NRG breathe life into Playoff hopes (ALGS Day 8)
NRG took control of their own destiny with a much needed win in the ALGS Pro League. They have climbed ten places in the overall standings.
NRG finally found their best form in an ALGS, taking a crucial win in the day's Pro League action. Starting the day in 13th, NRG were desperate for a strong showing to break into the top 9. They will now wait on Thursday's results to see exactly what is needed from them in the regional finals.
However, luck was not on NRG's side with all their neighbouring teams in the overall standings also putting in good performances. Teams such as Complexity, 100 Thieves and MPS are directly competing with NRG for one of the final few playoff spots. In particular, 100 Thieves are playing an extra game day on Thursday.
The Pro League has just one final regular game week left. Then, the top 20 teams will play one final lobby known as the 'regional finals'. The winner of this match point format game day will automatically qualify for the Pro League, with regular points handed out and added to the overall leaderboard.
NRG back in control of LAN destiny
Their 73 point win takes NRG up to 3rd in the overall standings, all the way from 13th. There is an asterisk over that placement though, with a whole host of teams underneath them playing on Thursday - while NRG are not. What NRG have secured is control of their own destiny. If they can perform well in the regional finals, they will guarantee themselves a LAN place. Had they not performed well today, they would have relied on either a match point win or plenty of results going their way. There is no doubt that the regional finals will be a step up in quality.
NRG Sweet (Photo: EA)
What has been interesting about NRG's struggles in Pro League is that it has not been replicated in smaller non ALGS tournaments. They were very successful all of pre-season, and that success has kept going even despite their difficulties in the Pro League. It always seemed inevitable that NRG would find their best form in ALGS, but time was running out.
Sweetdreams: "We just had to relearn how to play the game"
Sweet, taking to the ALGS main broadcast said that he felt "good, but a little demoralised after not getting any beacons on Storm Point for the third week in a row". On their doubters, Sweet went on to say that "We just had to relearn how to play the game," citing their lack of zones throughout the Pro League and lack of beacon knowledge as a reason why they have had to totally rework their macro.
NRG Nafen's communication a key improvement
One of the most noticeable differences in NRG's performance over previous weeks was the communication from NRG Nafen. The 21-year-old fully maximised the information that you can gather from Seer, but was also generally much more vocal and confident in his call out's across the whole tournament.
NRG Nafen (Photo: EA)
As per usual Sweet, who was on top form as a shot caller, made the majority of the calls and plays. However, Nafen enabled the NRG IGL to make the absolute best decisions with clear and concise information.
His confidence to also make micro-calls and overrule Sweet on occasion was a key factor in NRG putting down their best performance of the season.
As well as receiving lots of praise in game from his team, NRG fans were taking to Twitter to point out the notable difference in Nafen's level.
Incredible call turns fight around for NRG
In particular, one sharp call from Nafen turned a difficult fight on it's head.
NRG were facing a difficult fight against FaZe in the Command Centre tube. Using Seer, Nafen was able to spot someone wrapping the tube and clearly called for Gild to swing the solo player with him. Tone is crucial here, with the confidence helping Gild to fully commit to the play. In characteristic Sweet fashion, he makes it very clear how much he likes to see this level of communication from his teammate.
Dooplex wins final game as a solo
Jaws were dropped in the final game as Dooplex somehow pulled off a game victory, despite being the only member of his squad alive for almost half the game.
He benefitted from 100 Thieves and Luminosity taking a very messy fight. Dooplex managed to snag a crucial kill on a member of Luminosity, then successfully won his 1v1 to win the game over 100 Thieves.
This wasn't just a moment that will raise eyebrows, OpTic really needed the points. They sit in 16th overall and will likely need a match point win if they want to book their spot in the ALGS Split 1 Playoff LAN.
Optic need big final week
OpTic are one of the teams that still have Thursday to play, and will need to dig deep and find a healthy points total if they want to make their way up towards the top 9. A direct qualification is not yet out of the question, but it is going to take a big effort.
OpTic Gaming at the ALGS Championship (Photo: EA)
OpTic were buoyed by their strong performance in the JBL Quantum Cup on Saturday, which was their first major tournament win since the summer. The 'Green Wall' are one of a few teams that have struggled to adapt to the shift away from a Caustic based meta. Skittlecakes is one of the strongest Caustics anywhere in the world, interestingly the OpTic roster have started using the Valkyrie, Gibraltar and Caustic legend combination on Worlds Edge again.
NRG lead day 8's top 5
- NRG - 73
- 100T - 67
- Complexity - 61
- MPS - 49
- Liquid - 48
Pro League approaching conclusion
There is now just one more regular gameday of the ALGS Pro League in North America. That takes place on Thursday, with the regional finals next Sunday. Details of the Split 1 Playoff LAN are also due in the next few days. With the overall standings so close, there is everything to play for. Just nine points separate NRG in third from HEC in ninth.
For full ALGS Pro League coverage, stay tuned to esports.gg.
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.