The Apex Legends Global Series sees the return of its Pro League with Split 1 Playoffs currently airing November-December, 2022. With the end of Split 1 fast approaching and the North American Regional Finals airing on December 18th, 2022. With recurring numbers of 100,000 tuning in to watch both the NA and EMEA on YouTube. We wonder if Apex Legends is truly dying. As big pro players such as Imperial Hal have stated earlier this year. This is my take on the current state of Apex Legends.
The Current State of Apex Legends Season 15
As someone who plays the game rather regularly, but more as a casual player. I never truly found the need to voice any concern or needs for in-game changes in Season 15. I am a player that has not put a single pound (yes I am British) into the game. But hearing from the point of view of fans and the pro players. Who regularly give their two cents on the current state of Apex Legends. I can see what they mean.
But the game is consumed by two very different parties. Pro players and content creators who are the best of the best experience and play the game very differently. To that of the regular consumer. Their opinions on what needs to change are very different to the opinions of a general consumer of Apex. Respawn regularly changes the way that Ranked is run. Offering new and exciting changes such as the addition of new legends and maps. However, as a Battle Royale game, there is only so much that can be changed. Before it becomes something that strays away from its original concept. Because of that, it is unsurprising that players are leaving the game to go onto something else.
The Release of Other Games
The main change we have seen in regard to a drop in player base is with the release of other titles. Such as Overwatch 2 and Warzone 2.0. It really is unsurprisingly to think about players leaving Apex Legends to play these new games instead. These offer something new and different to what they are used to playing in the world of Apex. Although I do not believe there is anything “new” in both Call of Duty and Overwatch. Whilst Imperial Hal has previously stated that Apex is dying, seen in the viewership of both pro players and content creators streams. His numbers, alongside other streamers such as Nick Mercs are still insanely high. If Apex was truly dying, these two men are carrying the fan base on their backs right now.
As of writing this article, Imperial Hal was live with 16,000 viewers. Just two days ago, Nick Mercs was live and now has a total of 475,000 views on his last broadcast. Whilst there may be an overall decline in their current viewership, this can easily be explained by the move from Apex to Overwatch and Warzone. When looking at the Apex Legends Global Series, the numbers tell a different story. I think what is nice about the ALGS is the introduction of the fanbase finding new pros from around the world to start watching. When I first got into Apex, the only players I knew of were those in NRG (Sweetdreams and former Aceu and Lululuvely) and TSM (Imperial Hal and Albralelie).
The ALGS Year 2 Championship showed me so many incredible players deserving of the numbers that the biggest receive on the daily on Twitch. Not to take away from people such as Hal and Nick, but there are so many pros that deserve larger numbers when they stream. To have a larger fan base inside the events and in the livestream chat when ALGS is airing. But, you cannot make people move from their favourite player to another. Some of my favourites to watch are Nocturnal (Team Liquid), Hakis (Alliance), YukaF (Fnatic), Ranches (Aurora), Rambeau (The Guard) and Gnaske (Pioneers).
The Current Problems with Apex Legends
The Comp Metas
I believe that the problem with Apex Legends starts within Season 10. With the introduction of the Legend, Seer. Instead of coming up with anti-cheats they give us Seer, a wall-hacking Legend. Whilst we have this form of wall-hacking with Bloodhound, it is for a brief period in his Ultimate only. The addition of Seer feels as though he was placed in the game as a means to level the playing field against hackers. With the current Apex meta being a comp including Seer, it is a repetitive and boring meta that although, it removes ratting from the game, it stops the creativity of plays. Many players found in both Pubs and Ranked play the exact same comp. We also see this in the current ALGS Split 1 Playoffs.
However, at the same time, this is beginning to change. It is a change that I love to see. Originally in ALGS Year 2, demonstrated by APAC North with running Wattson and Crypto, we are now seeing these comps used in EMEA and NA. It is refreshing and exciting, even though these Legends are now becoming the competitive meta comp to use. But this is slowly changing too, with more comps being used during playoffs. Such as G2 with Bangalore and Bloodhound, Aurora with Mad Maggie and Wraith, Alliance with sub Mande playing as Gibraltar. These comp changes make for an intense, entertaining and unpredictable match finish.
The Matchmaking in Ranked
As a casual player of Apex, I have personally stopped playing Pub matches. I found these to be more sweaty than that of Ranked games. Due to Respawn’s matchmaking, placing players of all skill gap together and running through lobbies without a single thought in their mind but to kill has just ruined Public matches for me. However, I acknowledge that this can be said the same for Predator players being put with Gold and Plat players in Ranked lobbies. There are functions that still require polishing and that is at the fault of Respawn. Whether you are on the receiving end of being a Plat player placed into the lobby with a 3 stack of Preds. Or playing Pubs just to wind down. The current state of the battle royale itself can get rather tiresome.
Not to mention that for me, I can only play with my friends. Due to our jobs, we are only able to hop on a couple times a month. I cannot play with random teammates anymore due to the lack of communication or the absolute stupidity of players running at every team and getting killed instantly. So often do I have a teammate who dies instantly and quits the game after I pick up their banner. It got to the point that it became unplayable. Whilst, this is not at all down to Respawn and how the game is made. It is frustrating to feel like I cannot play unless I am with my friends.
The final point I will make on the possible reason for the drop in player base is that of EA’s contribution to Apex Legends. We all know that the way Battle Royale games are run is through micro-transactions. I do not understand the point in purchasing gun and Legend skins and completely disagree with the concept of a pay-to-win skin. The way that EA pushing players to gamble their money away on packs, to pick up some new Wraith skin that costs over $100 is ridiculous. You do not see your character in game anyways until you emote or win the game. But I am not judging those who wish to spend their money on these things. You buy whatever you want.
The way that EA runs things is just a bit suspicious. Both Respawn and EA need to make their money, especially on a free-to-play game. However, EA could go about treating both the consumer and its content creators with a little bit more respect than what is typically given. It has been disclosed by Lululuvely herself that she stopped playing Apex regularly due to her relationship between EA and the content creators. Claiming that she did not receive credit or commission for her R-301 Gun Skin (Aftershock Wave). Saying that her name was in fact removed from the Gun Skin upon its release. This is just an example of EA doing whatever they please that will make them the most amount of money possible.
Is ALGS saving Apex Legends?
Personally, I believe it is. Perhaps the player base is declining but the views in ALGS are soaring. With regular views of 100,000+ on YouTube, it is unlikely that this is going to decline any time soon. Just look at last years numbers with the Year 2 Championship Finals alone hit over 1 million views on YouTube. Whether people are leaving the game purely to go onto another temporarily, just to freshen things up and give themselves a new challenge, is debatable. But the viewership on the ALGS is damning evidence into the rise of Apex Legends. It is very unlikely that this game will die anytime soon.
Hitting similar numbers to that of the Overwatch League and higher numbers than that of Arena World Championship of World of Warcraft and World Series of Warzone. All streamed on YouTube recently as 2022 Esports Tournaments. So long as the Apex Legends Global Series exists, the views will keep flooding in. Apex Legends is on the rise and will not be slowing down any time soon. The pro players should be thanked for retaining the viewership and loyalty of their fan bases. From Hal to Nick and Mande to HisWattson as some of the top Apex Streamers.
As for me, I will continue playing the game casually and not taking it too seriously. Fans of the game do not need to worry about the fall of Apex Legends. So long as Respawn keep the game fresh with updates and take care of their creators, all will be bliss in the world of Apex Legends.