TSM took home the gold at the inaugural Apex Legends EXP Invitational in Minneapolis yesterday, holding on to their day one lead after some fierce competition on the second day of the event to earn $30,000 in prize money.
TSM—Jordan “Reps” Wolfe, Mac “Albralelie” Kenzie Beckwith, and Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen—dominated day one at the event, amassing 30 kills, the second-highest total, while maintaining an average of fifth place and earning 62 points to keep them on top.
While teams were focusing on slaughtering each other, with the record being 14 kills, TSM had a relatively tame 11. But the scoring format awarded more points for high placements, and TSM’s focus on consistent top placings rather than all-out aggression paid off.
The second day was a tense affair as TSM battled to keep their top spot in the standings with Sentinels surging up 11 places to third. Sentinels’ run at the top spot faltered in the end since TSM kept their cool in the final round to place second, securing their championship with a comfortable five-point cushion. Despite Sentinels’ ridiculous 89-point haul on day two, TSM proved that consistency outweighed explosiveness at the X Games.
Team Reciprocity and Sentinels were the true surprises of the tournament, beating out numerous established teams on their run to second and third place, respectively. Reciprocity also had one of two controller players at the event, Eric “Snip3down” Wrona, who won a gold medal for Halo 5 at the 2016 Aspen X Games.
Season two’s new legend, Wattson, dominated the stage along with Wraith and Pathfinder. The combination proved to be the ultimate mix of offense, defense, and utility. This was one of the compositions TSM ran to immense success. While teams dipped into the occasional Lifeline, the trio was undoubtedly the first choice for most squads.
This year’s X Games marked the return of esports after three years of absence, and also proved to be one of the first major offline tournament for Apex, a relative newcomer to the battle royale esports scene. Coming just one week after Fortnite’s massive World Cup, EA and Respawn Entertainment will hope that this is just the start of Apex’s legend in the making.
The next major event for the fledgling esport will be the Apex Preseason Invitational in Krakow, Poland from Sept. 13 to 15.