TSM are the ALGS Split 1 Playoff Champions. They snuck a match point victory in front of a packed Copperbox Arena.
TSM, one of the all time most successful teams in Apex history, took the title in the ALGS Split 1 Playoff final. They navigated the match point format perfectly to bring home the victory in the eighth game.
Phillip "ImperialHal" Dosen, Evan "Verhulst" Verhulst and Jordan "Reps" Wolfe have firmly established themselves as the best team in Apex Legends worldwide. They have been unstoppable since the arrival of coach Raven who is rightly being roundly praised for TSM's recent form.
In traditional match point style, the team that was fastest out the blocks failed to close out a win. NRG raced to match point but just could not quite find a victory. They will still be very happy with their result and take home a hefty second place prize.
TSM are back in business
TSM are a name synonymous with LAN wins in Apex. They dominated the early era of the game's competitive scene winning multiple LAN events. ImperialHal is the biggest streamer in the game and has a cult following like no other.
The narrative was that TSM lost their way in ALGS Year 2. In reality, this was a harsh reading of their results. Only because the standards were set so high for TSM did a match of middling results feel like a disaster.
TSM have hit another level since the addition of Raven. A controversial choice, Raven is infamous in the Apex Legends scene. Partly for his bold and ambitious tactics, and partly because of his fantastic track record at improving teams.
That track record now has an extra line, LAN champion coach.
ImperialHal: "We've still got it"
Speaking to Raynday after lifting the ALGS Split 1 Playoff trophy, ImperialHal's message was simple: "We've still got it, we've never left. It means a lot."
He has been teamed with Reps since the beginning of the game. Third players have come and gone, but the Reps and Hal combination has been the foundation of TSM's domination. Reps added:
"It's been 3 years since we did it, and it's about time honestly. We've put in so much work with Raven and he has helped us out so much."
Then, after hearing his name chanted by the Copperbox Arena, a visibly emotional Raven told Raynday: "Super emotional win for me. I've been grinding for three years straight, I had a lot of people doubt me but I just stuck to it."
Unbeliveable Valkyrie Skyward Dive earns TSM the title
If there was any doubt as to the impact of Valkyrie in the later stages of games, TSM have allayed those. They owe their final game victory to an inch perfect 'Valk Ult' across the map. This moved them past a wide open space that several teams would have to rotate into. They dispatched the only other team on the far side of the zone and created a huge opportunity for themselves with this rotation.
However, they found themselves in a final three versus three with Acend. The EMEA giants were also on match point. But TSM have so much more fighting utility playing Seer and Horizon than Acend do. Combine that with their top tier fighting mechanics and it was no surprise that TSM were able to clinch the title.
This win will only serve to ramp up the pressure and attention on TSM as we head to the next Pro League split. Pressure is synonymous with TSM and ImperialHal, Reps and Verhulst are no strangers to it, and will surely thrive off the confidence that this win will give them.
NRG fail to close out a win
The fastest starters in the lobby was NRG. They raced to match point with a ginormous 20 kill game, and had already started with maximum seeding points.
In any standard tournament series they would have had the title wrapped up after four games. However, this is match point format and NRG just failed to put themselves in position to take a win. They found a second place when on match point, but this is deceiving. It was only Gild, as a solo, who survived this long. Beyond that game, NRG didn't make it into the top five of any games after they hit the threshold.
This will frustrate NRG, but it is by far their best LAN performance. Especially Sweetdreams and Nafen who have never quite found their best in LAN finals lobbies until today. NRG had the most points overall today and can take heart in their efforts in London. Particularly when some were doubting if they would even qualify for LAN after a rocky Pro League start.
ALGS returns to London in June
Teams will now head back home and begin preparation for the second split of the ALGS Pro League in their respective regions. The rumour mill suggests that Apex will undergo a major shakeup in the Season 16 update that releases on February 14th, so teams will have a lot of work to do reacting to any changes. They should have about a month between the season release and the resumption of ALGS.