Oxygen started strong and never looked back en route to a 7-3 victory over TSM on Clubhouse. The return of Bryan "Merc" Wrzek for TSM wasn't enough to stem the tide; the veteran entry player notched four kills during the second round of the day but couldn't get anything going late into the match. Merc top-fragged for TSM, but he only went 8-8.
Oxygen stumbled during Stage 2, but had none of those struggles today. It looked good in adjusted Clubhouse roles; Evan "Yoggah" Nelson, in particular, performed great on the hard breach, which functions like a turret on this specific map. The speartip combo of Leo "Kyno" Figueiredo and Frankie "VertcL" Cordero proved lethal as well.
Oxygen had an extremely fast start to the stage and will need to keep up the pace to qualify for SI. With the amount of SI Points it has, any top-four finish should do.
TSM is in a similar spot, but will need a solid performance in this stage. When TSM is on, it's really on, and the team will need to find a way to flip the switch quickly.
Soniqs 7-3 Astralis
Soniqs ruined the debut of the Astralis organisation in "Rainbow Six Siege" with a commanding 7-3 victory on Chalet. Soniqs used the momentum from starting on attack on the attacker-sided map to go up 6-1 and close out the map.
Astralis barely missed out on a spot at the Mexico Major to this Soniqs squad in Stage 2. The pair of teams had effectively played a play-in match on the final day of the stage and Soniqs had won 7-4.
Between that result, this result, and the tensions between the two rosters following post-2020 season roster moves, this is a budding rivalry to watch.
Soniqs struggled during the group stage of the Mexico Major, but those struggles became more understandable as the playoffs shook out. Two of the four semifinalists were in group A with Soniqs, and Major-winners Team oNe spoke highly of the fourth team: CAG.
Both of these squads are blends of young talent and veteran experience, both have a bright future. They're going to lock horns many times in the future.