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Will NA continue their 2022 form on the final day of the Berlin Major group stage, or have they regressed to 2021?

NA’s had a really bad event so far. Where can NA fans look for hope?

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Image: Ubisoft/Kirill B.

North American teams currently have a worse record than APAC teams at the Berlin Major, with five wins compared to six across 16 games. By points, they only have 16 points compared to 19 for APAC teams, 24 for European ones, and a massive 37 for Brazilian ones.

Over half of the 16 points belong to XSET, a team with a Brazilian coach running a “Brazilian” style of play. The three American teams, meanwhile, have seven points combined -- less than G2’s total alone.

This is a performance far away from what we’d expect from them, considering the region had somewhat comfortably won the last two events. Unfortunately, this is also a performance that NA fans may be used to.

A year ago in Mexico, APAC secured a 47.4% group stage win rate compared to 40.9% for NA, while in Sweden, APAC had more teams make it to the playoffs than NA.

North America had an awful 2021, a fact that a successful 2022 has wiped away from many fans' minds. The dramatic improvement in just a few months was a symptom of several factors -- most notably a clear improvement in communication -- something that the sheer number of grenade kills earnt during SI 2022 highlighted well.

It took six months and the ability for Brazilian teams to actually attend an event, but the need to catch up to NA has seemingly energised the world to improve to the point where NA is struggling to get out of the groups.

Currently, XSET are at the top of Group A, which is likely a big relief for those across the pond. They should be able to make it to their second event, even without Budega directly behind them.

On the opposite end, North American 2021 champions and NAL second-seeds Soniqs, are the first team out of the Six Major after being taken down twice by G2 Esports, Europe’s lowest seed at the event.

This is a result Seth “supr” Hoffman will never live down and is once again a return to 2021, where the team managed just two and four points at the Mexico and Sweden Majors.

Finally, we have Oxygen Esports and Astralis. North America’s tournament will come down to their performance tomorrow. Even if XSET go onto the grand final, a single team will not be representative of the whole region.

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These two teams are both third in their group, with three points compared to second place with seven points. This is a mountain to climb, but it’s very possible for both teams. Both FURIA and Wolves -- Group C and D’s second-placed teams -- face the group leaders in their first game, followed by North America in their second.

NA’s first game on both occasions are against the bottom team in the league.

This sets up two underdog comeback stories on the final day. It’s very much in NA’s grasp to flip the story from Evan "Yoggah" Nelson being the lone American in the quarter-finals, to NA being on top.

If Astralis and Oxygen can do this, then NA would have three qualified teams, compared to LATAM and EU with two and APAC with one. That is a wild change and is likely just two games away from NA’s grasp.

Everything’s still very much to play for in Berlin, as even LATAM’s dominance may not fully be asserted come Friday afternoon.

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