The Alliance Apex Legends squad’s massive comeback on Day 2 of the group stage means a chance now for the ALGS EMEA title. We chat to Vaifs, Hakis and iPN-k0u about it all.
Alliance head into the ALGS EMEA Finals this Saturday as one of the favourites to win. Vaifs, Hakis and iPN-k0u finished 2nd overall in the 3-day groupstage with 190 points, just 13 points behind leaders New Esports. It was an especially impressive achievement considering Alliance finished the opening day in 16th place overall. However, the Alliance Apex and #TeamRazer trio came back stronger with a phenomenal Day 2 securing 95 Points by winning 3 of their 6 matches. They then continued on course on Day 3 to finish 1st in group D.
Esports.gg caught up with the Alliance Apex Legends trio ahead of the ALGS EMEA Finals, which they will play in out of the Alliance HQ in Stockholm.
Malystryx: First off congratulations on reaching the Finals. I was wondering what were your personal favourite moments from the group stage, and which teams impressed you?
Vaifs: “My personal favourite has to be when I accidentally ult accelerant pop then swapped into Mastiff, killing the last two players alive and winning the game. Guess we can call it style points. The teams that impressed me were both Scarz and New Esports, they showed in the past few days that they are ready to compete for the top.”
Hakis: “When I solo ratted on Day 3 Game 1 and then yolo ressed my teammates into a double kidnap getting us second place. (Clip below) I think Scarz & New Esports impressed me, Scarz coming out of a slump into doing really well with Valkyrie. New Esports showing great team synergy and consistency in general.”
iPN-k0u: “For me it has to be day 3 game 2, the clean win vs Scarz with Valkyrie tactical, being able to play yet another new character and show results with my team is always a joy. Fire Beavers impressed me. Good results with a new member and playing Loba which is a first. Scarz, New Esports, Gambit, etc. played up to expectations so just another day at the office.”
Malystryx: What do you think about the Snake format? Casters were claiming its best format to ever exist in competitive Apex. How does it feel for you as players?
Vaifs: “I really liked it, felt like you could show how well you are as a team against different opponents and show off consistency.”
Hakis: “I think it’s a good format if it had been introduced from the start. The way the format got introduced with the whole fiesta of the ALGS point situation has really made the format not shine as hard as it might have under different circumstances. But in general getting to play more games in total and show your consistency as a whole is generally really good since we are playing a BR.”
iPN-k0u: “Never really thought about it, put all my focus on the games. It felt nice since it gives teams the chance to show what they’re capable of, and time to reflect and come back stronger the next day/opponents.”
Malystryx: The Alliance Apex team was expected to qualify for Finals, even before the group stage started. Did that pressure play some part in the results on Day 1? What do you think caused the slow start?
Vaifs: “We said from the start that we were 100% gonna qualify for finals. Day 1 we played really well, but just had some bad luck during some of our rotations and executions. Our planning was right but somehow Krabers hit us hard and teams came out of nowhere which led to all of us dying. We said to ourselves that we would just go again on Day 2 and dominate.”
Hakis: “We were super confident about qualifying even after Day 1 since we know that what happened on that day was just super unlucky. I hate to use the term unlucky in general but after dying to a bug, a Kraber headshot & a team killing themselves just to kill us I think it’s fair to use in that situation since that was half the games (laughs).”
iPN-k0u: “All 3 were sick going into day 1, but even with that we played good together and individually, just a mix of unfortunate ingame situations caused us to not get the points everyone expected.”
Malystryx: Day 2 you bounced back, 95 points in a single day and right behind Gambit. That must have felt good, what was Day 2 like for you? What do you remember most about it?
Vaifs: “On Day 2 we had so much fire in our veins and came up strong. We only had one bad game but our gameplay that day was perfect and it felt really good. I remember the adrenaline running through my body after every final fight we took in the end game that led to our victory. “
Hakis: “Nothing specific to be honest we just played our own game and did it really well that day, no mistakes and perfect execution it was good.”
iPN-k0u: “Went from Bloodhound to Valkyrie, so I had to mentally prepare to play a character I’ve got little practice on. Glad we executed the team composition well.”
Malystryx: You finished 2nd in the groupstage and are heading into the finals as a heavy favourite from the fans point of view. Does it feel that way for you?
Vaifs: “I feel we have a lot of fans watching us and it feels great to have the support from a community like that. We’re gonna show them what we’re really made of and take the DUB.”
Hakis: “I feel like we are coming out of a slump so not as many fans are on our side as it used to be but I’m happy to show that we are still at the top and ready to take the championship home.”
iPN-k0u: “I haven’t really kept myself updated about that stuff so this is new to me, but if that’s the case big thanks to them for thinking so highly of us, gonna try and meet their expectations, they’re all a bunch of cuties.”
Malystryx: Falloutt pointed out in an article for our website that the Alliance Apex squad was the first team to really show the power of Valkyrie after you swapped to her from Bloodhound on Day 2. Do you see her being a top tier pick? How did you feel having her in your comp?
Vaifs: “Valkyrie is a really strong character when it comes to rotations and us as an edge team makes it even stronger. We can secure really good positions and do fine rotations across the map easily. Bloodhound can give you much more if you’re centered on the map but Valk gives more if you’re far out all the time. So Valk being a top tier pick is a yes for me and I feel that she’s perfect in our comp.”
iPN-k0u: “Bloodhound increases the firepower of our team, however seeing how the lobby played out, and with the amount of Cryptos, we realized that going for position over fighting our way in, and having more options with the increase of mobility that Valkyrie gives was a lot more valuable. She is indeed a top tier pick and feels amazing. Respawn did a phenomenal job with her.”
Malystryx: Discussion took place on Reddit over the fact some people believe doing well in ALGS EMEA is much harder as the scene is more competitive than NA. Did you watch any of the NA ALGS? How do you feel the two regions compare?
Vaifs: “I watch NA a lot and comparing the two regions is easy. There are tons of more good teams in EMEA that can deliver fatal blows in comp. It’s much harder to be consistent on the leaderboard because the skill gaps between teams are pretty balanced. In NA you often see the same teams in the top 5.”
Hakis: “I feel like the top 5 teams from both regions are very similar in terms of skill atm. However the top 20 teams in Europe is MASSIVELY better than the top 20 from NA. So in general EU is a lot harder of a region to play in then NA because the average skill of the teams over here is so much higher.”
iPN-k0u: “EMEA is way more competitive because of so many top tier teams. In EMEA it feels like a stairway of skill upwards, while in NA you have the top 5 at the top, then the rest have to do a big jump, the gap is too much. Overall comparing the two regions, I’d say NA relies a lot more on their individual mechanics over teamwork considering it’s one of their strongest skills, while in EMEA there’s a mix of both. The top teams in NA are a threat for sure.”
A chat with Pontus “Chef P.” Bengtsson, the Alliance Apex Manager
Aside from the Apex Legends squad, we also spoke to Pontus “Chef P.” Bengtsson, the Apex Legends manager and a key part of the overall Alliance management team. He also happens to be the team’s chef.
Malystryx: You were obviously watching from the side lines, but how would you summarise your team’s performance over the course of the group stage? Were you keeping an eye on points?
Pontus: “Overall we hit the jackpot in terms of performance. Even though our Day 1 performance wasn’t great we still managed to get solid points on the board. If you look at all 16 games we only managed to not score points in 1 of them. Consistency is key in these types of formats and we hit a 10.55 points/game average which shows a vigorous performance.”
Malystryx: What were your stress levels like after Day 1?
Pontus: “Pretty normal to be honest. Even though our results weren’t there, we still had a good flow within the team. After the day was over we had a great breakdown and went into day 2 with full confidence.”
Malystryx: From your observations, what goes into playing Apex professionally that most fans or viewers don’t consider?
Pontus: “What viewers get to see is just 25% of what really goes on. Outside of their streams there is a lot of work still to be done. It can be physical and mental training, studying replays, looking at other regions, theory craft, grind pubs to maintain mechanics, team talks etc. I believe strongly that we are the best organization in Western Apex in terms of building a performance focused mindset. “
Malystryx: What are you doing to make sure the players can focus, and be able to bounce back like they did on Day 2?
Pontus: “My job is to help them stay on track and to remind them of our core values. I’ve been with the team so long now that I can point out clearly what was positive and negative about our performance. So we analyzed and came up with a Day 2 plan, I would say it worked out perfectly (smile).”
Malystryx: Looking ahead to the Finals, what will you and Alliance be doing to ensure the best possible outcome for the team?
Pontus: “Our Alliance Apex squad is together for a bootcamp at our HQ, it’s the first time we’ve all been together since August last year. Together with our performance team we’ve created both individual and squad schedules that we’re following. I can confidently say on Saturday we will be stronger than ever and we will show everyone that we are the team to beat!”