Fabio | 21. October 2021

R6 NAL: Battle For the Top 4 Continues

Spacestation Gaming remain in first place and are qualified for the Sweden Major. Oxygen Esports, Soniqs, and TSM continue to fight for their place within the Top 4, in the Major, and the 2021 Finals.

The North American League had been on pause for a week after the untimely passing of Michael “KiXSTAr” Stockley. During the broadcast, the crew and fans honored the beloved caster and looked back on his fantastic career within Siege.

The SSG boys managed to put up a brilliant show versus beastcoast. Right now, it’s hard to imagine another team beating these North American giants. Ever since the second match-day, they haven’t suffered one single defeat. TSM, however, only narrowly scraped past a map loss. XSET ramped up a 4-0 lead, before Jason “Beaulo” Doty and his men finally woke up. They eventually came back for a 8-6 victory. However, this one missing point might prove fatal for their overall campaign. DarkZero are now able to surpass them with just one map win.

Three teams try to avoid relegation

Astralis, beastcoast, and XSET are all in relegation territory with six points each. The first two will have to play versus DarkZero, who will attempt to win six points in one day. This is all possible because they skipped an earlier day in September. So they can still enter the Top 4 after all. This would give XSET a chance to get into safety, if it weren’t for the fact that they’ll have to contend with SSG.

So it couldn’t have gotten any wore for the underdogs. On the very last day of matches, the narrative won’t just be centered around the top placements, but around the question of who we’ll still get to see in NAL 2022. Nonetheless – what are the top teams’ chances?

Spacestation are safely qualified for the Major already. Even though Oxygen could theoretically land in a tiebreaker scenario with TSM and DarkZero (scenario: TSM win, DarkZero win twice), then DZ and OXG would still make third and fourth place due to their head-to-head records. This also means that TSM might not make the Major, even if they win. The same holds true for Soniqs. If they lose versus OXG and the other scenarios occur, they won’t make the jump.

So the fight for the top will be equally as exciting. At least Soniqs have already qualified to the Six Invitational 2022 via the Global Standings points. While this is a bigger achievement than the Major slot, they’ll obviously aim for both.

The highlight match of Play-Day #9

Is there really one match? The very last match-day will achieve something that very few Round Robin stages have ever done: Every game will be relevant!

DarkZero open things up against Astrali. The former need all the points for the Top 4, the latter will have to save themselves from relegation. While Oxygen are safe, Soniqs continue to fight for their guaranteed Major slot. TSM need the points just as much.

XSET will have to tame the SSG beast, otherwise they’re almost confirmed to exit the NAL. DarkZero conclude the day versus beastcoast, relegation contenders themselves, and will have to complete their second win of the day to really enter the Top 4. Every single match will have implications, and the overall conclusion of the North American League will remain a mystery until the very end.