Siege's transfer window before the Six Invitational 2023 was shaken by Soniqs, who signed Ben "CTZN" McMillan from G2 Esports. With the British on the roster, the North American lineup was one of the most followed teams in the competition.
Pablo "Gryxr" Rebeil, Soniqs' captain, admitted in an interview with SiegeGG that the team "made early progress with him at the Invitational" despite the roster's short experience in Montreal, Canada. "We could've gone farther than we ended up, but since then, we have only been improving with Ben and as a whole."
In terms of stats, it was a tough start for CTZN in the North America League. He averaged a SiegeGG rating of 0.90 after the first four games of the season as Soniqs started with a 1-0-1-2 record.
Luckily for the team, it's not how you start but how you end that matters, as Soniqs quickly sorted out the situation and finished in third place in the regular standings thanks to wins against DarkZero Esports, Oxygen Esports, and Mirage.
"Nothing to cater to him specifically as he was a very easy and adaptable player to fit into our system," said Gryxr.
Heading to Phase 2, Soniqs met M80 for a second time in the season. It also meant that CTZN and William "Spoit" Löfstedt would face off for the fifth time since the Swede's professional debut.
Historically, Spoit's numbers had been abnormally high when facing CTZN, with the former KOI player averaging a SiegeGG rating of 1.33 in his previous four matches against the British. In other words, the Six Berlin Major champion was the favorite to win.
The Swede and his teammates didn't let their fans down and, eventually, Spoit got his fifth victory against CTZN while registering a SiegeGG rating of 1.30.
When asked about the team's performances against M80, Gryxr had mixed feelings. Regarding the first encounter, the Soniqs captain felt the game could have been "closer than what the result showed". Meanwhile, Gryxr explained that the team's difficulties in "handle early on aggression from them" were crucial in their second loss against the Brazilian-majority roster.
With Soniqs' loss against M80, the North American lineup met Oxygen Esports in the match for fifth place. Unluckily for Soniqs, the green roster defeated Gryxr's roster by 0-2.
Looking at the team's bans during Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the North America League 2023 Stage 1, a detail stands out: Soniqs banned Solis in every map played, which was mostly followed by a Ying or Brava ban on attack. But why was that?
"Just team dependent more than anything," explained Gryxr. "We’ve learned to play with everything up as far as bans come so nothing specific catered to that operator more than others."
Following two back-to-back losses against rosters in the race to qualify for the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen, Soniqs decided to shake things up. According to Gryxr, the roster collectively decided to play "under Geo's system" which the Soniqs player tells us is "why we qualified for the Major."
"I think us as a whole not only stepped up each when we were needed but we all felt like a new team," Gryxr explained.
Indeed, the team stepped up just when it mattered. Soniqs' bracket run in the Last Chance Qualifiers began with a victory against Arial Arise, where CTZN ended up being crucial for the team with a SiegeGG rating of 1.61.
Later on, Soniqs redeemed themselves against Oxygen Esports with a 2-1 victory after losing the first map, Kafe, with a 2-7 defeat. Finally, Soniqs confirmed their presence at the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen after defeating beastcoast by 2-1 with another great performance by the British.
It's worth noting that Soniqs didn't ban Solis at all during the Last Chance Qualifiers. Precisely, Emilio "Geometrics" Léynez mained the Colombian operator as he played it in 15 rounds, winning 54% of them.
Another of Soniqs' most banned operators during the North America League 2023 Stage 1, Brava, was crucial in the team's performance during the Last Chance Qualifiers. Richie "Rexen" Coronado played the Brazilian character in 18 rounds with a winning ratio of 64.
Instead, Azami was Soniqs' default ban on defense, as they banned it seven times out of a possible eight.
Soniqs have been drawn in Group C of the BLAST R6 Major Copenhagen Phase 1, where they will compete against NORTHEPTION, LAVEGA Esports, and Reven Esports. While Soniqs are the favorites to top the standings for obvious reasons, some fans expect the LATAM League roster to give the Americans a tough fight.
Despite playing in different regions, some North American rosters scrim against Mexican teams to practice for their league matches. When asked if they have played Reven Esports behind the cameras, Gryxr denied it.
"No we haven't but we just have to make sure to be ready for everything as international teams tend to always surprise you with playstyles and plays you have never played against," Gryxr explained.
Regarding the format change that the Rainbow Six Siege esports scenario has gone through this year, Gryxr is optimistic. "There will be a lot of Siege so making sure the team is in shape and in form during the whole tournament will be really important for us," he concluded.
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