Wednesday, August 17, 2022

NRG and Furia soar into ALGS Championship finals

Day 3 of the $2,000,000 ALGS Championship in Raleigh, North Carolina saw another ten teams eliminated from contention on Saturday night. Most of the better known apex Organizations made the grand finals, particularly those from North America, and teams like NRG and Furia looked primed for success in Sunday’s finals.

The first match of the day in the winner’s bracket ended in classic fashion, in a duel between NRG and TSM, the two most winning organizations in the game. TSM clutched up, but that win had to serve as their highlight reel for the set of games, as they failed to reach the same heights for the rest of the stage.

By game three of the winner’s bracket, more legacy powerhouses of apex were already looking shaky. Team Liquid lost three contests in a row to the strong Taiwanese squad DreamFire, and didn’t manage to secure a single point through the first three games of the winners bracket.

NRG controls their territory perfectly in a hard-fought late game in game three. Furia also had a strong performance, with a top five finish and 14 kills to their name. Spacestation, quiet during the championship so far, notched a win in game four, and rode consistent placements throughout the winners bracket to remain in the top three for most of the series.

At the midway point of the set, NRG was on top and looking in fine form. Team Liquid, who had struggled on Storm Point earlier, won the first game on World’s Edge. AD took a game, and then NRG outfought DarkZero to win game seven with a highlight-worthy Valkyrie play and miraculous Peacekeeper shots from in-game leader Sweet.

As the set closed, several top-tier teams were right on the verge of having to fight for their lives in the loser’s bracket final. Cloud9, Fnatic, ZETA DIVISION, and OpTic were all in trouble. OpTic went out early in the final winners bracket game, sending them to loser’s to fight for survival. TSM held on a bit longer but also came up short. That left TSM, opTic, Alliance and 100 Thieves as just some of the very good teams facing elimination in the eight-game loser’s bracket.

Instead, it was C9 and ZETA who managed to just sneak into the finals, while Furia stormed their way to a second-place finish in winners bracket thanks to a 28-point victory in the final game of the series, nestling between NRG in first and space station in third.

In the second round of the losers bracket, 100 Thieves showed no signs they wanted to go home just yet by winning the first three games of the final elimination round of the tournament, demonstrating both their skill and the highly situational power of the Wattson and Newcastle combo.

Former playoff winners Acend also took a win, and TSM began to fight back from the threat of elimination with a win in game five. Over the last few games, 100 Thieves and OpTic pulled away from the field. But the gap between the teams facing elimination from the tournament narrowed.

Alliance, TSM, and SCARZ all needed good performances in the final game to keep their championship hopes alive, and they all managed to pull it off, surviving into a tense endgame.

FA Kitties, the former Gambit roster, did not qualify for Sunday’s finals. Neither did fan favorites Pulverex, who had been forced to play as a duo after issues with Covid, or Luminosity, whose substitute, Complexity’s Monsoon, shed tears after the team came up just short of qualification.

The twenty teams remaining in the tournament will compete in the Grand Finals tomorrow starting at 4pm CT.

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