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NAL 2022 Preview: The hammer-lifting region returns to action after a massive transfer window

The North American League returns.

Image via Ubisoft/@itsmeERROR

The North American League returns for 2022 with an abundance of fresh faces all across the scene. The league welcomes in an all-new team, Parabellum, several new rookies, and a new desk host. 

With another hammer under its belt, the North American scene is looking primed for another solid year. 

Schedule

According to the official North American Rainbow Six Siege esports account, here’s your schedule for the first NAL stage of 2022. 

Talent

The talent pool remains mostly unchanged except for the departure of Loviel “Velly” Cardwell to the Call of Duty League. Former Overwatch League caster Erik “DoA” Lonnquist will also be joining the desk. 

Format

The NAL will be best-of-one round robin. 

Teams 

The league will feature 10 total teams 

Beastcoast

This reworked roster only features one player from last year’s roster — and bombastic support player Adam “Drip” Kolodkin. Time will tell how this team pans out, but the addition of heralded entry player “Sweater” will be must-see TV. 

XSET

XSET is all-new, now with a Brazilian flavor. The highlights for this roster are the former Oxygen duo Evan “Yoggah” Nelson and Leo “Kyno” Figueiredo, who just helped Oxygen to a top-six performance at SI 2022. Zachary “SpiriTz” Dionne is another interesting piece to this puzzle who could make waves in his rookie stage. 

Parabellum 

Parabellum is looking fresh heading into 2022 as well. Tim “Creators” Humphreys joins, and is looking to finally make his way out of the bottom of the NAL barrel. Creators has had strong statistical performances, but has historically been on bottom-tier teams. Time will tell whether Parabellum’s new roster can take Creators where he wants to go. 

Astralis

There’s only two moves in Astralis, adding Seth “Callout” Mik as a coach and Roman “Forrest” Breaux as a player. Astralis appear to be satisfied with their young, mechanically talented roster, and see a future for them in NAL. They started 2021 strong but slumped to seventh in the league by Stage 3. 

Mirage

Out of all the NAL teams, Mirage arguably had the toughest offseason. They lost Mitch “Dream” Malson to OXG, and were set to sign Ethan “Nuers” James before he went to OXG as well. Going into 2022, Mirage added exciting support player Emma “Marmalade” Peterson, Dillon “Razorr” Presley, and  Robert “Melted” Kormylo in their rebuild. 

DarkZero

No changes for DarkZero — they’re the same team that notched a top-eight finish at SI 2022. Kyle “Mint” Lander is the sole coach after Brandon “BC” Carr moved back to a general manager role in the organization itself. DarkZero were grand finalists in NAL Finals, and have seemingly found some consistency after a year of roster changes. 

Oxygen

Oxygen might have won the offseason, should their moves pan out like their pre-2021 season moves. The addition of Kyno and Yoggah was risky, but worked out — if Nuers and Dream pan out the same way, Oxygen’s train should keep right on rolling. 

Spacestation Gaming

Spacestastion are back as well with no changes. The regionally-dominant team is going to be a force in the region again. With Spacestation, the real question is still internationally — can their star-studded lineup translate to the level of success their previous accolades suggest it should?

Soniqs

Soniqs has made no changes either. The NAL Finals champions and top-six SI 2022 finishers are back and will likely be one of the front-runners to win the league again. There isn’t much to say about Soniqs is that consistency is key. Will their success slate their hunger, or will the attack the stage with the vigor they did in 2021?

TSM FTX

The SI 2022 hammer-raisers are back in NAL — and they might place lower than you think. However, TSM FTX excel in international competition, and their roster is built to exclusively win best-of-threes. 

No matter what way you slice it, TSM FTX is excellent, but maybe a hammer-lifting performance doesn’t mean they’ll crush in a different format that they’ve historically struggled in. Expect a top-four finish, but maybe don’t hang your hat on TSM FTX being the absolute best, even if Theme Park — one of their best maps — is back.