Action finally begins this weekend!
The ALGS Pro League Split 1 finally gets underway this weekend, after a long and dramatic offseason. There have been major changes to Storm Point, big roster shifts and several in game updates.
But, what should you expect from the upcoming competition and what are the key things to look out for as the ALGS Pro League finally resumes.
What sort of impact will Conduit have?
Conduit was initially written off as having any competitive viability. However more and more teams have slowly adopted her and she has shaken up the ALGS meta.
Conduit's healing ability is far more powerful than was expected when she released. This makes her viable for all three of your considerations. Fighting off drop, fighting on edge or playing in zone. It is very rare for a legend to be good for all three.
Conduit off drop, when heals are at a premium, can absolutely be make or break in a fight. Being able to heal yourself and a teammate without stopping moving is very impactful. Her power is clear in fights, and Conduit is a strong choice for any teams who plan to take a lot of fights.
But, she also has power for zone teams. Heal economy is really important when rotating quickly, as it levelling up your EVO Shields. This requires you to poke and deal damage, which of course requires heals. Conduit's Radiant Transfer Shields allows you to poke, take and deal damage, all while using none of your actual healing.
This is a big shake up for zone teams, and more teams might adopt her as the ALGS Pro League Split 1 develops regardless of her playstyle.
Will LG make a strong start to the ALGS Pro League Split 1?
There has been a lot of discussion about the new Luminosity roster. Sweetdreams and NRG underperformed at both the ALGS Split 2 and ALGS Championship LAN's. Now, he is teaming with two very untested and unknown talents.
It is fair that there is scepticism around this roster. Even regardless of Fuhhnq and Slayr's lack of Pro League experience, this roster has formed relatively recently. While some new rosters have been competing for several weeks, this team has only a handful of scrims under their belt.
With that said, it would not be a shock if this Luminosity team performed very well across the ALGS Pro League Split 1. As the likes of Xynew and Koyful have proved, young controller talent can very quickly rise to the top under proper guidance. Who better than Sweetdreams to do this?
Sweet, speaking after the announcement on stream, said he was excited to be surrounded by people passionate and keen to play the game. That was one of the biggest criticisms people had of the former NRG team (perhaps Gild excluded).
LG has been scrimming at every opportunity and frequently holding contest practice against other teams. These seem like positive signs for enthusiasm and the much fabled 'passion'. If Sweetdreams can get back to his peak motivation, LG could be a serious ALGS Pro League Split 1 contender with this new roster.
Can TSM clear out their drop spots?
A key plank of their game plan comes from the powerful Lava Siphon that they land at on Worlds Edge. The location has plentiful loot and a central location, allowing TSM to either play edge or rotate quickly to zone as they desire.
TSM have had to see several teams off Siphon during scrims, including Vexed Gaming in EMEA. However, now they are being contested by Teq and his team 'Meat Lovers' ahead of Pro League. Additionally, Tempr are also contesting TSM but have not really tested the LAN Champions as of yet.
It's fair to say that Meat Lovers are giving TSM the greatest challenge of anyone that has decided to contest them. Teq's dedication to the contest has been admirable. He has even announced that he will be letting Hyzeq, a controller player, replace him on the days that they contest TSM.
The idea is that this will allow Meat Lovers more firepower in the close range Lava Siphon contest. What this does show is how committed this team is to contesting TSM throughout Split 1 of the ALGS Pro League.
Meat Lovers have even moved to contest TSM on Storm Point too, in an attempt to force their hand on Worlds Edge.
Will this disrupt TSM across ALGS Pro League Split 1?
The question is if this will impact TSM and their ability to be successful this split. TSM do have a fantastic record at Siphon, especially on gameday. However there will still be at least a slight air of doubt around them until they contest Meat Lovers in a Pro League match for the first time.
Of course, either team could choose to leave the contest but at this time, and based off scrim results, that seems unlikely. TSM have still been performing very well in scrims, especially when uncontested.
Can brynn return to glory?
It has perhaps flown slightly under the radar that Brynn "brynn" Crompton is returning to competition this year, having taken the entirety of ALGS Year 3 off. He is back competing with his former teammate Noiises for this year of ALGS. The duo picked up SirDel, rounding out 'The Full English' for the Split 1 of the ALGS Pro League.
brynn is undoubtedly one of the best mechanical Mouse and Keyboard players in the world. He has shown up time and time again in big moments. Having not competed for almost 18 months, it may take the Brit some time to get back up to speed. The Full English are also trying to build team Chemistry, and IGL Noiises has also swapped to controller during the off season.
This roster has struggled slightly in the two notable warm up tournaments in EMEA. They finished 19th in the Aurora XMAS Series and 20th in the ESAWP X Element 6 invitational scoring just 6 points.
If brynn can return to his old level that may help kickstart this roster. All three players have LAN experience and this team is undoubtedly capable of challenging for Playoff qualification. However, things will need to improve sooner rather than later if they are to do so.
Will any of the new teams make a mark on the ALGS Pro League Split 1?
The ALGS Pre Season Qualifiers threw up new teams in every region. Some teams that qualified are known and established in their regions, such as E8. However there are always wildcard teams that can make a big impact.
In ALGS Year 3, Team Danish (now EXO Clan) went from Pre Season Qualifiers to being just a few points short of a spot at the ALGS Championship. Will any other teams find such success?
One team that is being tipped for success is LVH. Made up of Vaifs, Liphnn and jayHANZO the roster has a mix of inputs and experience competing in the game. Vaifs had a very successful career with Alliance, competing with them from the start of the game until late 2022.
There is also attention on Oversleepers in North America. The side received a late qualification after a Pro League slot opened following the ex-NRG and then Stallions rosters merged.
Something that has gone under the radar is the experience of JP and Charmander. Both players have significant competitive experience from Splitgate, having both found success in that games short lived pro-circuit. This experience should help the team adjust to the pressure of high level competition. The question will be if the team can adapt to the mechanical skill of major teams like TSM, DarkZero and XSET.
Will the SMG nerf impact input balance?
The debate surrounding which input players are best to use will undoubtedly continue to rumble on throughout Split 1 of the ALGS Pro League. Almost all of the new talent emerging uses controller, and more and more players have also changed inputs.
However, the mid season Apex update nerfed both the CAR SMG and the R99. This was the latest in a growing string of attempts to reduce the power of SMG's.
The question is if this will finally be impactful enough to tip the scales back in favour of Mouse and Keyboard.
The interesting thing about the 'Aim Assist debate' is that the actual value of assistance that controller players received has not changed. The meta of the game, especially at the ALGS Pro League level has instead shifted dramatically.
There was far less complaints about controller when teams all played Gibraltar, and most fights were inside his Dome with Peacekeepers for instance. As the game has shifted to more mid to close range fights with aggressive legends like Horizon, this has helped the power of a controller to deal consistent damage to become more prominent.
It is probably also true that during the early days of ALGS the power of controller was underutilised. There will never be a shift in the game that results in players swapping back to 'MNK' en-mass. But, perhaps Respawn's efforts to shift the balance will make a visible difference to the ALGS Pro League.