iG International win final day of EMEA Pro League group stage
iG International dominated the final day of the ALGS Pro League group stage. They will qualify for LAN regardless of what happens in the regional finals on Sunday.
The EMEA region of the ALGS Pro League concluded on Thursday, with just the Regional Finals left to play on Sunday. iG International finished their Pro League group stage strong, sneaking out a victory over Alliance by a single point.
iG International are now fully secure in their place at the Split one Playoff LAN, but will have their sights on a strong performance in the Regional Finals to potentially win Pro League.
Elsewhere, eight teams have now been relegated from the Pro League. This includes SCARZ, who couldn't find the performance they needed today to escape the drop.
Are iG International the best zone team in the world?
iG International have staked their claim to be potentially the best 'zone team' anywhere in the world ahead of the upcoming LAN playoffs. They have performed incredibly consistently throughout the Pro League. With Noiises, JMW and Graceful they have a LAN champion, and then two of the sharpest and most experienced minds in the entire game.
Use of Crypto to push
Crypto has recently risen in popularity across several regions of the Pro League. But for iG International IGL Noiises, using Crypto is second nature. Noiises is one of the leading Crypto's worldwide, and has been incredibly loyal to the drone piloting legend.
As an early rotate team, Crypto lets you reduce your beacon RNG and gather as much information as possible. The drone can act as a fourth pair of eyes, and you can even use the EMP to level up evo shields in the early game.
However, what is underrated about Crypto is the way he allows you to risk free breach a position and push into a team.
iG International increasing aggression
A slight weakness of iG International in the past, and zone teams in general, has been aggression. As the meta has shifted to allow teams to drop 20+ kills in a single match, just placement consistency doesn't always cut it.
But this is where Crypto really comes into his own.
This push results in one of the cleanest and fastest wipes possible. The speed at which you can wipe a team is crucial in the zone, when lots of teams are nearby and can third party. The fight lasts just over 10 seconds.
Fantastic IGLing from Noiises
This opportunity isn't just as a result of playing Crypto. It's also the sort of opportunity that presents itself when you have a top class IGL like Noiises. The iG squad had identified that this is a push they could make much earlier in the game. However they identified that there is risk to fighting in the dead centre of zone. Even a very fast fight can be thirded, and you cannot guarantee a clean and easy engagement.
Noiises spots a fight at the neighbouring building and knows this is the window they need to execute the plan.
The value of this move cannot be overstated. iG International won this game, with the zone ending on the doorstep of the building they fought for.
The position they fought for and successfully defended was so powerful that they ended up with essentially a free win once they cleared their highground. iG International won half of the days games, across both maps.
Bottom 7 teams relegated
With only the top 20 teams making the regional finals, we now know which teams have been relegated to the Challenger Circuit. They will face off against the top 22 teams from the EMEA Challenger Circuit in a two day tournament. However, in the past several teams have broken up following relegation. This means it is likely we will see a handful of new faces in the ALGS Pro League's second split.
Most notably SCARZ have been relegated to the challenger circuit. While the departure of Mande and RPR from the SCARZ team means it is unfair to draw comparisons with this roster and the ALGS Championship winning team that the Japanese org once had - this is no doubt a very poor result.
Taisheen will not be featuring at the next LAN event (Photo: EA)
The teams relegated today were:
- Bitfix Gaming
- Phoenix Legacy
- Turkish Stars
- EKO Esports
- Three Muppets
Ember and Gaimin Gladiators finished in 21st and 22nd respectivley. Their Pro League spot is safe, but they have missed out on the Regional Finals.
Regional finals on Sunday
Now, the top 20 teams in the overall standings will take part in a regional finals on Sunday. This will be a match point format event, with standard scoring for the non winning teams. The winner of the day's games will qualify for LAN and earn the maximum 25 points towards the overall standings. Then, the remaining places will be scored the same as any other Pro League day.
From that, the 9 other LAN qualified teams will be drawn based on the entire standings of Pro League. Teams like iG International, Alliance, Acend and Vexed will all be pushing to win the Pro League and take home maximum prize money, even though their LAN spot is secure.
Editor | Twitter @TAG_tom_apex
From the UK, Tom is an experienced semi-professional Apex Legends player having competed in the ALGS Challenger Circuit over multiple seasons. He is a specialist in the competitive scene, with deep knowledge of ALGS. He has worked on several notable tournament broadcasts, as both an observer and caster.