We preview the ALGS Playoffs in North America taking place this Sunday. Can TSM reclaim their crown at the top of the region? NRG and Sentinels will be trying to stop them and fighting for first place also.

The best 20 teams in the region go head to head this weekend in the ALGS Playoffs NA. Featuring top teams such as NRG, TSM and Cloud9 all the biggest names in the region are competing.

As well as competing for a share of the $250,000 prize pool the 20 teams are also competing for playoff points that can help qualify them for the end of season LAN.

Match Point Format in use

In all regions, the ALGS Playoffs will use the controversial match point format. This format means that instead of playing a set number of games, there is no limit to how many games are played.

Instead, teams aim for a total of 50 points. This makes them ‘match point eligible’. Once a team reaches that threshold, they can win the tournament. However, to do so they have to win a game while match point eligible. Then, 2nd-20th is settled by points totals.

This means that the team with the most points does not always win the tournament.

ALGS Playoffs NA to use anonymous mode for the first time

Like the other regions, this Sundays NA playoffs feature the new anonymous mode. This means that players do not see each others names in the kill feed. One of the biggest complaints about anonymous mode has been that teams grief the first few teams on match point. Obviously, that is a viable strategy to extend the tournament so you can win. However, that will be much harder now the kill feed is anonymous.

Seeding for ALGS Playoffs NA

The top 10 teams from the NA Pro League are starting with a points advantage this weekend. The seeded teams and their points advantage is tiered from 1st to 10th. Sentinels and NRG, two of the favourites, are starting with sizable advantages over their rivals.

The seeded teams and their starting points are as follows:

  • Sentinels – 10
  • NRG – 9
  • ESA – 8
  • G2 – 7
  • TSM – 6
  • SSG – 5
  • COL – 4
  • 100T – 3
  • C9 – 2
  • DY – 1

When and where to watch the ALGS Playoffs NA?

The NA playoffs start at 5PM EST / 4PM CST on Sunday January 23rd. They are being broadcast on the PlayApex Twitch channel, and the ALGS YouTube channel.

The Apex broadcast team are trialling showing a POV from all 20 teams, so there is plenty of action to follow this weekend. We covered the ALGS Multiview earlier this week.

ALGS Playoffs NA teams to watch

NRG

NRG are the best zone team in North America, and they come into this weekends Playoffs following a really strong 2nd place finish in the Pro League.

The team are led by one of the best IGLs in Apex, Sweetdreams. It is thanks to his calls, which are always followed with absolute loyalty by teammates Nafen and Rocker, that NRG have established their dominance right at the top of the NA Apex scene.

NRG’s Sweetdreams

The all North American trio have the best games won % of any team in North America (16.7%). Under the match point format, which requires a victory to secure the title, their strong end game performances will be a big asset.

Unlike some of their closest rivals this NRG team has a win under match point format. They won the Winter Circuit playoffs in March 2021. This will be valuable experience.

Sentinels

While NRG are the best zone team heading into the ALGS Playoffs, Sentinels are at the other end of the scale. Playing a hyper aggressive edge style, Sentinels secured first place in the Pro League.

Since adding Lou to their roster, Sentinels have been on fine form. However, they have drawn criticism for their relaxed approach to scrims in the leadup to this Sundays ALGS Playoffs.

This criticism was practically aimed at Tuesdays scrim performance. The Pro League champions waited for ImperialHal in the diner building, which is on his usual loot path. The trio knocked Hal, then ran away.

This is clearly not how Sentinels would play a game in Playoffs. In the same game, they punched Hal to death in Overlook. Sharing the clip on Twitter (see below) received a mixed reaction.

Luckily, the anonymous mode that will be used in the ALGS Playoffs will protect TSM and Hal from further punches.

This clip of Sentinels punching out ImperialHal received a mixed reaction.

What this does show, is how confident Sentinels are ahead of the weekend. A team worried about their performance and urgently correcting mistakes does not consider meming on TSM.

Sentinels’ points average across Pro League was over 10 points, combined with their 10 points starting total from seeding, Sentinels could reach match point very quickly and this gives them a great chance to secure victory.

TSM

TSM are in somewhat of an identity crisis moving into this weekends ALGS Playoffs. However, the huge experience of ImperialHal and Reps combined with the raw fighting skill of Verhulst means that they cannot be discounted.

Since the departure of Snip3down TSM have stalled, and struggled to find their feet with Verhulst. This has seen them try various legends and game styles. The ‘old’ TSM were a confident team with a set plan, and other teams feared them. Now they appear lost. When ImperialHal is swapping between Controller and Mouse + Keyboard you know that something is not quite right.

However, pressure can be a wonderful motivator. All 3 of the TSM roster are incredibly talented and you would not be surprised if they pulled it out the bag and delivered a big performance.

SSG

Spacestation Gaming are going under the radar heading into the ALGS Playoffs. However, they have a strong chance at victory thanks to their hard zone game style. Across Pro League, they had the 2nd best average placement per game. This means that if they can reach that 50 point threshold, their consistency will give them a strong chance to win that final game and take home the top prize.

SSG have swapped Loba since Pro League, as she supports their early rotate style. Departing Lava Fissure as fast as physically possible, Frexs, Dropped and Xenial use Lobas Black Market to acquire more heals, ammo and attachments on their rotate and once set up in zone. This means that they are able to hold some of the most powerful positions in zone.

However, other teams (such as NRG) have been experimenting with Loba during pre playoff scrims. If the ALGS Playoffs feature too many Loba teams, this diminishes her power. Too many teams looting means less loot for everyone.

Despite that, SSG are a very talented team and their consistency throughout means they are an outside shot at the top spot this weekend.

Other teams to watch in the ALGS Playoffs

The NA Apex scene is filled with talent, and teams such as Cloud9, Esports Arena and 100 Thieves all have the ability on their day to drop big point totals and win the tournament. In particular, 100T are the masters of match point format having won the Apex Championships in the summer.

Plus, with the match point format being so open, could underdog teams such as Oxygen esports, Lazarus or Torrent sneak a surprise victory? It is all to play for!

Exciting weekend ahead!

With both EMEA and North America in action this weekend there is plenty to take in. Who do you think will take home the NA Playoffs? Let us know on Twitter @esports.

For coverage of the ALGS playoffs and much more, stay tuned to esports.gg!

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.