Apex Legends is already launching a competitive scene
Apex Legends has barely been available a week yet, but it is already pushing its way into the Esports market. The new shooter combines elements of a Battle Royale with other popular online games to make an experience that has captivated audiences. EA’s new competitive playing ambitions are clear to see in Apex. The game looks well-designed to slide straight into an Esport. If its popularity so far is anything to go by, it will likely find a lot of success.
Apex’s competitive scene launched nearly as suddenly as the game itself did. Apex overtook Fortnite for the first time in Twitch streaming over its release weekend. To capitalise on this success and the initial buzz over the game, some events are being organised for broadcast on Twitch. The first competitive Apex Legends events took place for both Europeans and North Americans on February 12th and those will be followed by other two events on February 19th.
The first of these events came just two days before Fornite’s Secret Skirmish and a major Overwatch event. These two games share a lot of DNA with Apex. Twitch broadcasts these tournaments, hoping to cement some of those increased viewing figures that the game pulled in. It is interesting to see that many of the streamers taking part have previously been known for their Fortnite achievements, such as TSM_Myth and Dr Disrespect. Dr Disrespect, in particular, has announced that ‘Fortnite is Dead’ in a recent video.
Will Fortnite leak all of its competitive players to Apex? The sky certainly isn’t falling just yet. Apex has only just launched, but you can guarantee that its competitive scene will soon attract decent sized prize pools. This will bring in players from other games and new talent. While it initially appears that a lot of these players will come from Fortnite, it’s more likely that new players will become the dominant force in competitive Apex. The game isn’t the Fortnite look-a-like that it has been made out to be.
Apex Legends may have been compared a lot to Fortnite, but it is actually a considerably different game. Streams of the game are noticeably different in tone, and gameplay draws inspiration from across the competitive multiplayer shooters rather than directly riffing on the Fortnite template. Apex has a strong resemblance to Overwatch. It’s mandatory to play in squads and the game is a Hero Shooter. It features a roster of well-defined characters, rather than the skins that Fortnite gives out. This gives each character a defining personality and encourages players to become invested in them.
Most games of Apex resemble a cross between a Battle Royale and Overwatch. The arena doesn’t so much resemble an open island as in Fortnite or PUBG, but a stage like a traditional shooter. The Battle Royale elements that are present don’t seem to be emphasised. This all makes Apex into a fun mix of already popular genres.
Apex Legends is a clear attempt by EA to break into the competitive market. They have wasted no time in establishing the beginnings of a competitive scene. Apex is a sport that’s worth watching over the next few months. The anything-can-happen openness of a brand new competitive game will make for some exciting early tournaments.