Zachmazer was never worried about heading through qualifiers.

Zachary "Zach" Mazer, or Zachmazer as he is known by many has been part of one of the biggest ALGS comeback stories in recent seasons. His professional career seemed on the rocks, after he and E8 were passed over for a Pro League invite.

This left E8 with four chances to qualify back for the Pro League. They either had to win an event, or finish in the top four on the overall leaderboard. Strong teams have lost their footing in the chaos and carnage of the ALGS's second tier.

However, this was not the fate of E8. They responded loud and clear to being passed over, winning the first ALGS Pre Season qualifier. But, they weren't done there. Silencing doubters, they have progressed all the way from qualifiers to the ALGS Split 1 Playoffs. One of a very small number of teams to have ever done so.

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

This revival has rebooted the career of Zachmazer, and given a kickstart to his two inexperienced teammates, 'Shooby' and 'Zap'. Together they head to Los Angeles as a genuine dark horse, with some saying they have a serious shot at taking the LAN title.

Esports.gg spoke to Zachmazer ahead of the ALGS Split 1 Playoffs kicking off on May 2.

Zachmazer was unphased by lack of Pro League invite

E8 found out they weren't being given a Pro League invite via Discord, Zachmazer recalls. He read out the message, that said "After careful consideration of evaluating other preceding teams, we regret to inform you that your team was selected to not receive an invitation."

His response to that news? "That's fine."

Zachmazer wasn't phased by being passed over by the ALGS team. "I don't care. I'll just play the tournament. Qualifying is easy."

Not one person on the team or organisation was remotely concerned about the lack of invitation.

In fact, Zach felt like he was never out of the league. He and his team were so confident in their abilities that they never considered the possibility of missing out on a spot in Split 1's Pro League. Given their instant victory, this confidence was not misplaced.

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

"Zap is one of the best players in the world right now"

While Zachmazer is rather infamous in the Apex community, ALGS fans will know less about his two teammates. Shooby has competed in several Pro League splits, gathering experience. However, Zap had never competed in the ALGS Pro League before joining E8. To qualify for LAN at your first attempt is very impressive.

Zachmazer confidently believes that "Zap is one of the best players in the world right now.

"His mechanical skill is just so unbelievably high. His ability to do damage in team fights is very consistent. The way he fights, and the way he works on himself as a player. For example, how he's working on his ability to effectively communicate. He wants to learn to IGL so he can just understand the game deeper and stuff like that. He really tries to push himself as a player."

While there is lots of praise for Zap, Zachmazer says that Shooby is an unsung hero for E8.

"Shooby just tries to do what he needs to do to win. He doesn't try to be the superhero. He tries to win and you don't need three superheroes. Three superheroes, you fail. Every team needs a player like Shooby."

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

Zachmazer feels his mechanics have improved

Zachmazer didn't appear at any of the ALGS Year 3 LAN events. His last appearance on the international stage was with Cloud 9 in Raleigh, at the 2022 ALGS Championship. For fans who haven't followed Zachmazer since that event, what does he feel has most improved about his game?

"I think my mechanical skill has dramatically increased and then I'm also much more mature of a person. I'm still a f***king goof ball, but I'm much more mature."

I'm still a f***king goof ball, but I'm much more mature.

Zachmazer

"Mazer moment"

Zach is perhaps most famous for his goofball side. 'Mazer moment' is firmly baked into the Apex Legends dictionary for all time. But what does Zachmazer think about being immortalised in this way?

"I think it's funny. I think it's healthy. It doesn't hurt me. There's not many people in the entire world that have a legacy in Apex. There's probably less than five or six people. Maybe it is a funny, goofy, making fun of me thing, but I'm still one of them. I think it's cool that my name will be etched in Apex history.

"If I retire tomorrow, and Apex lasts for 20 years, my name will still be said for 20 years. So I think it's cool."

However, it would be fair to say that the general Apex community perhaps doesn't always give Zachmazer the respect he deserves. What does he feel about if ALGS fans give him enough respect?

"Nowadays, yes [I get enough respect]. Prior to now, no."

Although, Zach does concede that this lack of respect was as a result of his results.

"I wasn't qualifying and I wasn't playing at the skill level that I should."

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

Top 10 is the minimum expectations for E8

Despite that historic lack of respect, Zachmazer isn't worried about proving a point at the ALGS Split 1 Playoffs.

"I don't really feel like I have anything to prove at all. I'm kind of going into this just feeling very minimal pressure, if not no pressure at all. I just feel really confident in my teammates. I feel that I'm a really, really good player. Especially comparing myself to the other regions and the people that I regularly run into in scrims.

"I feel like we're in a very strong spot to do well and adding pressure on myself is not going to be healthy. I'm going into it with the mindset of, I'm good at the game. I know I'm very good at the game. I have very good teammates and I just need to let that be that."

Given their journey, E8 could be forgiven for having low expectations. For a qualifying team to even make LAN is an impressive achievement. However, Zachmazer has his sights set far higher for Los Angeles.

"I really really want to get a top 10."

Zachmazer

"I really really want to get a top 10. The doubts and the individual thought process inside my own head says that if I don't get a top 10, that I'm not as good as I think I am.

"Ideally I'd like to get a top five. That would probably show where I rightfully think my skill level and my teammates are. I think we're around that top five range. Inside top 10, I won't be disappointed. But, I won't be happy."

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

Will North America win LAN yet again?

While the ALGS, and Apex Legends in general, has held LAN events in all sorts of locations with countless teams and players competing, one thing has remained constant. Every major LAN event has been won by DarkZero (formerly Reignite), or TSM.

Can any other team win a LAN title, besides these two former champions? Zachmazer thinks the options are limited.

"I think the only teams that can actually win this LAN right now at the moment, outside of TSM and DZ are Moist, SSG, E8, Luminosity and Legacy. Those are the only teams I think that could actually take the tournament."

When pressed on if any team outside of North America could win, Zach was not keen on their chances.

"Definitely not [can a non NA team win]. Probably the best team outside of North America is probably Alliance, o7, FNATIC or Aurora. I don't know, I don't see Fnatic winning, that's for sure. Aurora is triple 'MNK'. Like, that's cool and all that they're as incredible and talented as they are. I think the world of those guys, they are an incredible, incredible team.

"But, we're taking about triple 'MNK' on LAN versus the most talented controller players the game has ever seen. So to an extent it peaks, it caps out."

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

"I think it would probably kill competitive overnight"

This ALGS Split 1 Playoffs could be the last time we ever see contesting at ALGS. A major leak showed that the ALGS is consulting players on a radical new system. Landing locations would be predetermined, by a draft system or previous placement. Additionally, two teams would not land at the same location.

Zachmazer feels that this change could be incredibly bad for the game.

"I think if they introduce the system how they originally proposed to, I think it would probably kill competitive overnight. You'd see a lot of people retiring and they'd get a lot of hate from the pro community and their communities behind them.

"I don't think that they're going to introduce it how it is. I think they will make adjustments to it. However, I think it will still ultimately fail and be terrible for competitive. This is very disappointing out of Respawn and anyone on the team that just decided, hey lets just throw this together and it is what it is.

"It seems like they are really rushing it. That is never good when you're changing the game dramatically and you're rushing."

(Photo EA/Joe Brady)
(Photo EA/Joe Brady)

Zachmazer hasn't seen eye to eye with ALGS decision makers

While the ALGS letter that was leaked onto Reddit was asking for the views of professional players, Zach feels that this system is inevitable no matter what. Why does this change need to be introduced at such a pace, in the middle of the split?

"They've tried to describe to us why they want to do it. I've heard conversations about RNG. I've heard conversations about contesting. Also I've heard conversations about certain POIs like Zeus Station and Dome not being able to be landed at. All stuff like that. There's many many reasons that go into why they want to do this.

"However, so far I haven't seen eye to eye with them on anything."

Ultimately, Zachmazer says that "they're probably just gonna do whatever they wanna do. I really have given up on the idea of them taking feedback and doing it."

Of course, this change is still to be confirmed. For now, focus for Zachmazer and E8 is firmly set on the ALGS Split 1 Playoffs in Los Angeles, starting May 2nd. Can their dream comeback continue?

Stay tuned to esports.gg for full coverage of the ALGS and all things Apex Legends.

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