Apex Legends is the new BR star
For a long time, there were only two names in the Battle Royale world – Fortnite and PUBG. While fans of PUBG may disagree, Fortnite was certainly the bigger star here, breaking record after record and all but synonymous with the Battle Royale genre as a whole.
A few good attempts to dethrone it were made, with companies and developers trying to jump onto the BR bandwagon, usually without much success. This is now no longer true – Apex Legends skyrocketed to 50 million registered players in its very first month. The game dominates the Twitch charts, even beats Fortnite there from time to time, and esports teams are already flocking towards it.
The Team Liquid decision
TSM, 100 Thieves, Gen.G, and NRG have all started signing players/teams in just the last few days. Some companies went even further than that – Team Liquid moved its Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 team over to Apex. “There wasn’t any interest from the devs for hosting any events or focusing on anything e-sport related for ‘blackout’, It was mainly just third parties doing things on their own and supporting the scene. The devs never said anything, they hadn’t shown any interest, so when Apex Legends came out, and Respawn came out and said they would support the e-sport scene, most of the competitive ‘blackout’ players switched over.” Said Team Liquid player Tanner ‘Rogue’ Trebb.
100 Thieves Apex team features Overwatch, Destiny and H1Z1 players, while Gen.G’s squad features two Overwatch League pros and a long-time Team Fortress 2 players. Perhaps even more surprising than the quick launches of esports teams, is the fact that a college in the US is already offering an esports scholarship for the game!
The first Apex ‘path-to-pro’ scholarship
Becker College in Massachusetts just revealed the country’s first ‘path-to-pro’ scholarship, specifically for Apex Legends. Although it is a small scholarship of only $5000 to those who qualify, it is both a surprising and unexpectedly fast move from the college. As of today, high school juniors and seniors are invited to register for their recruitment system – selected applicants will be invited to compete at the Helix Esports Apex Combine Tournament in April, in order to be scouted by the college’s staff and talent experts.
“Our goal is to give top Apex Legends players a unique chance to combine their talents with an education, as home to the first varsity esports program in Massachusetts and the first bachelor in esports management degree in the U.S., Becker is excited to shape the future of competitive gaming in partnership with two of esports’ leading brands: Genji and Helix.” said Becker’s esports general manager Timothy Loew.
Ninja, the Apex promoter
Even bigger amounts of money are being dropped on the game though – according to a report by Reuters, Tyler Bevins aka ‘Ninja’ received roughly a million US dollars in order to promote Apex Legends from publishers EA. He has 13 million followers on his channel and is one of the most prolific gaming personalities in the world at the moment – he started streaming the game within 24 hours of its release, making him the ideal choice for this purpose.