Despite Alliance’s Victory, Gambit Leads The EMEA Pro League

Despite Alliance's Victory, Gambit Leads The EMEA Pro League
Image via Steam

The Russian team once again demonstrated why they are one of the greatest in the world.

The final day of the first split’s regular season was held with two lobbies running simultaneously, ensuring that no team would gain an unfair advantage by knowing how other teams finished. Gambit, the EMEA pacesetters, were guaranteed a position in the online playoffs regardless of the day’s outcome in Groups A and C. Teams like Gambit, GMT, and Alliance were all vying for a spot in the top ten of the Pro League, as those teams would have an advantage in the playoffs.

Many of the teams in the lobby needed points to qualify for the playoffs or avoid relegation. Natus Vincere was the most well-known of the bunch, with the Na’Vi squad lying in 28th position, just three points out of the final playoff slot and two points above the relegation zone.

Early circle pulls suggested the final zones ending either on Rampart’s shop or at the paintball course right outside of it, thus the lobby swiftly gathered around Big Maude in the opening match of the day. GMT Esports took advantage of the early rotation to keep a comfortable position around Big Maude, gathering up kills where they could before pressing for the win.

The game’s best play came from Gambit IGL Konstantin “Hardecki” Kozlov, who transformed a kidnap play on Wraith into a one-man wrecking crew once again.

While GMT grabbed the win and 11 kills, Gambit and Na’Vi were right behind them after the first game, with 10 and 9 kills, respectively.

The second game led the teams to Lava Fissure. The POI’s numerous levels and structures created a frantic conclusion, with ten teams still surviving at the start of the final circle. After several of the lobbies’ top teams were eliminated early in game two, it came down to Rascals, who grabbed the best place in the final circle and executed the endgame flawlessly.

While most teams formed groups around the zone’s final home or on the low terrain, with only a Valkyrie ultimate as a viable option, Rascals occupied a more open location across from the house, with some rocks and a truck for protection. When all of the teams in the home were forced to leave their safe haven, they turned on each other, giving Rascals an easy victory after sweeping up the debris of those conflicts. Rascals topped the lobby after the game, with GMT and Gambit close behind.

The zones in Game 3 were similar to those in Game 2, with the circle pushing into the field between Countdown and Landslide. With only a few rocks and boxes accessible, that field is known for its lack of cover. To enhance the stakes, the zone moved south of the field’s lone tower, which meant the sole “god position” in the area was no longer playable after round five. The last circle was designed to be a pure combat and situational awareness test.

Hardecki, of course, stepped forward.

With both of his teammates out, you’d be excused for believing that Hardecki’s best-case scenario, with seven other teams still alive, would be to merely survive for a few more seconds. Instead, the Gambit leader relished in the midst of the turmoil, exploring every nook and crevice while remaining unnoticed by the opposing teams. Despite being the only solo player in the game, he not only won it for Gambit, but also added four additional kills to his team’s total.

It was a masterclass in single play, as he used his cover and highly consistent Flatline shots to force other teams into a one-vs-two situation at the end. It was one of the finest Apex plays in recent memory, if not ever, and he had the numbers to back it up: six kills and nearly 2,200 damage, propelling Gambit to the lead.

Game four had a nearly identical final zone to game three, allowing teams to fix their errors from the previous game. The lobby, on the other hand, was considerably more willing to take battles earlier this time, and Gambit left early. Alliance, on the other hand, was victorious.

Alliance grasped the situation and took cautious not to overextend themselves in order to kill out either GMT or the free agent squad NEW. After GMT surrendered to the firepower of both Alliance and NEW, and NEW was unable to pick up their third member before Alliance collapsed on them, closing the game, their patience was rewarded with a relatively easy win in the endgame. However, due to Gambit’s early exit, GMT was able to cut the distance between first and second place significantly. With two games remaining, the two clubs were separated by only one point.

Alliance won game five for the second time in a row, this time by playing carefully and not over-extending, only engaging when necessary. Second-place NEW, who soared to the top of the lobby just ahead of Alliance, joined them in their big game.

The top five players in the lobby were divided by only four points with one game remaining. Teams like Na’Vi and Zeta Division, on the other hand, required a big final game if they wanted to make the playoffs.

Although it wasn’t Na’Vi or Zeta Division, the final game of the day featured a big game by a team in urgent need of points. Clean, a free agent team led by former TSM coach Martin “gdolphn” Skrydstrup, clung to the map’s northern edge in a major way.

At the top of the lobby, numerous teams competed for the Climatizer zone, but Clean emerged victorious. Alliance was the overall winner on the day, with Gambit coming in second. Clean’s victory moved the team up to sixth place.

With all games finished in EMEA, Gambit took top place overall in the Pro League’s first split, finishing comfortably ahead of Alliance in second. NEW also had a big day, as their third-place finish in the final lobby earned them a playoff berth. Meanwhile, both NaVi and Zeta Division finished below the top 20, with NaVi barely avoiding relegation.

The first split’s regular-season play is now complete, and the split’s only remaining events are playoffs and qualifiers, in which Challenger Circuit teams battle against relegation zone squads for a berth in the second Pro League split. For the time being, though, one thing is certain: Gambit is in charge of EMEA, and everyone is following them.



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