Forty teams competed in Split 1 of NA ALGS, with the top 20 teams earning a chance to compete for $250,000 in prizes in the NA Split 1 Playoffs. The first team to win a game once reaching the match point threshold of 50 points splits $100,000 between the three players. TSM had 15 kills as well as third place in the first game of the Playoffs to net 22 points, and NRG was close behind getting 19 points as they won Game 1. After 7 games, TSM and NRG remained on top of the leaderboards when TSM won while on match-point to earn $100,000; NRG finished 2nd to earn $50,000.
Apex Legends has seen big growth in terms of players as well as viewership on Twitch, and these NA Split 1 Playoffs had the highest viewership ever for Apex Competitive, peaking with over 300,000 viewers on Twitch. In past Apex tournaments, ImperialHal would often have more than double the viewership of the official playapex stream from start to finish. However, in one of the most exciting changes that so far for fans of Apex competitive, the ALGS debuted a new viewership experience that EA is calling Multiview.
In addition to the regular official broadcast by playapex, all 20 teams competing in the NA Split 1 Playoffs had their POV as well as their team communications broadcasted to everyone watching on Twitch. Normally, top teams like NRG or Sentinels will avoid streaming these tournaments in an effort to keep their strategies or rotations more private. However, it can be difficult to find a team to cheer for when they may only be on the main broadcast for a few minutes each tournament. Viewers of the stream as well as other social media like platforms expressed their happiness with the new way to watch Apex Competitive.
1. TSM $100,000- 93 points, 49 kills
Since the start of Apex Legends LAN, TSM has been at the top of the leaderboards, winning two major LAN events. TSM was widely regarded as the best team for the first year of Apex, and based on their performance in these Split 1 Playoffs, TSM would make the case that they still are. Over 7 games, TSM had 49 kills, winning two games and finishing third in another. TSM is notorious for starting slow in big tournaments, but with 22 points in Game 1 and 19 more in Game 4, they were the first team in the lobby to reach the match point threshold of 50 points after Game 4. It only took 3 more games for TSM to seal the deal, with winning Game 7 with 16 kills, finishing over 30 points above NRG.
TSM made a big roster change with only two weeks left in Split 1 of Pro League, picking up “Verhulst” from ESA when Eric “Snip3down” Wrona made the surprise decision to return back to Halo. Picking up “Verhulst” gave TSM one of the hottest new players in Apex while also disrupting ESA’s team chemistry, who seemed unstoppable through the first 4 weeks of Split 1. The change from having Snip3down, a top esports veteran to college freshmen in his “rookie” season of Apex Competitive is a big change, but TSM put it all together in these Split 1 Playoffs. ImperialHal and Reps individually had the first and the second most kills as well as damage in these playoffs. Verhulst was close behind for 4th overall kills and is looking more comfortable with his new team.
2. NRG $50,000- 62 points, 23 kills
In ALGS Split 1, NRG won more individual games than any team in NA, and they continued this trend by winning the first game of playoffs with 19 points. NRG finished 2nd in Split 1, giving them 9 points to start the playoffs for 28 total after Game 1, but they did not reach match point until after Game 6. Only five teams in NA were on match point when TSM won Game 7, but in EMEA, when NEW Esports won Game 10, over half the lobby was on match point. NRG could have benefitted with the additional chances that EMEA had, dying 12th in Game 7, but their 62 points were still enough for second overall.
3. ESA $25,000- 60 points, 25 kills
Ira “twitch_dooplex” Shepard, William “SkittleCakes” August, Logan”C9 knoqd” Layou
ESA may be have been frustrated by when Verhulst signed to TSM in the second half of Split 1, but they were able to add C9 knoqd , a controller player with top finishes in past ALGS tournaments. While they were unable to win NA Split 1 Playoffs, ESA has adjusted to the new roster quickly and finished third, only two points behind NRG. If ESA is able to remain on top of NA leaderboards in Split 2 like they did in Split, at T1 Esports organization like FaZe could look to join Apex Legends by signing ESA’s roster. Some organizations like 100T, who finished last in the playoffs with only 11 points, could end up releasing their signed roster of players to pick up the current roster of ESA.
NA Split 2
Competitive Apex will return in one month on February 26th in Split 2 of the ALGS Pro League. TSM, NRG, and ESA will continue to battle to be the best team in NA. After finishing 1st in Split 1 and looking dominant, Sentinels started slowly in the Split 1 Playoffs but finished fourth, only one point behind ESA. C9 was another team that looked to be gaining momentum the more games they played, finishing only one point behind Sentinels with 58. The second and seventh-place teams in the playoffs were only separated by four points, and NA Split 2 should remain just as competitive.
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