ALGS stories and highlights from week two of Pro League.
Were now fully in the swing of things in the Apex Legends Global Series, with all teams having a couple of lobbies and tournament series under their belts to help sort out this years favorites and surprises. Most of the big-name teams that fans expect to see at the top are there, but several newer teams and players are also making their mark in the scene and proving that they shouldnt be taken lightly.
Chief among those teams isnt necessarily a new squad but one that ALGS fans around the world should be paying attention to: The Guard.
While playing for Torrent Esports last year, IGL Rkn didnt have the best of luck. The team decided to make a change midway through the season, with Hill leaving and eventually joining Atlanta Premier to great success. They replaced him with RamBeau, a man renowned almost as much for his hair as he is for his controller skill. Still, the team struggled in Pro League and didnt end up qualifying for the Split Two Playoffs or the ALGS Championship.
That luck began to turn around at the Championship, however, with Rkn and RamBeau emerging as unlikely stars when both members were called upon as COVID substitutes. RamBeau helped GMT Esports secure fifth place, while Rkn took over IGLing duties for iG International and led them to the grand finals before a second positive COVID test to iGs Jmw forced them to use their team manager as a third player, effectively sinking their hopes.
Now in year three with new member Keon in tow and representing The Guard, the squad looks better than ever in a Crypto, Wattson, and Valkyrie composition that emphasizes both Rkns ability as an IGL and places plenty of trust on RamBeau as Wattson to not need any movement abilities to excel in a fight. The result? The Guard are currently in first place in NA Pro Leagueand they dont look like theyre going to leave that spot soon.
While few teams have consistently made Crypto work on a high level in North Americas aggressive metas, The Guard have shown they can do it consistently over the last few weeks between ALGS and third-party tournaments. With the little bit of extra fragging power theyve gained from Keons addition, they can always count on grabbing kills to pair along with their traditionally high placements. Thats a tough combination to beat and teams around the world should be taking note of The Guard when the first LAN tournament rolls around this winter.
Last year, Team Burger were one of the biggest international surprises of the ALGS scene, with fans around the world flocking to the Aussie trio for their funny name and sterling play. Now signed to Moist Esports, Team Burger has competition from a new free agent trio in their region with another silly name that could land them some extra fans around the world: Boogie Boarders.
Of the new squad, Fussy is the player who will be most familiar to international fans after he played with Sutoraiku at both ALGS LANs last season. But all three players currently on the squad have pro Apex experience in APAC South, and theyre already making noise in the regions Pro League. Notably, they currently have the highest average Pro League placement out of any team in the entire world competing in ALGS. While most top teams region by region have mostly averaged placing around seventh or eighth in their total matches so far, Boogie Boarders have managed an astounding 4.67 average placement so far in Pro League, according to Liquipedia. Thats a ton of guaranteed points, and if Boogie Boarders can keep producing performances like that, we might be seeing a new Aussie sensation at LAN this year.
A somewhat-frequent point of contention reared its head again during NA play yesterday: ring logic, or the seeming lack thereof.
All three endgames on Worlds Edge for the lobby took place in or around Climatizer, while two of the three endgames on Storm Point happened at Fish Farms. The only outlier all day was an early zone that pulled up to North Pad on Storm Point.
ALGS play used to be plagued by southern zones when Worlds Edge was the only map in competitive play. That was most likely because there was simply more playable terrain in the south of that map and, therefore, zones were more likely to pull there. It seems that some of that all south issue has been addressed, but not to the point where lobbies arent being determined by a few teams getting lucky with repeat zone pulls.
Some people have started giving suggestions on future zone logic and how to avoid some teams gaining a significant upper hand by having zones pull toward them over and over again in tournaments. Regardless, its an issue to look out for going forward since competitive Apex relies on the push and pull of trying to create an even playing ground in an inherently random and uneven game mode.
Even with Vaifs out for a period of time and Mande filling in as a sub, Alliance managed to get back to their dominant ways in week two of Pro League. A lot of that was thanks to Yuki, who showed once again that he can clutch fights for his team when things get messy and Alliance needs an X-factor.
While plenty of ink has already been spilled about RamBeau in this column, one more thing should be of note: hes currently leading North America in kills while playing exclusively as Wattson.
If a Wattson is winning your fights and getting that many kills, youre clearly more than just a character crutch.
Fnatic utterly dominated their lobby in week two, finishing 50 points above ENTER FORCE.36 in second place. And while YukaF put on a vintage flashy performance with 22 kills, the team was actually paced by Meltstera with 24 kills on Bangalore.