ALGS Preseason Qualifier 2 dominated by new names and defensive legends on the attack

Pro League in year three will look very different from year two.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

On a day where more familiar names qualified for their regional Pro Leagues in the Apex Legends Global Series, the bigger story was the names that didn’t make it into North America’s finals lobby—and the teams that took their place.

The road to the finals lobby and qualification into Pro League was littered with names of last year’s Pro League competitors and other major players in the scene cast off before they even had a chance to earn themselves qualification points, or the instant qualification that winning a Preseason Qualifier would win them. Players formerly of Pittsburgh Knights, Sentinels, Luminosity, and more all failed to make it to the final lobby of the day. The culling of long-time talent extended to the guard of players who have formed the ceiling of the tier two scene in North America for a long time as well, and even Slept On, the squad that missed out on winning the first Preseason Qualifier by one point, couldn’t make it to finals.

Instead, new squads and unfamiliar names filled out the NA finals lobby and sought to prove they deserve a spot among the best teams in the world. Experience, however, still won out, with Rakk Attack taking the win in North America.

Formed of ex-Noble members Rakkinishu and Impulse, as well as former Renegades and Charlotte Phoenix member bowswer, the team mixed some old-school Apex meta with new innovations to eke out the one-point victory over the former XSET members in SZN. 

Notably, Rakk Attack has stuck with Gibraltar in the preseason where the vast majority of top teams have stopped playing him. The popularity of Seer has significantly decreased Gibraltar’s value, because Seer’s heal and revive cancelation abilities devalue Gibraltar’s ability to let his team reset in his bubble. Rakk Attack is still making the Gibraltar work on both World’s Edge and Storm Point, while adding an extra twist on Storm Point: Vantage, who hasn’t seen much play in the pro scene. While the team was never overwhelming on either map, they were remarkably consistent, never placing below 10th and leading the finals lobby in kills despite not winning an individual match. 

In EMEA, another new squad filled with some familiar faces showed off their new tricks, as VZH was utterly dominant all weekend long. Made up of former Acend member VJEIX, ex-TSM coach gdolphn, and ranked grinder Zaine, the team didn’t use a Valkyrie and instead ran a damage-heavy Horizon, Seer, and Rampart composition. They frequently took advantage of Horizon’s Gravity Lift and Rampart’s Sheila in tandem to create a hailstorm of bullets that enemy teams found incredibly difficult to deal with.

It’s still too early to tell if some of these compositional twists will be viable plays once these teams begin their play in Pro League, where the squads are filled with a higher standard of player. But one thing is certain after the second Preseason Qualifier: no team or player can safely say they’ll qualify for Pro League, no matter what organizations they’ve represented.