Saturday, 6 June 2020

Halo's Midseason European ALGS Power Rankings



By Arran "Halo" Brown

The last Online Tournament before we move to the Apex Legends Global Series Summer Circuit is complete and while the scene is moving towards its new branding, Europe has remained incredibly strong with the depth of its talent pool providing entertainment, throughout the first half of the season with six different champions so far this season. With halfway point now upon us and a larger sample size to review, compared to the overall preseason power rankings made back in January, now is the perfect time for a power ranking.


The rankings are based on the accumulation of results from the first six Online Tournaments, with both results in EsportsArena's European tournaments and the Xpulz's AXL Invitational having a smaller impact towards these. You can find my initial preseason power rankings here

10. Flavour of The Month (Ex-Vp)

Now known as Flavour of The Month, the ex Virtus.Pro roster has managed to rebound well after a few shaky events. They started their season with a nice fifth-place finish in Online Tournament 1 but when they were on the verge of being seen as one of the best teams in the scene, they missed three consecutive online tournament finals, being eliminated in the semi-finals each time. Their bounce back in Online Tournament 5 was important and they followed this with a third-place finish in Online Tournament 6, to prove they are back as a team. While it is unfortunate that they were released by Virtus.Pro, Flavour of The Month should continue to show that they are back to their best and a real contender during the Summer Circuit.

9. Triumph

Triumph has been inconsistent in the Online Tournaments so far, making only the finals in three of the six online tournaments one of these being a third-place finish. Despite this, they have also been eliminated in the semi-finals twice and failed to make the semi-finals once as well. This said, Triumph might just be the team in Europe that was affected the most by the change in the ALGS schedule due to the Coronavirus pandemic. The introduction of the EsportsArena tournaments over the last month has shown that Triumph's speciality lays within the shorter tournament format. With fifth, first and third-place finishes in the first three tournaments, Triumph in my mind would have been one of the most dangerous teams in the ALGS's Premier events.

If Triumph can work on their performances to improve during the long online tournaments and keep whatever is working to make them one of the deadliest short format teams, then Triumph could well rise and improve a lot.

8. SJP2

The all-Polish roster of SJP2 has been the biggest and most pleasant surprise for me so far this season. They struggled to find a decent footing in the first three online tournaments, only making it to the semi-finals once, but their form has drastically improved over the last three events. With two tenth place finishes in Online Tournaments 4 & 5 and then a sixth-place finish in Online Tournament 6, where SJP2 had a very strong performance during the qualifying rounds, followed by a couple of great performances in both the EsportsArena and Xpulz's events has the team on an upward trend for me.

The player to look out for here is the team's Wraith Denzaay, who has pulled off some incredible plays so far this season, including a well-executed "rat" play to win game two in the finals of Online Tournament 4 and his miraculous escape from Cooler to then revive his entire team on SJP2's way to winning game one of the Online Tournament 6 finals. Denzaay in my mind has the potential to be one of the best players in Europe.

7. Natus Vincere

While Na'Vi hasn't matched up to my pre-season power rankings as the second-best team in the world and they have not won any of the Online Tournaments so far, they have been one of the most consistent teams when making the finals. Na'Vi has only missed the finals in Online Tournament 2, where they were eliminated in the semi-finals, they have two top-ten finishes so far, including a fourth place in Online Tournament 1.

Whether it has to do with nerves or something else, I am not sure, but Na'Vi always looked strong in the qualifying rounds and to then struggle in the finals. That said, the Xpulz AXL Invitational may have shown that they might be specialists in a league format after they performed incredibly well over the four days to record a second place.

Na'Vi is still in my mind the best outright when it comes to fragging but work is still required when it comes to their decision making and rotations, which affects them in tournament formats. League formats allow them to end a day and refocus for the next day and I believe the ability to reflect and refocus suits them best.

6. ad hoc gaming

Despite a disappointing performance in Online Tournament 6, compared to their usual standards, the European ALGS point leaders come next in sixth place. Their lead is largely due to the one man ALGS point farming machine Kouhia, during his time on Kebabrulla and his current participation with Ad Hoc the last few tournaments. That should not take away from the performances ad hoc gaming have had over the first half of the season.

Ad hoc gaming has only missed one final in six online tournaments and has two top 5 and three top 10 finishes during this time in ALGS tournaments. Their second place in EsportsArena Europe 3 showed that they can get the placements to match their talent level. One thing I would expect to see soon is better decision making during fights, as while their hyper-aggressive style works well for them, they have a tendency to take fights they do not need to. If they can change this then I expect them to improve.

5. Myth

Coming into the European ALGS, Myth was not on my radar when it came to the best teams in Europe. They were the bracket below of teams that could, over time improve and potentially be a team to look out for. Their performances have both put me in my place and convinced me that have been as been a top 5 team in the first half of this season.

They started the ALGS with two sixth-place finishes and then really looked to step up once they added the former Clique duo of Oxbow and coach EMEF. Convincingly winning Online Tournament 4 by 11 points. While they failed to defend their title in Online Tournament 5, after being eliminated in the semi-final. They bounced back nicely with a top ten finish in Online Tournament 6. Myth has surprised this season and I fully expect them to continue their great form going into the Summer Circuit.

4. GnaskeStrafeDel

Gnaske, Maxstrafe and SirDel also known as GSD, were one of the most underrated teams in the European ALGS during the first half of the season. Since forming as a team in Online Tournament 2, GSD has not missed a single final in Online Tournament play and had shown great improvement as a team with top ten finishes in Online Tournament's 4 and 5.

They should no longer be considered underrated or even an outsider as they put in a dominating performance in Online Tournament 6, on their way to capturing the title. Their decision to keep Pathfinder despite his recent nerf and work on factors they noticed as a weakness paid off but GSD has to prove that they can continue to hang with those teams that many have seen as better than them so far and show their recent victory was not a fluke.

3. Gambit Gaming

Gambit has strung together one of the best records in the European ALGS over the last couple events and done so with little fanfare compared to other European teams. Before this, they showed inconsistency that did not show them as a top-three team. Making the finals of Online Tournament 2 and finishing 13th, they bounced back in incredible style by winning Online Tournament 3. Gambit was expected to continue that form into Online Tournament 4 but when defending their title, they disappointed by being eliminated in their semi-final group.

While they had won a tournament during that time, Gambit felt a change was needed and benched Sunset in favour of former Crowcrowd and Winstrike Wraith player Hardecki. Though it was initially on a trial basis, it became a move that has seemed to elevate Gambit into the upper echelons performance-wise. In their first tournament together Artyco, Hardecki and Leogir3x6 finished second overall by a mere six points to CHMK. They also have not placed outside the top ten since Hardecki arrival finishing sixth at the Xpulz's Invitational and fifth in Online  Tournament 6. This is a roster that has looked very cohesive the last month and has an opportunity to improve.

2. CHMK

CHMK was one big game away from winning Online Tournament 6 and becoming Europe's first back to back champions. However, GSD managed to pull off a spectacular performance to push them into second. The trio of Sanya, Wrugb and Xron may have just failed in that attempt but over the last five tournaments, they have been consistently strong. CHMK is the Ex-Crowcrowd roster that finished third in online tournament 4, with Xron having replaced Nlaaer after this event. They are Alliance's biggest competition and their performances over this period put them averaging 11th place, just 1 place below Alliance.

While they didn't have the cleanest of qualifying rounds, if CHMK can continue to show up in finals as they have done previously, they came up big diringbthe Summer Circuit. They are the second-best team in the world right now and it is great to see Sanya and Wrugb have success after the ups and downs both have faced early in their career's. The addition of Xron, who was the 2017 Quake World Champion seemed to be the perfect fit to this roster. However, with the team recently announcing they will no longer be playing with Xron, it will be interesting to see if they can keep this up with a new third player or if they have been signed elsewhere

1. Alliance

Picking Alliance over CHMK was probably the hardest decision I had to make. As in my opinion right now they are the top 2 teams in the competitive Apex Legends scene. However, the trio of hakis, iPN-K0u and Vaifs are in my opinion, the best team in the world right now and their average of 10th between OnlineTournament's 2-6 just pips CHMK's 11th over the same period.

After winning Online Tournament 2, Alliance has followed this up with a third-place finish in Online Tournament 4, which happened a few days after iPN-K0u joined the roster. They then secured a second-place finish in Online Tournament 5, won the Xpulz AXL Invitational at the beginning of May and finally had a second-place finish in the European EsportsArena 1 tournament. A 23rd place finish in EsportsArena tournament 2 seems to be a minor blip after Alliance finished no lower than fourth during the qualifying rounds.

Alliance looked strong during the qualifying rounds of Online Tournament 6 but when the finals came, they didn't have the same performance we've come to expect from them. Team Manager Pontus tweeted after the tournament that Vaifs has been struggling with health problems, which would likely have some impact but it is not going to be used as an excuse by Alliance who are just missing that elisivr Online Tournament win with their current roster. They will be looking to claim this in the Summer Circuit.

We have had some incredible play during the first half of the season and with the Summer Circuit starting for EMEA on June 20th, there will be a further Power Ranking shortly after its completion.

Edit: Updated ad hoc gaming to the organisations preferred spelling.

(You can find more Apex Legends Global Series related content on Twitter @haloofthoughts) 
(Picture courtesy of EA & Respawn)
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