The Apex Legends Global Series Split One Playoffs Bracket Stage results in triumph for some teams as they advance to the Finals and heartbreaking failure for other teams as they are eliminated from the LAN event. And during the fierce skirmishes that followed, many teams were physically pushed to their breaking point, as was the case with Spacestation Gaming, who ended the day as a pair.
But the main narrative earlier on in the day was the re-emergence of some of the favorites from EMEA that had struggled at points during the Group Stage. Acend, Element 6, and Alliance finished the Winners Bracket in positions two, three, and four. The placements were a stark contrast for the teams to the first couple days of the competition, when all three of them needed to scramble for points in their later Group Stage games in order to even qualify for the Winners Bracket.
Alliance and Acend both secured signature victories in games five and six, respectively, to seal their spots at the top of the lobby, while Element 6’s consistently strong showings ensured they’d be at the top of the table as well.
North America also fared very well during the Bracket stage, with NRG taking a commanding first place finish in Winners and The Guard, Esports Arena, XSET, and TSM following in places fifth through eighth to make Finals. But with so much conversation around EMEA and two of their best teams being unable to compete due to visa issues, it was a big confidence boost for the region to see other traditional favorites take up the mantle convincingly.
Spacestation’s last dance heats up
Spacestation’s Joseph “Frexs” Sanchez confirmed the rumors that the team would be splitting up with Mark “DROPPED” Thees following the Split One Playoffs in an interview with Esports.gg prior to the day’s competition, and the team just barely missed qualifying for Finals during the Winners Bracket by one point. The team heated up in Losers Bracket Round Two—but in Frexs’ case, it was a bit too much heat.
DROPPED would later confirm on Twitter that Frexs played all of his games today with a sweltering 104 degree fever, apparently sick but testing negative for COVID, which allowed him to continue competing on stage at the Copper Box Arena. Despite clearly looking under the weather, Spacestation raced out to 41 points after the first two games in the Losers Bracket, and even won a game where Frexs was playing with an icepack on his head tucked under his headset.
With their spot in the Finals assured after a couple more games, Frexs bowed out from the day’s competition early, letting DROPPED and Angello “xenial” Cardenas finish the last two games as a duo. The ultra-consistent NA squad hasn’t failed to miss a LAN Finals lobby since the return of Apex LANs last year, and today not even sickness could stop them.
Records and hearts broken
The second round of Losers was a phenomenal one for Luminosity Gaming, who set an ALGS LAN record with an astounding 23-kill victory on World’s Edge to comfortably win the lobby and send the all-Mexican squad to Finals alongside fellow NA squads Spacestation and DarkZero, and other fan-favorite teams like EXO Clan, Fnatic, ONIC Esports, and DreamFire.
But not everyone could qualify, and it was a particularly heart-breaking end to the tournament for Pioneers and one of the most popular personalities in all of Apex, Casper “Gnaske” Præstensgaard. Needing a huge game in the final match of Losers to ensure they could qualify for the Finals, the team seemed to be in a good spot to collect a win. But they couldn’t fight off a third party after winning an initial fight in the tightly-contested ending south of Lava Fissure, and bowed out of the tournament altogether, missing their first LAN Finals as a squad since the return of LAN in 2022.
Overcome by the moment, Gnaske broke down.
It was a reminder of just how far these competitors push themselves to succeed, and how disappointing it can be to not reach their ultimate goals.
The Finals stage is set
20 teams remain in the running for the Split One Playoffs crown, with the 10 teams that qualified from the Winners Bracket receiving advanced starting points for the Finals in accordance with their placements. Eight of the 10 North American squads that traveled to London for the LAN qualified for Finals, the most of any region, while four of the five APAC South teams also qualified in another strong showing for the region that has more than earned the respect of the international Apex community over the last year.
Meanwhile, it’s been a quieter tournament than expected for many APAC North squads, with four qualifying for Finals and only one managing to do it through Winners, fun123. EMEA sends three teams to Finals while still missing two of the best teams in their region, Aurora and Fire Beavers, and Team Singularity will carry the banner for South America, finally getting their shot in an ALGS LAN Final.
The match point format action kicks off tomorrow, Feb. 5, bright and early at 6am CT.