NRG to start finals as number one seed
NRG qualified for the finals of the ALGS Playoffs in style. They dominated the winners bracket in London and earned the maximum seeding points
NRG will start Sunday's ALGS Playoff finals with the maximum ten seeding points. They dominated the Winners Bracket and are the team to watch tomorrow.
The trio of Christopher "Sweetdreams" Sexton, Nathan "Nafen" Nguyen and Zachary "Gild" Dennis absolutely dominated the winners bracket. The all-American roster are one of very few teams that combine multiple playstyles across the two maps in play at ALGS.
They will now be considered among the favorites to take home the ALGS Playoffs title tomorrow. The finals start at 0400 PT.
Unbelievable NRG show their versatility
NRG have performed strongly in London so far, but found a different gear in the winners bracket. They earned 60 points across the 6 games, showing how they have mastered their macro plans on both Worlds Edge and Storm Point.
Crucially NRG are one of a few teams that have very juxtaposed game plans on the two maps. Most teams tend to have a broad overall playstyle. It is common for teams to specialize in either a more zone based or edge-based gamestyle across both maps.
For NRG, they break away from this broad tradition. They adopt a super early rotate Loba-based composition on Worlds Edge. But, on Storm Point they run a very aggressive Seer and Bangalore set-up and play on the edge of zone.
NRG playing to their drop spots
One of the primary reasons for this is where NRG lands. Staging is a very strong drop spot for early rotations on Worlds Edge. It has two potential beacon spawns, and has very open rotations to most positions on the map. The only weakness of Staging can be the loot, but with Gild on Loba this is a non factor for NRG.
Then on Storm Point NRG land Checkpoint. NRG have tried to play a faster rotational style from Checkpoint in the past, but accepted that this location is just much more suited to edge.
Checkpoint is especially powerful for a Bangalore team. Particularly because of how strong a digital threat scope can be for Bangalore teams. As well as a Spiders Nest which can drop 'Digi's' on occasion, Checkpoint is also very close to an IMC Armoury which has 'Smart Loot' and can award some of the best attachments in the game.
Also commonly overlooked is the huge amount of evo points that you can earn from the armouries too. NRG are able to feel very confident that they will have the equipment to take plenty of fights in every game. Reducing their RNG down as much as possible is a key theme in both of their strategies.
Fighting prowess on full display in final game
NRG had essentially qualified for the finals after their opening two games. However, with seeding points on the line, NRG kept their foot on the gas all the way through the set.
They showcased just how equipped they are for fighting on Storm Point in game 6. Even though other teams have been vying for the IMC armoury across the weekend, Checkpoint still provides strong loot for NRG to work with.
They swept through the west side of Storm Point, killing the likes of JLINGZ esports, XSET and eventually Spacestation Gaming on their way into Shipfall.
It is clear that NRG are incredibly confident taking engagements together. Since the addition of Gild NRG's team fighting has been the best anywhere in the world. Sweet has always been a top tier in game leader, but knowing he has two of the best mechanical talents following his lead is allowing him to unleash on these lobbies. With Rocker, NRG didn't practice and play regularly enough which sometimes hurt their momentum and confidence.
That said, NRG chose not to take part in any pre-LAN scrims. They instead focused on domestic events only. Winning the Oversight Playoffs was their only pre-event preparation. This might have been a benefit. The winners bracket saw up to 15 teams alive in zone 4. International Scrims were much more aggressive, meaning beyond team chemistry and practice their utility was limited for teams preparation.
Could match point hurt NRG?
However, Sunday's action has a key twist. Match point format. NRG had one of the best win rates in their Pro League, but didn't win a single game in the Winners Bracket despite their dominance. They will start potentially only two games away from the 50-point threshold but they will need to close out at least one game if they want to reign supreme in London.
Check out our event hub for full coverage of the ALGS Split 1 Playoffs in London, and stay tuned to Esports.gg!