The Apex Legends Global Series Winter Circuit came to a head at the Playoffs this weekend, and fans watched as five teams were crowned champions of their respective regions. As the last major tournament before the ALGS Championship, and one of the easiest ways for teams to guarantee a spot at the prestigious million-dollar competition, there was a lot on the line.
NRG won in an incredibly tight North American tournament, which came down to the last three teams in Round 7 all being Match Point eligible. NRG beat Team SoloMid and Counter Logic Gaming to take home $48,000 of the prize pool. In EMEA, FlavorOfTheMonth was awarded the same prize for its victory.
Both APAC North and APAC South went to eight rounds, with T1 beating favourites Crazy Raccoon in the northern region, and surprise package grApe beating the likes of former MiTH roster Tom Yum Kung and Reignite South to claim the prize in the southern region. grApe won the Winter Circuit Last Chance Qualifier to attend the Playoffs, and made their shot count. Both T1 and grApe earned $30,000 for their troubles.
In South America, Fake Love Black won back-to-back rounds with ten kills and twelve kills respectively to win the Playoffs and claim $18,000.
The top ten teams from each region have also earned a place at the ALGS Championship, which was recently revealed to be an online event that would split teams by region.
Winter Circuit Playoffs viewership was extremely high over the weekend, thanks in part to the introduction of Twitch Drops. Fans could earn exclusive Mirage cosmetics just by watching some of the action. According to TwitchTracker, Apex Legends viewership peaked at 209,430 during the North American tournament, with most viewers split between the official broadcast and the stream of popular TSM player and streamer Phillip ‘ImperialHAL’ Dosen.
As well as teams who qualified for the Championship through Winter Circuit Playoffs, teams with the most cumulative ALGS points to date will also qualify for the tournament, which takes place in June. There will also be a Last Chance Qualifier competition to earn the last places.
While many people are understandably disappointed that the Championship won’t be a LAN event, ALGS Commissioner John Nelson told The Loadout that, “as soon as it’s safe to come back together, we will do that.”
However, some players are also expressing disappointment that there currently doesn’t appear to be any seeding for the tournament, so teams that have consistently performed and won tournaments for months on end will have the same chance of winning as a team that potentially wins the Last Chance Qualifier but hasn’t competed before.
As the Championship draws closer, teams will need to rest up ahead of the three-week event which will see them play multiple matches in the short period of time.