NEW esports took the victory in a marathon ALGS Playoffs EMEA. The Portuguese team pipped Alliance and Gambit to the crown, securing $100,000.
Saturday saw the top 20 teams in the region go head to head in the ALGS Playoffs EMEA, competing for their share of $250,000 in prize money. NEW esports shook off drama around roster changes to take victory after 10 long games.
NEW esports were not considered a favorite before the playoffs. Instead, the focus was firmly on teams such as Gambit and iG.
There was also a lot of anticipation to see how the controversial matchpoint format will play after the addition of anonymous mode. Plus, with the new multiview and the return of twitch drops
, could Apex Legends kick its esports scene to a new level?
Saturday's ALGS Playoffs EMEA action was one of the longest 'match point' tournaments in history, spanning over 10 games. Only the Apex Legends Pre Season invitational in Poland went on longer.
NEW esports finally find a winning formula
It was the Portuguese team NEW who secured the victory after a massive 10 games of action. The team, who have a history of frequent roster changes
, finally found a winning formula.
NEW esports made a very slow start, after 4 games they sat 13th, with just 14 points. After 7 games, they were still only halfway to match point, languishing in 16th place. They did not seem in the running to even reach match point. Let alone secure victory.
NEW esports stunned the Apex Scene with their victory
Huge game launches NEW esports into contention
It was in Game 8 where NEW esports came to the fore. Led by IGL K4shera, the NEW team dropped a massive 15 kills and claimed the game victory. This secured them a total of 27 points. Suddenly, NEW were on match point and in the running.
Unlike Alliance, Gambit, iG and others, NEW only needed two chances to close it out. Just two games later, NEW esports emphatically closed out the victory, pipping Gambit and Ethernal to victory.
Will this massive victory help NEW esports nail down a long-term roster? VJEX will be confident of holding a place heading into split 2. This big playoff victory essentially secures NEW's spot in the ALGS Championship LAN in July.
NEW esports benefit from match point format
Despite having significantly less points than a handful of teams, NEW benefitted from the match point format and secured first place.
The Top 10
NEW Esports - 77 Points (MATCH POINT WINNER)
Alliance - 116 Points
Gambit - 100 Points
iG - 88 Points
69iQ - 85 Points
Major Pushers - 68 Points
Rebel - 58 Points
Horizon - 58 Points
GMT - 57 Points
Guild - 55 Points
The game by game breakdown
Alliance so close to victory in ALGS Playoffs EMEA
It was an absolutely incredible day's action from Alliance. Starting with 9 points from seeding, they reached match point in record-breaking time, needing just two games. Playing from the Alliance HQ the 2nd seeded team seemed impossible to stop.
The experience of Yuki, who has won match point tournaments before, could not push Alliance over the line
Then, having reached match point, the RNG gods blessed Alliance with a zone in Thermal where they land. However, for a team that plays as aggressive as Alliance, this was a hindrance. They misread the zone and struggled on limited resources.
Hakis also made the bold decision of swapping to Crypto, dropping Caustic in the process.
Alliance Vaifs took home the Apex Predator award having dropped the most kills
Alliance vacate game winning spot in costly error
Alliance had several more chances to close out the victory. They will be especially frustrated by Game 6. In a zone ending by Tree, Alliance had control of the trailer - this was a game-winning position. They vacated the trailer to clean up a fight, and another team had occupied it before they could return.
The team in the trailer won the game and Alliance were left disappointed. Alliance finished in the top 4 on 4 occasions after reaching 50 points but could not find that final win in the ALGS
iG incredibly close to taking home the victory at ALGS Playoffs EMEA
The all British team made an incredible start to the days action, with a massive 14 kill victory in Game 1.
Noiises, who told esports.gg he was feeling confident going into the playoffs
was on top form with confident calls and strong zone reads. Their adjusted game style of looking of taking higher risk for bigger rewards saw them pick up 30 kills in the first 3 matches.
iG come just seconds from victory in Game 4
The 23-year-old could not have led his team to a better position in Game 4 of the ALGS Playoffs EMEA. He led his team into Geyser, having secured match point in the previous game.
They held the same building for the whole game, defending it with their lives. Brynn, on Wraith, made advances into the surrounding areas to gather loot and clean up teams that were threatening their position.
With the zone ending just outside their building, iG survived an aggressive push and were faced with a 3v3 for the victory and $100,000.
However, it was heartbreak for Blasts. A slight moment of hesitation let a chance to heal or shield swap pass, and Major Pushers Ranches prevented iG from securing the victory.
iG had one hand on the Playoff trophy as they entered the final 3v3 in Game 4
Understandably, this seemed to kill the momentum of the iG team, and they did not make another top 4 until the very last game, falling short as NEW esports took the top prize.
However, a fantastic showing from the iG team and they will be looking for another big Pro League split in the coming months.
Favourites Gambit fall just short in ALGS Playoffs EMEA
Gambit arrived in the Playoffs as Pro League champions
, and started on 10 points. Like iG, they needed just 3 games to reach match point.
However, much like Alliance they failed to take their chances and could not secure that all-important victory to take the win. Their best chance to do so came in that final game of the ALGS Playoffs EMEA. They made the incorrect call on which team to fight, pushing Ethernal instead of eventual Champions NEW esports.
With Ethernal not on match point, taking out new esports means that win or lose the final 3v3, Gambit could've still won the top prize.
Gambit expressed their frustration at the match point format on Twitter after the conclusion. They will be frustrated, like Alliance, that they had so many more points than the eventual victors NEW esports.
Did pressure impact Gambits performance?
It appears that Gambit felt the pressure once they secured match point, and this affected their game style. Understandably, it seems the Russian trio played a lot safer after reaching that 50 point threshold.
In the opening 3 games, while pushing to reach match point, Gambit dropped 24 kills. However, in the subsequent 7 games, they only picked up a further 15 kills. Could Gambit have kept their momentum flowing by trying to keep playing the same way after reaching match point?
Gambit had to fight from low ground to try and close out a win in Game 10
However, Gambit take a fair amount of risk with their combative playstyle, and they still reached 100 total points. Like Alliance, they will be very frustrated with not securing the top prize.
ALGS Playoffs NA taking place tomorrow
Attention will now turn to the North America region who play tomorrow.
Will teams such as Sentinels and NRG be able to replicate the fast pace of Alliance and iG in getting to match point? Will the difference in playstyle and legend choices mean that the NA region is over much quicker?
Teams in the EMEA region will now turn their attention to the second split of the Pro League, which is expected to resume towards the end of February.