Banner image: Ubisoft/Kirill B.
Oxygen 7-5 Mirage
Mirage put up an excellent fight on Kafe Dostoyevsky, but it wasn't enough to beat a strong Oxygen team. Frankie "VertcL" Cordero had another statistically excellent day with over 10 kills on the day, good for best in the server. Mirage's stats were much more balanced overall.
Mirage dropped to 0-2 on the Stage, but considering the caliber of competition, not all is lost. Spacestation and Oxygen are tough draws early in the stage, and there's no shame in losing. However, the mistakes Mirage made in these two games will need to be ironed out before it heads into more winnable games in the future, otherwise, it'll suffer the same results.
For Oxygen, their role swaps seem to be working out. Leo "Kyno" Figueiredo is having a significantly larger impact on Oxygen's attacking rounds on Ash than on hard breach, and their success on attacking rounds have been solid thus far. Oxygen doesn't need much to qualify for SI, and a Major berth could be in the cards if they keep performing at this level.
Astralis 7-3 XSET
XSET had a chance to make this game 4-4; tied down the stretch. A split second stood between Tim "Creators" Humpherys and eliminating Alex "Retro" Lloyd, which would've secured XSET the round. XSET did not win another round on the map, and surrendered a 7-3 loss to Astralis.
Astralis's David "iconic" Ifidon dropped 11 kills during the match with a solid 60 percent KOST. The youth of Astralis shone during this match -- iconic, Jack "J90" Burkard and Matthew "Dpfire" Macway is a lineup to be feared in the future. Dpfire notched four opening kills during the map, and J90 tallied nine frags of his own.
Unfortunately for XSET, they're going to have to go back to the drawing board. Specifically, new addition Nathan "nvK" Valenti struggled statistically over the past two days, notching a mere 30 percent KOST: half of the KOST percentage of the next lowest XSET member, Creators. XSET now has losses to Astralis and beastcoast on the season, all four of last stage's top four teams are still on the menu for Stage 3.
Soniqs 7-5 Spacestation
Soniqs raced out to a 4-0 start on Coastline en route to a 7-5 victory over Spacestation. Matthew "Hotancold" Stevens finished with 16 kills to just eight deaths on the map, but it ended up not being enough to push the game into overtime.
Soniqs have started off this stage of the NAL on fire. They've netted a 7-3 victory over a solid Astralis team and just defeated arguably the most talented and storied team in the region. With several of the arguably easier games ahead of them, Soniqs could punch their SI and November Major ticket by the end of the month. Pablo "Gryxr" Rebeil led the charge with a 1.42 SiegeGG Rating and 13 kills to his name.
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