We’re already nearing the North American League’s mid-point in week two.
One play day in the European, APAC North, and APAC South Leagues, as well as two games per team for the North American and Brazilian rosters all added up to a lot of action, so here’s a summary of the biggest stories of the week.
- TSM look set to qualify for first Six Major in over a year
- Shaiiko and LikEfac are 14-3 on openings after win vs Wolves Esports
- Team of the Week: MIBR
- CYCLOPS wins KR vs JP derby as yass set to return
- Onigiri and Sapper leads every APAC South statistic
With four of nine games played already, we are now effectively halfway through NAL Stage 3.
While TSM FTX and Soniqs currently lead the standings, it’s TSM that have stood out as they have both beaten Soniqs in a head-to-head, 7-3, and are likely still adapting with their two new rookie signings, thus likely have more room to grow.
Should TSM finish in the top four and reach the November Major, this will be the organization’s first Six Major with its full roster since the Raleigh Major in 2019.
This strong start can be greatly attributed to Nick "Snake" Janis as he has an 8-1 opening kill-opening death record -- the best Entry K-D in the league. Four TSM members are in the top nine NAL players by SiegeGG Rating, while Gasher is by far the highest-rated Thermite or Hibana player.
Next week TSM play Oxygen and XSET, both of whom have had weaker than expected performances so far this stage.
Last week’s most anticipated matchup in Europe was the French derby between BDS and Wolves. BDS came from behind to win this game in what was an excellent show of power from one of the most promising looking duos in the world -- Shaiiko and LikEfac.
Between them, these two players are currently 14-3 on Entry and individually have the first and second-best Entry figures in the EUL. This is despite having already played Wolves, arguably the best online team in Europe.
This is a duo that teams around the world should be worried about and now, with this performance could be early favourites to win the November Major alongside TSM.
While they play Outsiders tonight, BDS will have their next real challenge next week as they face a Heroic roster who also look reborn with their new rookie additions. It’s still some ways to go yet for BDS, but this game should be on everyone’s calendars.
It’s been quite a while since we’ve been able to praise MIBR to this degree, but this weekend they defeated w7m esports, who won the last two stages of the BR6 League, and Black Dragons, who, even following a loss, still lead the BR6 League at the moment. Both wins were also in 7-3 fashion, making this weekend even more impressive from MIBR.
This comes after they beat FURIA on the opening play day but subsequently lost to NiP.
This performance has undeniably come off the backs off FelipoX and Faallz, who are currently the second and third highest-rated players in the BR6 League. Faallz is also the best support player, sitting with a 0.93 kill-per-round figure while playing Thermite and getting the joint-third most plants down in the league.
During Stage 2, Faallz was also the team’s best player, but was not racking up the kills like he has this stage, while FelipoX was the team's lowest-rated player. FelipoX has since moved from Ace to Dokkaebi, but has largely stayed in the same role.The big role change has come with LuKid and reduct swapping roles, with LuKid now on Iana while reduct plays soft breach.
MIBR’s path to the Major will certainly rely on FelipoX and Faallz keeping their figures up. They’ve done it across four game and just five more repeat performances are needed to ensure they get to the Copa Elite Six.
In the penultimate weekend of games, MIBR will face Team oNe and TropiCaos, the latter of whom should be an easy three points, while the former will likely be a key game to determine which side of fourth place MIBR finish.
The APAC North derby between Korea’s DWG KIA and Japan’s CYCLOPS athlete gaming is always a game to watch and Japan got the advantage this week in what could be classified as an upset win.
DWG won in Stage 1, CAG won in the Stage 1 APAC Playoffs, DWG won again in Stage 2, and now CAG have won in Stage 3 in a very one-sided 7-3 scoreline. DWG were completely out-fragged throughout the matchup as BlackRay got double the kills of DWG’s top fragger, stand-in player and coach PJH.
This catapults CAG into first place with the full six points won against Talon Esports and DWG KIA, two of their main competitors. Their next two games will come against domestic opponents.
As for DWG, this loss leaves them tied on points with five other teams in the eight-team league. DWG, Talon, REJECT, Fnatic, SANDBOX Gaming, and Spear Gaming all have a 1-0-0-1 record so far, while FAV gaming’s new seven-man roster has zero points.
This result came just in time, as yass will return to the team from next week’s game against Talon in what is effectively a must-win game for DWG KIA’s major hopes.
APAC South is currently Elevate’s playhouse. While their results haven’t been complete knockouts, the roster looks like the most dominant one we’ve seen in APAC since 2018 Fnatic.
At the moment in APAC South, Onigiri has the highest SiegeGG Rating, most kills, best kill differential, most opening kills, joint-best opening kill differential, and the best KPR. He is the best player right now by every metric.
Simultaneously, Sapper has the joint-best KOST, the highest survival rate, the most clutches, and the joint-highest number of plants, all while on Jackal and Aruni.
Next week Elevate face their Thai counterparts, FURY, who currently sit second in the league. This will mark the mid-point of their stage with three of six games played and their last game before a mid-stage break.
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