Teams to watch in the NA ALGS: Split One

A review of the top talent in the North American Pro League.

Screengrab via Respawn Entertainment

The second year of the Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS) Pro League begins later this October, where a total prize pool of $5 million dollars will be on the line. In each region, 40 teams will compete over five weeks of online play, spanning six tournaments of six games apiece. Twenty of those teams were invited to the Pro League, and another 20 will qualify based on strong performances in the preseason tournaments. 

At the end of the first part of this season, known as Split One, top performers will go to the playoffs, where, if conditions allow, they’ll play in a $1 million global LAN tournament. Teams that struggled in the Pro League will be relegated to the second-tier Challengers circuit, while the top Challengers teams will earn a promotion to the Pro League for the second half of the season.

The competition in North America will be fierce. The region is home to many of the best Apex teams in the world right now. But there’s a vast difference between the region’s largest and most established organizations, who are wealthy enough to field rosters in top-tier esports like League of Legends, and the scrappier, newer teams just getting their start in Apex. Invitations to the Pro League reflect that disparity. Despite some strong results, smaller organizations can’t quite match larger teams like TSM, who’ve been winning Apex tournaments for more than two years.

Here’s a rundown of the veteran rosters set to dominate in the pro league.

G2

This squad of controller players has been playing together continuously since making their pro debut in January 2020. Tyler “Dezignful” Gardner, Jordan “Resultuh” Resulta, and Rigo “Gentrifyinq” Padilla were first known as Aim Assist. Aim Assist caught on fire in the summer of 2020 with strong results in the ALGS Summer Circuit. The team was then picked up by the ill-fated Sola Fide. Sola Fide was embroiled in financial trouble at the time, later earning a ban from League of Legends and leaving Aim Assist without months of hard-earned pay. 

Despite their wobbly organization, the team crushed the competition in the Autumn Circuit playoffs with a second-place finish and continued to thrive in the Winter Circuit with a series of podium finishes, culminating in another second-place finish at the Winter Circuit playoffs. 

After Sola Fide dissolved, G2 Esports snapped up the talented squad. G2 left the Apex scene in early 2020 when it seemed like Apex esports was in a nosedive. The large org made their return in time just in time for the crowdfunded ALGS Championship. For such a fearsome team, G2’s 11th-place finish at the championship could easily be characterized as a disappointing performance. But they’re just getting started. Easily one of the strongest pound-for-pound shooters on the global circuit, their aggression, smart playmaking, and impressive teamwork make them deadly opponents. 

TSM

The most popular team in Apex has demonstrated incredible consistency in the game’s pro scene to date. A fiercely competitive squad that performs even better under pressure, TSM have won both of the major LAN tournaments in Apex. Their winnings total just shy of a half million dollars—nearly $200,000 more than the earnings of their closest competitor, NRG. 

In late 2020, TSM lost one of the best players in the game when Mac “Albralelie” Beckwith’s frustrations with Apex, combined with growing tensions between him and in-game leader Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen, led to his departure from the team. TSM picked up Eric “Snip3down” Wrona to replace him. Wrona is another Apex great whose pro gaming career started in Halo 3. The roster never looked back, notching wins left and right throughout 2021. TSM were a force in the ALGS Championship, at one point only a couple of EVA-8 shots away from winning it all. But they eventually fell to Kungarna, taking home a third-place finish in the finale of the pro circuit’s first year and consolation prize of almost $80,000.

In Year Two of the ALGS, expect TSM’s dominance to continue. Debates will continue over ImperialHal’s brusque, critical style, but few would argue that his shot-calling is anything but top-tier. Jordan “Reps” Wolfe, sometimes overshadowed by his friskier teammates, is simply one of the best players in the game and remains the team’s anchor. Wrona’s deep competitive experience has given him a unique mix of patience and aggression, and he has an uncanny ability to find inventive shooting angles. Pound for pound, they are still the best team in North America—feared, respected, and carefully watched by other teams looking to make their mark on the scene.

NRG

When NRG are playing well, they simply can’t be beat. Over three days in the group stage of the ALGS Championship, NRG finished more than 60 points ahead of the second-place team, TSM. If they’d continued playing at the same level, they wouldn’t have had much competition in the finals. But they couldn’t find the same consistency on the big day and went home in 10th place. 

Like G2, a slightly disappointing result in the last major tournament doesn’t mean a whole lot going forward. They bounced back in smaller events right after the Championship with wins in two consecutive tournaments playing against many of the same opponents. Nathan “Nafen” Nguyen, Aidan “rocker” Grodin, and Chris “sweetdreams” Sexton are capable of winning big at the highest level of Apex, like when they took home a first-place finish and nearly $50,000 at the Winter Circuit Playoffs in March 2021. They may not have the consistency of TSM or G2, but they’re leaps and bounds ahead of most other teams in the game, with cool performances under pressure and excellent teamfighting skills. 

Cloud9

Cloud9 left Apex in 2019 after consistently poor results in smaller tournaments and a disappointing finish at the game’s first major tournament, the X Games Invitational in Minneapolis. Cloud9 sat out all of 2020, as Apex struggled to develop its esports scene during the pandemic. 

The large organization returned to competition just in time for the ALGS Championship with a new roster: Logan “Knoqd” Layou, Paris “StayNaughty” Gouzoulis, and Zach Mazer. Cloud9 made quite an entrance back into pro Apex, netting a bit over $130,000 with a second-place finish at the championship.

Despite that strong result, Layou was dropped from the competitive roster soon afterward. The former TSM and Team Liquid player Albralelie replaced him, turning C9 from a potentially great team to keep an eye on into an Apex powerhouse. Albralelie’s mechanical skill combined with his inventive playstyle makes him one of the deadliest players in the game. Zach scored the most kills of any player at the ALGS Championship. This new formulation of the Cloud9 roster will be a team to watch.


Catch all the Apex action starting at 3pm CT on Oct. 16, and be sure to check out the ALGS calendar for the full schedule of league play. Watch the official stream on Twitch or YouTube, where the ALGS broadcast team keeps track of the best action on the fly, or just tune in to see your favorite player on their personal channel in the Apex category on Twitch.