Apex Legends cements itself as the only Western battle royale that can be a true eSports product. The Apex Legends Global Series is a great example of this and after experiencing five days of live competition in an arena with a gigantic two-story stage, we are here to tell you about the emotions, the meta, the champions and most importantly: the competitive future of this battle royale.
The first problem the ALGS had to solve for its big live return (after the shutdown caused by Covid) was that of the format and on this front the mission was accomplished: “initially” ALGS commissioner John Nelson told us “the competitions were consisting only of a series of matches where each placement awarded a certain number of points. The one with the most points won, but this led to very anti-climactic finals in which the casters said “the managers are at the back counting the points, we will will let you know soon who won!” That’s why we created this the match point format: now the teams compete first in groups, then in direct elimination rounds and finally, on Sunday, the team that wins a match from the 20 remaining after reaching 50 points will be crowned world champion.”
Another competitive problem that battle royale games constantly face is spectacle: it is very complex to organize structures capable of accommodating the number of live players that competitive play in this mode requires. ALGS also fixed this problem: the stage was two stories high with 10 teams of three players each in the lower and the same number in the upper. Sixty e-athletes took part simultaneously in each competition and more than 120 athletes took the podium during the entire event: a spectacle that you rarely see. The space for the analysts and casters was really well managed and being in the middle of the crowd it was possible to feel the burning passion of those present. Battle Royales are, in fact, one of the few true sporting events fans from dozens of teams sit in the same audience: a great way to guarantee a full house. “It’s just incredible,” said Respawn Entertainment’s lead battle royale designer Josh Mohan, “As an author, I’m very proud to see the energy and emotions of the players and fans, it’s amazing to see the community come to life . We spend so much time in the game that it makes us feel at home when we see these professional players spending as much time on Apex Legends as we do.”
And what a show the athletes put on: Battle Royales have their down moments, especially early in the game, but with so many top players in the same arena there was always something exciting to see. Unfortunately the game had some technical problems causing some long breaks and a few games to be replayed in the early stages. Fortunately, all the final matches went off without a hitch, creating a crescendo that ended with a victory that depended on a single battle between two teams on match points. The meta we witnessed had a very pleasant absence of Seer, a factor that many players felt was key to their enjoyment. Without a doubt, the most played legend was Catalyst, whose ferrofluid wall dictated the outcome of many battles in the final circle. Immediately after her we saw a lot of Bangalore that made dozens of resuscitations possible with its smoke grenade. Then the classic Bloodhound, a dash of Wattson (of which there was a legion of cosplayers), lots of Horizon and, in the words of Eric Canavese, lead designer of Apex weapons “the addition of a tool like the Evac Towers brought a lot of fun to professionals and casuals……and it took a little bit of Valkyrie away!”.
Two of the most exciting moments we saw during matches (outside of the final) were when respectively Alliance Hakis he brought out his inner Legolas and controlled two entire opposing teams with a bow and arrow in the fourth match of the Winners’ Round (which the Alliance went on to win in a battle to the death against FaZe) and the incredible Saf Esports victory, masters of recapturing and profiting from the shootings of others, who have upheld the name of South America, a region unfortunately somewhat neglected by the ALGS. Three teams survived, but only one was smart enough to wait until the other two started shooting at each other and then break in and take out all the remaining dying players, a spectacle. There were probably dozens of memorable moments during the five days of tournaments that the cameras didn’t capture and this, if we will, is the beauty of Battle Royale: there is always something happening, so for those watching, there are never any surprises. .
After days of eliminations, rescues, solo play and impossible retakes, the finals have arrived the 20 best teams in the world from Apex Legends compete for the world title. Ascend, Iron Blood Gaming, Pulverex, Enter Force.36, Element Six, Moist Esports, TSM, Alliance, Start a Fight (SAF) from Brazil, Realize, LG Chivas, DreamFire, Pioneers, The Dojo, BLVKHVND, Oxygen Esports, Optic Gaming, FaZe Clan, NRG, and MDY White collided across eight games at World’s Edge and Stormpoint to decide who will take home $600,000 (first), $320,000 (second), and $210,000 (third). would take home. The meta of the final was what we expected: Wattson, Catalys, Bangalore, Bloodhound and Horizon dominated the players’ choices, mainly thanks to the ability of each of these legends to control part of the map or provide vital information collect. In the first final circle, Optic Gaming masterfully destroyed the FaZe Clan by taking advantage of the battle the latter had just concluded against the Moist and a wall of Catalyst from which they entered and exited.
In the second match, BLVKHVND, who started with a 10-point lead due to their absolute dominance in all qualifying stages, lost a lot of ground. The winners from the last circle emerged as the Dreamfire, a Chinese team that won several matches during the qualifying stages. The match ended with a very quick clash against Ascend, who could not withstand the pressure. DeramFire brought into play the most meta lineup ever: Bangalore, Catalyst and Horazion armed with 30-30, Nemesis and Flatline. The third game was all optics who not only won it, but immediately reached the match point threshold by reaching 50 points. In the fourth game, Optic Gaming had reached the final circle, but NRG managed to stop them. In the final moments of that match, the entire arena started cheering for them because they didn’t want the final to end: the roar was deafening and contributed significantly to taking the team to victory. In the fifth game, Optic Gaming also reached the final three teams, but this time it was LG Chivas who stole the win. Thanks to their placement, DreamFire also reached match point territory and began to challenge Optics directly.
The sixth game went to TSM, protagonists of a recovery story in this tournament so exciting that it deserves an article in itself. In the seventh game, Optic, FaZe, LG Chivas, DreamFire and BLVKHVND were on match points. The DF fell almost immediately and began a four-way battle with an adrenaline-filled crescendo. The first to fall were LG, followed by FaZe. Then BLVKHVND and even Optic fell; TSM took the win and a Match Point position. In the eighth and final match, TSM eliminated almost one by one all their competitors on match points and then faced SAF in a beautiful three against three that could only end in one way: with the victory of the American team and their coronation as world Champions. Another determining factor in the emotion this final generated was the format which put eight teams in a position to win when the final match ended. EA knows how important it is to leave the outcome hanging by a thread, and for this reason patented the match point format so that competitors cannot use it. Unfortunately, TSM walked out after the final and we couldn’t do a one-off interview, but we’re already planning to sit down with them to talk about their journey through the many stages of the tournament, their strategy, their advice for progress in the rankings and their hopes for the future.
Judging by the enthusiasm of the fans, the happiness of the players and the smiles of the organizers, we can consider this ALGS Year 3 finals a success. Twitch viewership wasn’t a record, but if EA, as Commissioner Nelson told us, “wants to continue to grow this event to transform it at the largest festival in the world“, then this final is a step in the right direction. At the event, fans received many free gadgets, could win exclusive merchandise and by interacting with the initiatives of the tournament sponsors (Herman Miller and WD Black) they received tokens for a car crane in which plush toys of the iconic Nessie can be fished. The teams could then earn money from their presence beyond the simple prize money with stands where they can give away and sell their merchandise. The base is supported (here we explain how) fans are happy and teams are ready to invest in Apex: if all parties involved are happy an esport becomes truly sustainable and in an uncertain year like 2023, seeing a battle royale do so well gives hope to the entire industry.
-By Riccardo Lichene
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Source : Corriere Dello Sport
I have over 10 years of experience in the news industry, working for various news websites. I am also an author at Esports Chimp, where I cover gaming news. I have a deep passion for video games and esports, and my goal is to provide accurate and up-to-date coverage of the gaming world.