The NA Pro League resumed this weekend. TSM and ESA were under the spotlight following the news that Snip3down was leaving for Halo, to replaced by Verhulst. Meanwhile, NRG Sweet all but secured LAN with an outstanding rat play.
With the NA Apex scene completely absorbed by the potential TSM Snip3down departure, you would be forgiven for forgetting that there was even an ALGS Pro League this weekend. However, the top 40 teams in North America did indeed return after a 3-week break to go head to head on Worlds Edge for NA ALGS.
There was a lot of pressure and attention on both Team SoloMid and Esports Arena.
Verhulst to replace Snip3down on TSM - accused of "chasing clout"
Verhulst of ESA is set to join TSM once Snip3down departs for FaZe's Halo team. The 18 year old American has come under fire from his current teammate, claiming he is leaving for "clout and money".
Verhulst goes head to head with his future team TSM
Ironically after all the rumors, TSM and ESA went head to head this weekend. In what has been confirmed as Snip3down’s last tournament with TSM, they finished in 2nd place behind ESA.
In particular, the two squads fought 3v3 in Game 5. It was the up and coming team, led by future TSM player Verhulst, who secured the victory to deny Snip3down a perfect departure.
ESA have all but secured their place in the playoffs with this victory, alongside NRG and Sentinels. This means whoever is set to replace Verhulst on ESA, is guaranteed a LAN spot. This makes it a very valuable vacancy.
It was an impressive performance from both ESA and TSM. While Snip3down, Reps, and ImperialHal do have a lot of experience and therefore are used to attention and pressure, this was uncharted territory for ESA. This did not phase them, however, and they took the added pressure in their stride and continued their unbelievable form.
TSM Snip3down makes history
Snip3down also secured his place in eSports history, having played high-level tournaments for TWO games on the same day. The move to Halo is clearly not a distraction for Snip3, and he did not seem out of focus in his last tournament for TSM. He tweeted that he was glad to get these much-needed points on the board,
This 2nd place finish was the best recorded by TSM in all of Pro League.
NRG, Sentinels, Complexity on the cusp of LAN
Three of the biggest teams in North America all took a major step towards LAN with a top 3 lockout.
Friday’s NA gameday top 3
- Sentinels – 87
- Complexity – 51
- NRG – 49
Sentinels, since the arrival of Lou, have been in unbelievable form. They are closely matched by NRG who have also been consistent performers at the top of pro league. Meanwhile, Complexity has bounced back from a slow start to recover their spot at the top of the leaderboard. They are closely followed by other heavy hitters such as SSG, TSM, and C9.
NRG Sweet’s great play to secure 3rd
NRG Sweet, who has been putting in some insane performances during the 3-week break – including some inspirational solo plays – was once again on top form.
Inspirational Sweetdreams maintains NRG's winning streak
NRG, fresh off their Series E 10k win secured a victory in the SteelSeries prime cup.
This solo play skillset game came into use once again this weekend, as Sweet put down one of the all-time greatest plays to sneak a 3rd place overall finish.
These extra few points have essentially all but secured NRG’s ticket to LAN.
100Thieves, Liquid bounceback
Both 100Theives and Team Liquid failed to register points in the previous week of Pro League, but they both rallied to recover this weekend and give themselves an outside chance at making LAN.
100Theives and Liquid both swapped to Ash, and the addition of this new legend seemed to give them the boost they needed to bounce back.
Ash features strongly in NA
New legend Ash made a strong debut in the NA ALGS scene, recording a healthy 27.2% pick rate. This came mostly at the expense of Octane, who is now relegated to a fringe pick. Gibraltar is still unmovable at the top of the pick rates.
- Gibraltar – 97.4%
- Valkyrie – 62.3%
- Wraith – 37.7%
- Bloodhound – 29.8%
- Ash – 27.2%
- Caustic – 21.1%
- Crypto – 15.8%
- Loba – 5.3%
- Octane – 3.5%
Time running out in Pro League
With just 2 weeks left in the Pro League, time is running out for teams to make a late break for the top 10, or to escape the bottom 8. However, both ‘SHEEEEESH’ (Timmy, Wigg, Apryze) and Benchwarmers (Knoqd, Rambeau, Madness) have disbanded and will not be continuing in Pro League. It is yet to be announced if they will be included as bottom 8 teams, or removed from the standings altogether.
How will Snip3down departure affect TSM?
Will the bounceback of Liquid and 100T convince even more teams to move over to Ash? Will there be more roster changes before the December 1st lock? How will TSM react after the formal departure of Snip3down? There will be incredible pressure on the TSM roster to maintain their current LAN position, and the Snip3down replacement will have to hit the ground running.