A one-vs-one for the ages.
The Apex Legends Global Series Split One Playoffs are in full swing, and the LAN tournament is proving once again how exciting Apex esports can be. Every game, moment, and even every bullet can mean the difference between winning and losing everythingand as TSM and Alliance found out, it literally can come down to every single bullet.
TSM entered their last lobby of the Group Stage with qualification for the Winners Bracket tomorrow basically assured. Still, the team is led by one of the most competitive players in Apex, ImperialHal, and anything less than excellence in their last lobby would be considered a failure. Alliance had struggled through the Group Stage, on the other hand. The European heavyweight had to deal with a POI contest against APAC North squad Flora on every World’s Edge game they played, and big-point games proved hard to come by. So when the two squads met as the last two remaining during game four of their lobby, both teams gave everything they had to the fight.
Fresh off TSM cleaning up the third place squad, Alliance’s Oscar “Yuki” Jiang and ImperialHal traded kills back and forth, each dispatching their counterpart’s teammates. And with the circle closing in and both players close to full health, neither was eager to get too aggressive and give their opponent an advantage.
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Instead, both players weaved in and around the knockdown shields of their teammates and the lone fence separating the two of them. Hal’s initial Flatline sprays gave him a health advantage, but Yuki quickly answered with shots of his own from the CAR SMG. And with no shields remaining on either player, the unthinkable happened to Hal: he ran out of bullets to shoot.
Left with little other choice, Hal began punching Yuki, and actually managed to land two melee attacks for 60 damage while avoiding taking anymore damage to himself, effectively leaving both players in one-shot territory. As Hal tried to swing in for one last punch, however, Yuki found the opening he was looking forwith the last six bullets in his gun.
The moment was so unbelievable that even the casters seemed confused, initially not realizing that either player was so low on ammunition. The crowd couldn’t quite seem to believe it either, roaring to life as UK-native Yuki managed to clutch out the victory against one of NA’s best on home soil.
The win turned out to be particularly important for Alliance, as well. The first place finish granted them three more points than second place would have, in addition to the three kill points Alliance gained when the last member of TSM was taken out. At the end of the Group Stage, Alliance managed to squeak into the top 20 teams that qualified for Winners Bracket with 106 points. PULVEREX, the 20th placed team, was just below them with 100 points. A second place finish to TSM and a single other dropped point here or there would’ve meant Alliance would need to fight for their lives in the Losers Bracket to start the Bracket Stage, instead of getting two cracks at qualifying for Finals.
For a game that’s often about maximum chaos and large numbers of players fighting at the same time, the one-vs-one boiled down Apex to one of its most pure forms. Just two players with everything to play for, and a fight that required every bit of their skill, guile, and inventory. And for many viewers, it might have reminded exactly why they fell in love with Apex in the first place.