Soniqs came into the last day of the Six Invitational group stage needing a 2-0 win. Nothing else would suffice to guarantee a third-place finish. They took Map 1 against MNM Gaming who failed to hold defense in Oregon’s Meeting Hall/Kitchen with three quick kills from Richie “Rexen” Coronado. Soniqs closed the match out with a resounding 7-2 victory on Club House.
“Our first checkpoint was to make it out of groups into that top three spot and it came down to the last day,” Soniq head coach, Joe “Jobro” Reyes said. “If we won 2-1 it would not be in our control, the guys were completely focused on that and knocked it out.”
The 2022 Six Invitational is the first time Soniqs have made it out of the group stage of a major tournament. After the 2020 season, the organization brought in four eUnited players keeping only captain and in-game leader, Seth “Supr” Hoffman from the previous roster. They quickly ascended through the ranks in North America with top-three finishes in different stages of the 2021 season. They also finished the season as North America League Champions.
Despite this, the team has not been able to transcend beyond regional dominance. They failed to make it out of groups in the Mexico and Sweden Majors. However, they’re not deterred by the past as Jobro believes “they were eye-opening experiences that they got to learn from.”
The adaptation from NA teams to avoid past mistakes.
Since Spacestation Gaming’s SI win in 2020, NA has failed to win a major tournament with most teams exiting in group stages. The past year has seen the rise of Latin America and the Asia-Pacific regions’ aggressive style of play. At Six Invitational 2022 however, it seems like NA teams have garnered enough information on other playstyles to adapt when needed.
“We were trying different scenarios, maneuvers on strats to try and emulate APAC and Brazil,” Jobro said. “Because you have to emulate it first to understand it and then be able to innovate upon it. The top teams in NA have really applied this different style that we’re now bringing, it’s more refined and not predictable.”
This formula seems to be working as all North American teams made it out of the group stage with three in the upper bracket
Heads high for Soniqs going into Six Invitational Playoffs
While Soniqs’ first checkpoint was making it out of groups, they now set their sights on a much tougher task in playoffs. They face Team Elevate in the first round of the upper bracket with a chance to take on DWG KIA if they win. Elevate surprised many Siege fans after wins against both TSM FTX and Dark Zero Esports. Meanwhile, DWG KIA were one of the only teams to finish the group stage with just a single map loss.
Regardless of these odds, Jobro remains confident in his team’s ability for the playoffs.
“I guarantee that people will go ‘Soniqs are knocked out,'” Jobro said. “It’s not all doom and gloom, we know what we have to do, you have to beat the best teams to be the best.
“It’s going to be a straight shot from one region and we’re going to get the best hits.”