NRG, going completely off meta in the Series E $10,000 invitational laugh, grenade and gravity lift their way to an inspirational victory.
NRG, earning a whopping 42 points in 2 games, secured a victory in the Series E 10k invitational using an unusual set of characters. The one-day online event took place on November 6th with a prize pool of $10,000. A total of 20 teams participated, six coming from the current top 10 in the ALGS NA Pro League.
Series E Season 4 – Pre-Season Invitational Final standings:
- 1st. NRG – $6,000
- 2nd. Esports Arena – $3,000
- 3rd. CompLexity Gaming – $1,000
- 4th. Team Liquid
- 5th. .Spacestation Gaming
- 6th. Lazarus
- 7th. SMP
- 8th. XSET
- 9th. Renegades
- 10th. Oxygen Esports
NRG experiment with unusual comp pays off
After a slow start to the Series E Pre-Season Invitational, NRG Sweet, Nafen and Rocker decided to mix up their legend selection and experiment. Their reasoning being that playing “seriously” was not working after earning just 7 points in the first 3 games.
NRG Sweet was particularly frustrated, having been told the wrong time for the tournament. Understandably, having to abandon a trip to Costco does not put you in a good mood before an Apex session.
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“Deploying me Knuckle Cluster”
In Game 4, NRG brought in Apex’s newest legend Ash (more on her abilities here) alongside Fuse and Valkyrie. They used Fuse to devastating effect, deploying Knuckle Clusters and grenades to deal huge damage.
This combination resulted in NRG dropping 7 kills and placing 8th, more than doubling their points so far.
NRG reaching new heights with Horizon (literally)
NRG weren’t impressed with Apex’s newest legend Ash, and swapped their Fuse, Ash, Valkyrie combination. Instead, they used Horizon, Fuse and Caustic. Remember, NRG had decided they weren’t playing ‘seriously’ in this tournament and in most people’s eyes had no chance of winning.
However, NRG appear to have unlocked a secret meta. Using Horizon to devastating effect, combined with more knuckle clusters and caustic gas NRG defied expectations in Game 5.
NRG Nafen provided the huge clutch up, helping to wipe home favourites and current Pro League leaders ESA.
NRG after a reset, then went on to win the game. Posting 10 kills, NRG gained a huge 22 points, and suddenly had an outside chance of winning the tournament.
However, surely this victory could not be replicated again using these legends. After all, they were competing for the victory against some of the top teams in North America, including ESA, Complexity, SSG and Team Liquid.
Doing the unthinkable
Not to be distracted by the potential of a victory and $6,000 to share between the team, Sweet, Nafen and Rocker stuck with their new legends as they headed into Game 6.
Confidence and team vibes had soared to new highs following the massive win previously, you’d almost think Sweet had recovered from his lost Costco trip.
However, it appears NRG really have discovered something special with this off meta combination. Combined with Sweet’s amazing zone calls (as always!) NRG once again dominated.
Sweet destroyed Liquid Flanker with his Horizon Ult, helping NRG seize the advantage and secure another game victory.
Amazingly, Sweet, Nafen and Rocker dropped an 8 kill victory, which was enough to leap some of the best teams in North America and secure 1st place – all while “not playing seriously”. Will NRG use this team composition again? Or will other North America teams take inspiration from this victory and try this combination for themselves?
NRG player stats for Series E Invitational:
- 8 Kills
- 3910 damage
- 651.87 damage/game
- 11 Kills
- 5343 damage
- 890.50 damage/game
- 9 Kills
- 4806 damage
- 801 damage/game
Is the meta changing?
As well as NRG going completely off meta, this Series E tournament was the first major tournament we have seen since Ash was added to Apex. The best performing team to use Ash across all the games was Team Liquid, who secured 4th place.
While NRG perhaps could not replicate this success in Pro League where more teams are likely to be playing more seriously, this does show that good team coordination, high quality mechanical skills and positive energy can take you a very long way in Apex Legends competitive.
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NRG continued their dominance and Complexity returned to top form in this weeks North American Pro league matches. Elsewhere TSM Hal got his team back in a fighting position in the standings.
Perhaps struggling teams in Pro League and other tournaments will begin to experiment with unique combinations as we move into the last few weeks of Pro League.