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Apex superstar Yuki steps down from Alliance roster after three years Dot Esports

On Feb. 3, the official Alliance account announced Yuki’s decision to take a competitive break from Apex Legends. Yuki will play his last weekend with the roster for day four of the EMEA Pro League on Feb. 4 alongside the Asia Apex Festival showmatch before transitioning to a substitute position. Alliance will announce his replacement at a later date.

The 2023 Championship will be Yuki’s last LAN appearance with Alliance. Image by Joe Brady via Apex Legends Esports

Yuki has played Apex Legends competitively ever since the game’s 2020 release. Throughout his career with five professional teams, he has played for Alliance the longest but will now take his first-ever break from the competitive battle royale scene.

Yuki first joined Alliance in 2021 on Aug. 31, taking the place of Kha “iPN” Nguyen for the start of the ALGS Season 2. The roster immediately found success with back-to-back second-place finishes in EMEA’s Pro League and Playoffs before shocking the world with an eighth-place LAN debut at the 2022 Championship and firmly establishing Alliance as one of EMEA’s competitive giants.

The team would continue this dominance by leading the region for the rest of the season, never falling out of the top five for all of 2023’s Pro League, and even topping regional rivals NA with Yuki winning one of the most iconic duels against TSM’s ImperialHal at the 2023 Split One Playoffs, further catapulting the team’s popularity on the global stage.

Yuki and Alliance’s rise to EMEA dominance came from the team’s willingness to embrace unorthodox team compositions and their confidence against the traditional meta picks. Yuki made headlines during Split Two of 2023’s Pro League by bringing Rampart for their entire split, leading Alliance to first place with an overwhelming lead, alongside other unconventional legends, such as Newcastle and Ash.

However, despite consistent domestic success, Yuki and Alliance would fail to bring home a single LAN trophy, falling further and further behind each international event in 2023 as teams got used to the changing meta and how to counter Alliance’s pocket picks. Split One’s Playoffs respectably ended in fifth place, but Alliance would slide to ninth in Split Two’s Playoffs before uncharacteristically falling to 19th at the Championship, the lowest LAN placement in the org’s history.

Heading into 2024, Alliance continued struggling in the Pro League, ending the first round robin in 12th place with 20 league points, with multiple zero-point games in the opening week. Alliance must finish the Split at eighth or higher in the standings to qualify for the Split One Playoffs and currently trail aNc Outplayed and 2R1C by nine points. If Alliance fails to perform after Yuki’s departure, the org will miss the LAN stage for the first time ever in their ALGS history since entering the Pro League.

For the past two years, Alliance has called up Mikkel “Mande” Hestbek as their substitute for emergency situations, such as visa issues for the LAN Playoffs and the Championship. However, Mande formed his own team of 40%Worse during the offseason, which qualified for the EMEA Pro League through the PSQ, shutting the door on Alliance’s first pick and leaving many wondering who will fill in the spot of one of EMEA’s greatest players.

Justin-Ivan Labilles

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