The NAL Finals are upon us. Four teams will duke it out in Las Vegas, Nevada for glory and the lion’s share of $135,000.
This is the second consecutive year the NAL Finals have been held. Last year, TSM FTX took home the title over DarkZero Esports in a 3-1 romp. This year, TSM FTX are the only team from the 2020 Finals participants that didn’t qualify for the 2021 Finals. Taking their place areSoniqs – the most consistent team across the year.
Here are the semifinal matchups and a quick preview/prediction for each matchup.
It’s tough to talk about Spacestation without using the “NA Superteam” moniker. Internationally, they haven’t lived up to the name: they’ve been knocked out in the quarterfinal round in two straight Majors.
Regionally, their record is stainless. They are by far and away the best team on paper at the NAL Finals. It’s hard to describe them without invoking the phrase “clear favorite”. If they don’t win, it’ll be a colossal upset: no one in the region can match their preparation, firepower, and in-game leading ability.
DarkZero have to be graded on a curve: they’re still getting used to Troy “Canadian” Jaroslawski’s IGL-ing. However, if they don’t at least put up a fight against Spacestation, that patience might wear thin among DZ fans. Nick “njr” Rapier and Paul “Hyper” Kontopanagiotis are bona fide stars, and at this point it’s about what style they fit the best under.
DarkZero seem from the outside looking in, like a team without a clear direction. They have the old-school IGL, Canadian, but have two new-age fraggers plus two other newer players. If Canadian can adapt to the times, DZ will succeed. If he can’t, they might be dead in the water – but such is the fate for all teams eventually.
Soniqs shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that’s been paying attention to NAL. Of course, they’re not impressive internationally, but they can’t be underestimated domestically. They might not match up well mechanically with Oxygen, who have some of the most mechanically talented players in the game, but there’s a chance Soniqs outscheme Oxygen.
Seth “supr” Hoffman leads this roster, as he always has, into the future. Pablo “Gryxr” Rebeil is their heavy hitter, with Evan “kanzen” Bushore, Richie “Rexen” Coronado, and Alex “Yeti” Lawson are ready to pick up mechanically where he left off. Do not take Soniqs off your “potential NAL winner” list. They’re talented, and ready.
David “FoxA” Bucci and Gabirel “LaXInG” Mirelez aren’t the only facets to this squad. Frankie “Vertcl” Cordero, Evan “Yoggah” Nelson, and Leo “Kyno” Figueiredo are stars in their own right.
Were it not for Spacestation’s seniority and their SI 2020 title, this team would be labeled the NA superteam. Kyno and Yoggah are some of the best of the younger generation, and FoxA and LaXInG are some of the best of the modern generation. Vertcl cannot go without mention – he’s one of the best spacemakers in NA.
- Spacestation vs. DarkZero
- Oxygen vs. Soniqs
- Spacestation vs. Oxygen
Catch the NAL finals on the main Rainbow6 Twitch account, starting at 6:30 PM ET (UTC-5).