Alliance secure dramatic win in EMEA Pro League Day 5

The Swedish team brought their playoff chances back from the dead.

Image via Respawn Entertainment

Day five of the Apex Legends Global Series in EMEA had a thrilling end today, with Alliance putting together an incredible three-game run to win the lobby and keep their playoff hopes alive.

With several teams in the lobby needing a good showing to stay in the playoff hunt, Alliance seemed the least likely to turn the momentum around, sitting below the top 20. The Swedish organization came through with possibly one of the biggest comebacks in Pro League to date, and will be looking to the final day of Pro League to secure their spot on home turf in Stockholm.

Game one went to one of those teams desperately needing points to qualify for playoffs: Guild Esports, who dropped a 28-point game on their way to victory.

Even with so much on the line and a smaller lobby than usual thanks to teams AllPlanned and Magicians both dropping out of Pro League, groups A and B wasted little time. The fighting in the small village to the east of Fragment happened suddenly and lit up the kill feed. Guild were at the forefront of the fighting, running around the outside of the fence line and taking fight after fight. The last fight of the game was so simple for them they opted to punch out the last member of Kungarna. Their 16 kills easily paced the lobby and set the tone for a decisive day of Apex.

The Guild train would quickly be stopped, however, going out early in game two when Fenerbahce Esports successfully repelled a Guild push. With the lobby leaders out early, Forg Gang capitalized.

It was another blindingly fast game, with every team looking to pick up extra kill points and third-party others, taking risks they usually wouldn’t. Frog Gang weathered the storm on the low ground and received a little bit of luck when Rebel member Martin Heggøy “Pjeh” Aamyri went down to the ring. The win put Frog Gang just three points behind Guild. Kungarna’s consistency over the first two games also put them in the conversation for first, closing the gap to Guild to three points as well. All three teams began the day on the outside looking in to the top 10 positions in Pro League, but all were still very much alive thanks to their first two games.

The lobby showed little signs of slowing down in game three. Team after team pushed into third party opportunities, only for a fourth party, a fifth party, and a sixth party to rush in after them. The game ended with a patient play from Odin Gamers.

With several teams trying to move from buildings and trucks northwest of Skyhook into the scant cover of the final zone, the lobby created a graveyard of squads from third-party fights. Odin didn’t get sucked into the fighting, however, and held their position below the train tracks, not stepping in to take up the space in the craggy tunnels until most of the lobby was depleted. From there, they could simply rely on superior cover while the other teams were flushed out of their hiding places by the ring before Odin. The game made the lobby close again at the halfway point, with seven teams now within 15 points at the top of the leaderboard.

Alliance entered day five as one of the squads needing the most help to make the playoffs, and they started helping themselves with a game four victory when the maps switched to Storm Point.

A messy endgame saw all three teams in the final circle missing at least one player. Odin Gamers played spoiler in the form of Jakob “Shadez” Palmgren, who collected knocks and big damage despite being the only solo player in the lobby. With their backs against the wall, Alliance made the play onto Zeta Division, wiping the other duo in the lobby before collapsing onto Shadez for the victory. The win bumped Alliance from nearly the bottom of the day’s leaderboard to fifth place. But it wouldn’t be the last time we would hear Alliance’s name called.

The dramatic turnaround continued when Alliance won their second game in a row on Storm Point thanks to some beautiful endgame fighting in Gale Station. It was a particularly impressive sequence for Gibraltar player Simon “Vaifs” Bellini, who not only scored huge damage on Acend with his Mastiff, but even got a Dome Shield down between shots to protect his team from a Defensive Bombardment. From there, Alliance moved in on Rebel, and Vaifs’ wide angles helped distract Rebel’s focus fire and allowed his teammates to secure the final kills. With one game remaining, Alliance found themselves in first place, just three points above Odin.

Disaster nearly struck Alliance in the last game. They lost two members early on, leaving IGL John “Hakis” Håkansson as a solo player early in the game. Hakis, however, found the perfect hiding spots and even picked up a kill point on his own, surviving all the way to fourth place. That, combined with GMT and Acend both collapsing onto Forg Gang in the final three, secured the lobby for Alliance.

In the most dramatic fashion, Alliance’s playoff hopes went from dead in the water to a positively sunny outlook. With one game day remaining, they are now just eight points below the 10th. Acend also helped their own playoff hopes considerably, securing second place in the lobby and ensuring a decent performance on Sunday would be enough for the reigning Split One playoff champions to qualify for the Split Two playoffs. GMT will also almost assuredly qualify for playoffs with a fifth-place finish. At the end of the day, Alliance, Forg Gang, Kungarna, and Mutariuum were clumped together on the Pro League leaderboard within two points of each other. 

Playoffs seem just out of reach, however, for teams like soloQgoats, Odin Gamers, and Rascals, who would all need a small miracle to qualify, while the day’s results certainly ensured that Natus Vincere would not be returning to playoffs. With one day left in EMEA, all eyes are on the top of the leaderboard. The available playoff positions are dwindling, and only six games are left for these teams to leave their mark.