TSM deployed Fuse to take victory in the fourth day of the ALGS Pro League. They now sit with a very healthy overall lead.

TSM, deploying Fuse on Worlds Edge, took the top spot in an unusually tight day of the ALGS Pro League. This success with Fuse comes just weeks after TSM Coach Raven told esports.gg that the “time wasn’t right” for Fuse. Yet today, using Fuse, TSM made the top two in every single Worlds Edge game.

Elsewhere, NRG snuck a 6th place finish, but face a dilemma over how to approach Worlds Edge moving forward.

Todays win sees TSM open up a very healthy lead on the overall leaderboard, with only the Guard able to surpass them from the teams who have a game in hand over TSM.

TSM prove the concept on Worlds Edge

When TSM coach Raven told esports.gg that they weren’t ready for Fuse he also stood by the legends effectiveness on Worlds Edge. Today they have proved this concept and silenced those who doubt the off meta pick’s impact on Worlds Edge.

In particular, the large amount of buildings on Worlds Edge is what gives Fuse the edge. His knuckle clusters are extra effective in small spaces, and when teams try to play buildings, RV’s and small spots he can be absolutely devastating. Of course, the high pickrate of Wattson does counter Fuse to an extent, but if you can destroy the Pylon then there is almost nothing that a Wattson team can do.

TSM Verhulst
TSM Verhulst (Photo: EA)

Fuse is also a really strong counterpick to Newcastle, who is a reasonably popular pick in North America. Getting grenades behind his wall is easier with Fuse’s extra long throw. Plus, the Knuckle Clusters can be stuck to the Castle Wall, doing big damage without using any finite resources.

TSM’s outstanding space control in game 4

Heading into Worlds Edge, TSM had performed below par on Storm Point. There might’ve been some eyebrows raised as they picked Fuse, a legend who is about as far from the meta as you can get in North America. He’s only been picked a handful of times, and usually in less important tournaments.

TSM Reps
TSM’s Reps (Photo: EA)

However, for TSM he made an instant impact. They won the first Worlds Edge game comfortably. They did this with unbelievable space control. Taking a fantastic vantage point on top of a large rock near Dome, they had ownership of insane amounts of space. Control is key in open zones like this. It allowed TSM to reduce the pressure on themselves later in the game, so they could clean up several teams on the edge and rack up the kills.

You could argue that you don’t need Fuse to do this. This wasn’t a zone with any real buildings to siege. There wasn’t Wattson teams hauled up in RVs, or Caustic teams sat behind barrels.

Fuse still has value in open space fights.

TSM Coach Raven: “Zone Fuse from Siphon is OP”

esports.gg caught up with TSM coach Raven to find out what made now the right time for Fuse.

The answer is simple. “Our macro approach changed!” Raven said.

You might be surprised to see a team change their approach off the back of success. TSM won the opening week of the ALGS Pro League and were very comfortably on course to reach the top 10.

Raven said that their flexible POI, Lava Siphon, is the reason why they were able to make such a big change like this.

“It’s not that we were lost. It’s that Siphon can play the game multiple ways, but zone Siphon is the best way to play it. Wall is similar to that as well.”

What makes Lava Siphon so flexible? It has the two things that Apex teams crave. A central position with favourable rotates, and strong loot. Most POI’s on the map tend to only have one or the other by and large. Spots like Fragment West and East have strong rotates, but poor loot. On the flip side, places like Maude and Climatizer have strong loot but are far away from a number of zones.

By changing to Lava Siphon during the off season, TSM have allowed themselves the opportunity to be very flexible and change their style week to week. This could really pay dividends at LAN and beyond, should they need to adapt to other regions playstyles or significant meta shifts.

TSM lead tight lobby

It was an unusually tight lobby across all 6 of the games, with there being hardly any points separating almost all 20 teams. At the half way mark, just 19 points separated 1st and 17th.

  • TSM – 64
  • SZN – 49
  • ESA – 44
  • COL – 42
  • MPS – 38

Full standings.

Identity crisis for NRG

NRG dug deep to find a much needed victory in the final game of the day. They languished in 17th beforehand. With the lobby so tight, the roster of Sweetdreams, Nafen and Gild still had an opportunity to even finish as high as 2nd with the right game and other results going their way.

What was notable from NRG’s comms thorough their time on Worlds Edge is the identity crisis that they find themselves in. Despite being the most successful team in Pre Season, NRG haven’t quite found their form in the Pro League yet. Unlike TSM, on Worlds Edge they don’t have a super flexible and powerful drop spot either.

Gild of NRG (Photo: EA)

Staging was claimed by NRG back when they were a fast rotate team. With Rocker, NRG were arguably the best zone playing team in the first split of Pro League. They took 2nd in the Split 1 playoffs playing Loba. For that style of play, Staging is a fantastic spot. It has access to two different beacons, which lowers the chances that you don’t get access to crucial zone information. The loot is better than rival POI’s like Landslide and Harvester. It has good rotate paths, especially to some of the more difficult zones to get into like Thermal. Finally, it is compact and reasonably fast to loot in a hurry.

Meta shift presents dilemma

So, why change from that style? Since the ALGS Championships, the meta has shifted dramatically. With more teams using legends like Seer and Horizon there is much more of an opportunity to play aggressive and rack up big kill wins. That’s exactly what NRG have been doing outside of ALGS on both Worlds Edge and Storm Point. Since the addition of Gild NRG have gone from strength to strength playing this style.

But, ALGS is always a different environment. The added pressure, expectation and potential reward sees teams playing differently. Teams naturally play more defensively when there is higher pressure and for whatever reason, NRG haven’t been able to get their edge style going on Worlds Edge especially. Meanwhile, zone teams like The Guard have seen huge successes.

Sweet will be contemplating how to play Worlds Edge (Photo: EA)

That has left NRG with a dilemma before their next appearance. Stick, or twist? Changing drop spots would be a huge gamble at this stage, with potentially very limited time to contest outside of ALGS. Contesting in ALGS can be hugely detrimental to your chances of success, and NRG probably want to keep a spot like Staging for future events where they might wish to play zone regardless of meta.

There is no doubt that this NRG roster has everything it needs to be successful in the Pro League. With the brains of Sweetdreams, ably assisted by trial analyst CCam, they have every chance of working past this rut and getting back to winning ways for the remainder of the Pro League. Their 6th place today gives them some much needed wiggle room in the overall standings.

Stay tuned for the latest esports news and updates.

Tom Bull -

Tom Bull

| Twitter: @TAG_tom_apex | Twitch: tom_apex

Born and raised in the United Kingdom. Owner of Transatlantic Gaming and an Apex Legends competitive player in the EU. Mostly play either Wraith, Wattson or Bloodhound.