Soniqs favored in Ti2022 North American Regional Qualifiers
The North American scene has a lot to be proud of, especially with two direct invites to the International 11 (TI11). While TeamSoloMid and Evil Geniuses should already have bought their plane tickets to Singapore, it’s still anyone’s game at the TI11 NA Regional Qualifiers.
Although NA often gets a bad rep for being the weakest region in terms of available competitors, we reckon that the scene has improved going into the DPC (2021-22) season. Soniqs specifically, finally get to showcase their talent on the big stage after grinding the scene for almost two years without proper infrastructure.
Coming up in the Regionals, they look to secure their ticket and finally make an impact.
Soniqs vs felt
Soniqs, or better known as former Quincy Crew, is arguably the most anticipated team to qualify for TI11. They often give TSM and EG a run for their money, so the situation in TI11 NA Regional Qualifiers is looking easy for Soniqs.
Felt is their first opponent, which ranked eighth in the recent DPC Tour 3 Division 1 bracket, so they likely won’t pose much threat. Whereas Soniqs boast a very consistent line-up, and the recent gathering of its founding members reaffirms their victory.
Almost until the Upper Bracket final, I don’t see Soniqs losing a match. Maybe, Nouns can be a challenger there, but even that seems unlikely.
Let’s take a look at the other opening matches at the event.
Alpha vs 5RATFORCESTAFF
We don’t get too many prominent players from the NA scene, let alone qualify for the majors. Nevertheless, Alpha boasts a decent stack, which has been a staple in Division 2, where they recently won first seeds too. In fact, they wiped out the competition entirely with a clean sweep across the scoreboard, so 5RATFORCESTAFF has a lot to fear from the rising stars.
On the other hand, it’s not a good look for 5RATFORCESTAFF, which recently flopped against a Division 2 team, KBU.US in ESL One Malaysia 2022 NA qualifier. Sure, the latter does feature a renowned pub star in its team, but 5RATFORCESTAFF is wary of their poor performance.
As such, we can expect a change in pace from 5RATFORCESTAFF, which recently replaced their mid-player. Francis “Kitzz” Arriola is described to be a promising mid-laner, who play aggressive heroes, much like the NA prodigy, Syed “SumaiL” Hassan. Hence, it will be an interesting match-up considering how even both teams are.
Wildcard Gaming vs The Cut
Wildcard Gaming is among the more reputable powerhouse in the NA scene, featuring Samuel “Sammyboy” Anderson. Despite his infamy in the NA community, the player has proven to be a driven candidate to call the shots around. Perhaps another advantage that Wildcard has going for them is their experience as a team, which has stuck around since last year.
Up against The Cut, it should go without saying that the latter does not stand a chance. Wildcard just seems to be the more experienced candidate in all aspects, so it wouldn’t be surprising to expect a sweep by Wildcard.
Nouns vs KBU.US
Lastly, the match between Nouns and KBU.US had us feeling conflicted on which side to predict. For one, there’s no denying that Nouns is more reputable and seasoned, especially among 4 Zoomers fans. They were second to only the Big Three of NA scene, TSM, EG, and Quincy Crew. With their recent sponsor, Nouns is a sustainable team, which could focus on honing their game without any financial worries.
Nonetheless, KBU.US is no pushover, especially with Danny “iAnnihilate” Cote among its players. The veteran player has played in many teams throughout his career and is a force to be reckoned with. As a mid-player, iAnnihilate uses typical mid-picks that are viable in the recent meta, such as Puck and Storm Spirit. This makes KBU.US a potentially powerful team that can turn around fights given the opportunity.
While Nouns may not be a team that makes unprecedented mistakes such as getting caught in an awkward fight, KBU.US still poses an underlying threat if not taken seriously.
Sure, we often give TI11 North American Regional Qualifiers a poor take for its lack of high-profile players. However, with the recent ventures of Esports organizations in NA, such as Soniqs, TeamSoloMid, and nouns, it’s evident that NA teams are not to be meddled with.