Image: Ubisoft/Joao Ferreira
After a long, but anticlimactic three-map quarter-final against TSM today, Soniqs have qualified for their first international semi-final after defeating the reigning world champions.
Despite the significant international experience on both teams, it was hard to predict how they would shape up against each other after both had made two changes each.
TSM’s world champion squad was shaken up by two rookies, Keegan “Gasher” Slovensky and Nick “Snake” Janis, while, Soniqs signed the former TSM man Emilio “Geometrics” Leynez and the Parabellum Esports youngster Shaun “Gunnar” Pottorff.
As a result, all eyes were on the Mexican world champion as today he was playing against the team that made him a world champion just earlier in the year.
“Geo's experience has allowed us to find a new play style which we didn’t discover until the major after the first match and has allowed for us to find the success we have, shared Pablo “Gryxr” Rebeil in a written interview with SiegeGG after the conclusion of the quarter-final.
“We quickly found out after the first game what was needed in order to compete against these international teams.”
According to Gryxr, TSM have always been “[their] toughest opponent in NAL” and that it was the “map pool” that made the final difference.
“Our map pool over anything I believe won us the series since it was all as planned and predicted,” he said, with Soniqs having avoided playing both Villa and Theme Park this stage.
Gryxr also praised Gunnar’s quick adaptation to the international scene, which he said has been “better than expected.”
“International play allows him to play a lot more loose and unpredictable than regional,” he explained. “The new iteration of our roster as well as our completely different play style gave us the edge since it was something they had no idea on how to play against.”
On their way to defeating TSM, Soniqs first fell to the world champions 4-7 on Villa. However, Soniqs’ pick was next – Theme Park, a map they have only played once… two years ago.
“It’s been ages since we haven’t played Theme but for no other reason than just matchups that favored us to ban it at some points and play it like we did today against other teams,” Gryxr explained.
After Soniqs won on Theme Park, Clubhouse was next but that was a bloodbath. The Soniqs pulled off a flawless 6-0 half on the defense and only one round separated them from the their first international semi-final.
“We knew and reiterated the fact that we have to slow down and just keep playing our game because we tend to do exactly that. The game was slipping away a bit but we kept our composure as expected and closed it out dominantly,” said Gryxr, having learnt from the week in the NAL that nearly cost his team their place here at the Major.
While Soniqs let slip two rounds, they closed things out at the third opportunity, confirming their spot in the final four. Now, the North Americans will play against Team BDS for a chance to play in the Six Jönköping Major grand-final.
“International teams like BDS in this case are always easier to play against for the sole fact that they don’t happen to know your every move. So the fact that it’s BDS over any other team doesn’t change our mindset or the fact that we are better,” Gryxr shared.
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