G2 notched an impressive win in today’s NA Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS) Pro League matches, stifling opponents with oppressive Wingman shots and well-timed Ash Ultimates. The top-tier controller squad may have gotten off to a slow start in the Pro League, with only a few points in the first two rounds. But they’ve been on the podium in the last three days of competition and delivered an incendiary performance today, putting them in line for a big payoff when the regular season ends on Dec. 5.
Saturday night’s matches were crucial for many teams. The $1,000,000 Playoffs, scheduled for an international LAN in early 2022, were changed to an online regional format this week over concerns about the omicron variant of COVID-19.
The new online format qualifies the top 20 teams in North America, doubling the slots available. Teams that had dim hopes of attending the LAN are now poised to qualify, while other teams that had long surrendered hope of staying in the Pro League now have a chance of avoiding relegation to the second-tier Challenger Circuit.
Sentinels started the action in game one by wiping G2, sending the day’s eventual champions back to the lobby with ease. The game ended outside Survey Camp, where 100 Thieves’ Nicholas “Vein” Hobbs had the advantage of high ground and the deadly Kraber sniper rifle.
It came down to a fair fight between 100 Thieves and Esports Arena, both of which find themselves in an awkward position as the first split ends. 100 Thieves, who can easily miss the Playoffs, struggled to meet high expectations in Pro League after winning the first ALGS Championship. Esports Arena, who have been the most dominant team in Pro League to date, just lost what many consider to be their standout player, Evan Verhulst, to TSM. When they clashed in game one, Esports Arena cleanly wiped 100 Thieves, silencing any doubts about the untested new squad.
G2, a team who haven’t been at their best in the Pro League so far, came up with the win in game two with a brilliant series of aggressive plays at Launch Site. They overwhelmed their opponents in the late game with a well-timed Ash Ultimate, stealing the game from Torrent and Sentinels.
G2 continued to perform wonders in game three, taking out the deadly fighting team Complexity on their way to another win outside Thermal Station, near where G2 drops. That left G2 with a narrow lead over Sentinels, 100 Thieves, and Esports Arena.
Game four was another late game in Survey Camp, where Torrent came up with a win they badly needed. Like Furia and 100 Thieves, Torrent is right on the edge of qualifying for the online regional Playoffs. That win took them soaring into second place—just one point behind Esports Arena, who were still clinging to first, and one point ahead of G2, whose two wins hadn’t come with enough kills to give them a comfortable lead.
Going into game five, only a few points separated all the top contenders. G2 got some early luck with another Thermal Station zone and added to it after Sentinels and Esports Arena both went out fairly early. That left G2 with a big opportunity to give themselves a nice lead over the field. They made a death-defying rotation with Ash’s Ultimate in late-game circles, similar to their first win, peppering opponents with deadly Wingman shots and making their third win of the day look easy. G2 picked up 14 kills for a total of 26 points, all but guaranteeing the squad the day’s trophy. Jordan “Resultuh” Resulta earned 10 kills in that game alone, putting them almost twenty points ahead of second-place 100 Thieves at the start of the sixth and final game of the day.
With the winners all but confirmed, the last game was more about what other teams could do to improve their lot than who would be crowned the winners. That sixth game ended outside Trials, where Spacestation outlasted rivals on a crowded open field of Gibraltar bubbles and Caustic gas.
Oxygen Esports snuck into second place, more than doubling their points from the entire split with one great performance. 100 Thieves, Torrent, and Furia all did enough to stay in the Playoffs lobby conversation.
Esports Arena finished in a disappointing eighth place after that strong first win. It’s far from clear whether Esports Arena can hang onto their place at the top of Pro League without Verhulst, arguably the most important member of the team. His replacement, Logan “Knoqd” Layou, is talented, but talent’s often not enough to overcome the loss of synergy caused by the departure of an experienced teammate.
Now only one league point separates first place Esports Arena from their rivals. Dec. 5 is the last day of competition in the first split. The winners will walk away with the lion’s share of the $125,000 prize pool, and the top 20 teams that will compete in the Playoffs lobby will be finalized.