NICKMERCS invited to ALGS Pro League as Apex pros continue to question invitation process

Invitations hinged on one tournament that pros say wasn't indicative of overall quality.

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

While NICKMERCS and his Apex squad, Tripods, have officially been invited to take part in next year’s Apex Legends Global Series Pro League, several more-established players are taking issue with how qualification for Pro League invitations was determined.

Tripods had previously competed in the second split of the Challengers Circuit, a league by which teams can qualify for Pro League, and finished 10th overall in the NA Last Chance Qualifier for the ALGS Championship. The result qualified them to join Pro League outright next season. Several teams seemed unaware that the standings of the Last Chance Qualifier would determine teams that would be invited to Pro League, however.

The Last Chance Qualifier sent just the top two finishers from each region to the ALGS Championship. In North America that happened to be FURIA, who ended up taking second in the Championship, and E8. Because of such an all-or-nothing format, several teams played more aggressively than normal in the last few games of the tournament when it became clear they needed to post massive point totals in order to qualify for the Championship.

This worked out for E8, who posted a huge 28-point victory in the last game of the NA LCQ to narrowly take second place overall on a tiebreaker. For many other teams, this didn’t work out nearly as well and led to them severely dropping in the overall standings. Those same teams probably wouldn’t have taken risks at that degree if they were aware that placing in 10th through third place actually did matter, after all, and weren’t just playing runners-up to the two teams that qualified for the Championships.

Several teams that played consistently well throughout the second year of Pro League were burned by the decision to use LCQ standings to determine invites. This includes organizations like XSET and ESA. It’s also unclear what ALGS organizers plan on doing with a team like ALGS Champs DarkZero, who hail from Australia and competed in APAC South last year but announced plans to move to North America for year three.

At any rate, with so many teams announcing they’ve been invited to next year’s ALGS Pro League, details about the competition’s format should come soon. Teams that aren’t directly invited to Pro League will likely have to fight for a spot in a series of preseason qualifiers, similar to the series of qualifiers that took place last year.