Hardecki leads Gambit to victory in EMEA ALGS day 6

You want clutch play? Here's some clutch play.

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

The hotly contested EMEA region is now halfway done with the first split of Apex Legends Global series (ALGS) Pro League, and it was veteran team Gambit Esports who flexed their muscle on day six of the competition. The Russian organization took hold of first place early on and didn’t let it slip through their grasp, thanks in large part to the star play of Konstantin “Hardecki” Kozlov.

Ethernal took the first game of the day in a messy endgame that showcased the importance of Gibraltar. With so many ultimates going off, the simplicity of having a Dome Shield to hide safely in became the difference-maker for several teams and showed why he’s been a must-pick for the majority of teams competing in Pro League so far this season.

The Crypto teams in the lobby, hoping to set up EMPs to delete those Gibby shields, simply couldn’t last long enough without the defensive power from the bubble. Ethernal opted for the best of both worlds, using both Gibraltar and Crypto alongside a Wraith. And what they might have lacked in rotation ability without a Valkyrie, they made up for in fighting power, mopping up the final circle from the low ground.

Gibraltar play also highlighted the second game of the day. Gambit Esports’ veteran squad played a tricky final circle to perfection with their Gibraltar, Valkyrie, and Wraith composition. With the final zone closing in around a small island surrounded by lava in The Dome, Gambit first fended off an enemy Defensive Bombardment, then used one of their own. They weren’t necessarily looking to damage enemy squads, but to prevent them from traversing the lava and making it onto the only safe ground in the middle of the zone. Unable to push to the middle, this forced the remaining teams to fight each other in what available space they had left.

Safe and sound in the center of the circle and with ample cover, Gambit easily picked off the remaining stragglers to take the victory. The win moved them atop the day’s leaderboard, as the team looked to put the previous weeks’ tenth-place finish behind them.

Gambit very nearly made it two in a row in game three, but after sweeping up Odin Gamers in the final circle, Invictus Gaming rolled in and won the final fight, not making the same mistakes that other Gibraltar-less squads made before them.

Without a Gibraltar, Invictus elected to play the final circle patiently, waiting for Odin and Gambit to fight. Only then did Cameron “Noiises” Walker set off his Crypto EMP, giving Gambit a bit more trouble in a fight they were easily winning. With only one team to worry about and Gambit still split up and healing, Invictus collapsed on the separated team, easily cleaning up the game. The win propelled the team into fifth place after a slow start, while Gambit extended their lead over Ethernal to eight points.

If game three came down to a perfectly executed team fight, game four was won by virtue of the individual brilliance of K1CK’s Wraith, Jose “Uxako” Llosa. After a nearly continuous string of third parties decimated the lobby, only two teams remained in the final circle, with K1CK and Les cités de France squaring off. Trying to find a different angle, Uxako left his team, allowing Les cités de France to down both of his teammates at the expense of only one knock to their own team. Faced with a one-versus-two situation, Uxako went off.

Finishing the game with five kills and over 1700 damage, Uxako clutched up to win the final fight and bring the top of the lobby into incredibly close quarters. With two games remaining, only 10 points separated first place and seventh.

Gambit, however, would give themselves some extra breathing room at the top of the leaderboard, taking their second match of the day thanks to team captain Hardecki navigating his squad into the best position for the endgame, then securing the vital final kills to win the match.

Hardecki took out second-place team Alliance with those last-second shots from his EVA-8 and L-STAR, extending Gambit’s lead over Alliance from two to eight points leading into the final game of the day. Still, the margins were incredibly thin in the lobby. A big final game from Alliance or K1CK could still dump Gambit out of the top spot.

Rascals ultimately took a big win in the final game of the day to the tune of 15 kills and 27 points, but the real story was Gambit. Once again, Gambit found a way to stay alive in the later circles, clutching up on fight after fight even when down a player. And once again, Hardecki was leading the way for his squad.

Escaping from almost certain death on multiple occasions and taking fifth place with five kills, Gambit secured their first-place finish in the lobby, while Rascals rode their huge final game to second place. Alliance had to settle for third.

The victory on the sixth day of competition shoots Gambit straight to the top of the overall EMEA leaderboard at the halfway mark of split one. There’s still plenty of Pro League to be played, and Gambit were fortunate in this lobby to play almost exclusively zones in the south of World’s Edge, close to where they land in Lava Siphon. If they can ride any of the form they displayed today, however, winning multiple games and surviving when things started going poorly for the team, they’ll be virtual locks for the first split’s playoffs in a few weeks’ time.