Defending ALGS Champions 100 Thieves won three games in a row to end Sunday night’s matches between groups B and D, giving the struggling team a guaranteed spot in the modified regional Playoffs.
But they were eclipsed by the more consistent performance of teams like NRG, Esports Arena, and G2. Those teams took home $15,000 for second place, $12,500 for third, and $10,500 for fourth respectively.
Going into the last day of competition, there were three types of teams playing for high stakes: teams in contention for the $30,000 first place prize, teams who could qualify for Playoffs based on a strong performance, and teams who could manage to avoid relegation from Pro League.
This lobby between groups B and D featured four of the top five teams in the overall Pro League standings: first place Esports Arena; NRG, only one point behind, and G2 and Spacestation not far behind them.
Early in match one, Esports Arena cleanly wiped out Renegades, fighting off a third-party attempt by G2 and proving again that the team is still a threat after the loss of their standout player Evan Verhulst. G2 then showed off their recent strong team fighting with a clean wipe of their own on the talented Legacy MX, the only Mexican team in Pro League.
But both high caliber teams fell as game one moved into a Landslide ending. Underdogs CLG and Unlucky ended up as the last two teams standing. Unlucky got their hands on a Kraber and opened the fight with a big shot from the powerful sniper rifle to best CLG.
Both Unlucky and CLG needed to do well on Sunday night. Unlucky started the final day in 29th place, but had the potential to qualify for playoffs. CLG, on the other hand, was down in last place overall, and the only way for them to avoid demotion from the Pro League was with standout play.
Game two ended with a fair fight between XSET and NRG at the northern cliff overlooking Thermal Station. NRG opened the fight and leveled an unprepared XSET, showing why they’re considered one of the most deadly teams in Apex. They picked up 27 points in one game, killing a quarter of the entire lobby on their own.
Match three ended up on the western side of Harvester, where G2 dispatched opponents with ease in a highly controlled endgame. Furia, a team right on the edge of qualifying for Playoffs, ended up in second place. G2’s win put them into first place, with NRG only a couple of points behind going into the second half of the final set of Pro League matches.
Esports Arena, who led the Pro League going into tonight, was struggling and outside the top ten—a golden opportunity for G2 or NRG.
But G2 was the first team killed in match four, and NRG ran into trouble early as well. At first, the game looked like it was going to Big Maude or Lava City. But the circle shifted to an open area outside Lava Siphon, wreaking havoc on the careful strategy of many teams.
100 Thieves won a chaotic endgame there, outlasting Legacy MX. Those were crucial points for both teams as Legacy tried to avoid relegation and 100 Thieves chased a spot in the regional Playoffs.
Game five was really the last chance for Esports Arena to hang onto their chance to win Pro League. But NRG didn’t let off the gas. They got off to a hot start by killing the extremely talented Spacestation team, eRa Eternity, Lazarus and finally Esports Arena themselves. G2 went out early, adding some luck to NRG’s clutch fighting.
100 Thieves was in a great position to get their second win of the day in match five’s endgame at Launch Site. They had the high ground and clean shots at Furia, who they dispatched before turning to their other foes, Unlucky. That made two victories in a row for 100 Thieves, all but securing their Playoffs spot and putting themselves in position to earn a decent chunk of cash.
The final game of Pro League left 100 Thieves in first place, with NRG close behind. After such a consistent performance on Sunday and throughout Pro League, NRG simply needed one last decent match to win Pro League—and for their closest opponents to do poorly.
But it was 100 Thieves who triumphed in the final game, making it three victories in a row for the defending ALGS Champions and easily giving them the win on the day.
100 Thieves’ strong performance shot them into eighth place overall, where they earned $4,500. NRG’s clutch performance led them to a tie with Sentinels for first place overall, but Sentinels won the tiebreaker and took home the $30,000 prize.