Esports Arena put on a masterclass in the NA ALGS Regional Finals, taking a match point victory in just five games. They have qualified for LAN.
Esports Arena made light work of the North American ALGS Regional finals with a comfortable 5 game victory. They dominated from start to finish, only dying outside the final 3 on one occasion across the 5 games.
Elsewhere, ALGS Championship runners up FURIA missed out on LAN qualification, while Dark Zero snuck into the top 10 with their best performance of the season so far. esports.gg spoke to Dark Zero coach PVPX about their performance today.
Today also decided the final standings of the Pro League, TSM did enough to see off newly signed XSET and take the Pro League title.
Exceptional Esports Arena
Esports Arena made an incredible start to their Regional Finals. They reached the 'match point' threshold in just 3 games, which is the fastest that any team has reached the threshold in North America ever. They dominated the first three opening games, taking first, second and then third in that order. Across those 3 games they averaged a whopping 7.66 kills per game.
Esports Arena master Worlds Edge
Amazingly, Esports Arena came into this regional final with a 100% win record from the top 5 on Worlds Edge. They had lost that record before game 5 came around, but their fantastic record in Worlds Edge end games gave them the confidence to make a phenomenal play, crossing the open Lava with Horizon's Gravity Lift and clearing out the high ground.
This dominant 5 game win is the joint-fastest match point victory in the games history. Esports Arena have defied the odds, with Lewda battling an injury and Caprah making his top level debut just this split. How far can this roster go at LAN? Time will tell.
Credit has to go to Esports Arena as an organisation. They are building a great track record at discovering and supporting emerging talent in the North American scene. The question will be if Esports Arena choose to cash in on this roster, like they did with OpTic before the Sweden LAN.
Dark Zero sneak into LAN
It was a fantastic performance from Dark Zero, who snuck into the final LAN qualification spot with a second placed finish on the day. There was significant pressure on the roster. They relocated from APAC South to North America having won both LAN events in 2021-22. While they dominated APAC South, DarkZero relocated the team to North America to compete in a much bigger third party tournament scene. This roster was essentially guaranteed LAN from APAC South, and relocating to not qualify might have felt like a major mistake.
They needed to perform today. Only an outright win or a top three finish would do. If they couldn't pull off a match point win, then Dark Zero would rely on other results going their way. With Esports Arena performing well, that only increased the pressure on Genburten and co.
Dark Zero making Dome work
They got off to a slow start in game one. On Worlds Edge, Dark Zero were landing Dome. This is roundly considered the worst spot on the whole of Worlds Edge. In smaller tournaments, Dark Zero had tried to contest TSM at Lava Siphon, but were seen off.
You'd think that when landing at Dome, a very north Skyhook zone would be the worst possible situation imaginable. Think again. Working their way through the entire length of Worlds Edge, Dark Zero deployed Seer and Bangalore to fight their way into zone.
Bangalore is surging in popularity in North America, and her smokes combined with digital threat scopes is a deadly duo. Once Dark Zero get going, it's hard to stop them. They steam rolled their way North, and closed out an incredibly tight end game. Picking up 13 kills in the process, the all Aussie roster took a much needed victory.
Dark Zero also had to make the best of a bad situation on Storm Point. They split a no name POI nicknamed 'Bean' with FaZe as part of an oddly crowded South West quadrant of Storm Point.
Dark Zero PVPX: "It was a go big or go home moment literally".
esports.gg spoke to Dark Zero's Coach, PVPX after the games.
How much pressure was on the roster to perform today, considering they relocated away from what was essentially guaranteed LAN qualification?
"After last Sunday being the most unlucky day I've seen in ALGS in terms of crashes / bugs we were forced to get Top 2 today and on top of that we had to fill horrible drop spots: Dome and splitting half of Bean with FaZe. It was a go big or go home moment literally."
What was behind the decision to land at Dome?
"We planned on going Frag West & Thunder/Storm but since we had such a bad score the previous Sunday we had the pressure of not being able to contest any teams off drop. ESA claimed Frag West and they are an edge team so they don't care if they fight. The only open spot was Dome so we said we'll play edge, which is not our normal style, just to play out the game"
Dark Zero debated contesting TSM
Did you debate trying to contest TSM after Oversight this week? Do you think they can hold all of Siphon at LAN, when most regions split it?
"Yes we did. North Siphon is a top quality drop spot and we are confident to contest any team off drop but unfortunately even if TSM gets a 20th in ALGS they would still make it to LAN so it wasn't even an option on the table for us to land there. We tested it on Oversight to see if we could somehow rotate faster than they could push.
"TSM trying to claim Siphon at LAN will be interesting to see. It really depends on how many teams from other regions qualified from there and how open they are to leaving. I imagine a lot of teams would not mind the 50/50 off drop during group stages."
TSM win Pro League
TSM took their first ALGS Pro League title, doing enough to keep clear of XSET. It was a solid performance from TSM, who knew they did not need anything special to take a victory. Their LAN qualification was already secured before the day's action.
It has been a very impressive split from TSM. Signing coach Raven has helped TSM develop a clear identity, and the roster has regained the confidence that saw them dominate the game for multiple seasons.
They will be one of the teams to watch at the Playoffs, set to be in London.
Esports Arena secure LAN spot, but who's joining them?
It was an incredibly tense day of action in North America, with only two teams locked in for LAN before the start of play. Throughout the five games, the top 14 teams swung wildly. At one stage NRG were set to finish 12th overall, but a huge win in game 4 saw them leapfrog several rivals and lock down a top 10 position.
The teams joining Esports Arena at the ALGS Playoffs from North America will be
- The Guard
- 100 Thieves
- Spacestation Gaming
- Dark Zero
Two powerhouses, OpTic and FURIA will be watching the ALGS Playoffs from home. Neither team was able to find the results they needed to secure a top ten finish. FURIA will be particularly frustrated, they had their worst day of the split so far and finished in 18th. Known as one of the most aggressive fighting teams, only found three kills the entire tournament. They will head back to the drawing board ahead of the second split of the Pro League.