Sunday, 6 October 2019

The Apex Pro League Deserves To Be Involved In The Online Tournament Circuit For The Support It Has Given The Pro Scene So Far

The first professional Apex Legends preseason has been completed with the X-Games, Preseason Invitational and Twitch Rivals at TwitchCon in the books. With TSM taking the X-Games and Preseason Invitational and NRG and Sentinals taking their respective Twitch Rivals groups, we are now awaiting on the announcement of exactly how the professional circuit will work moving forward. While this is likely to be within the next few weeks, it is also the perfect time to take a look back at how one group have ensured that when the time came for Apex Legends to arrive at its grand esport destination, it's best players would be ready and prepared to play at the highest level. That group is the Apex Pro League and they deserve to be involved in the online events Respawn has planned.

The Apex Pro League was created by CAlan and Wawa on February 9th 2019 and was originally a competitive discord for fellow Battle Royale game PUBG. With PUBG slowly coming to a standstill at the same time that Apex Legends was released, the two decided to switch their attention to Apex Legends and have not looked back since. When speaking about the creation of the Apex Pro League, CAlan explained how the league was created. "I was sitting at home and about 11 pm on February 5th, I gave Wawa a call and I said hear me out what if we take the discord for PUBG and make a Competitive discord for Apex Legends? "He said well I don't know" I then said the game is going to blow up and he said, "ok let's do it". He said he would bring a few people on and for me to use all my contacts to get people to join. At first, we never imagined for it to get to 10k users then it got to 15k users than to 25k users. We then decided to make 2 other discords one being the Apex.Pro EU and the other Apex.Pro KR.” While there may have been some reservations to make the switch originally, it was the right decision for not only themselves but for the Apex Legends professional scene.

The creation of the discords has allowed two things to help Apex Legends Pro Scene build, it provided a place for professional players or those close to that level somewhere that they could call home and arena where they could have a regular place to organise scrims or participate in organised pro play. It has also allowed the games more casual fans and those who want to improve, a place to learn from others and improve their own level of play. With the discord growing at the unexpected rate it did, CAlan and Wawa decided that they needed further help and brought Battalion, Boogie and Nikolai on board to help run the scene. 

The Apex Pro League started in North America on the 7th March 2019 and has featured some of the scene top teams such as TSM, Tempo Storm and T1. While Europe started their first season a week later on the 15th March and have since seen its players picked up by organisations such as Fnatic, G2, Virtus.Pro and Winstrike since its creation. The progression they have made in the first 7 months is impressive, with the league being able to create their own professional-level scrims and a competitive tier list consisting of Professionals, Contenders and Challengers because Apex Legends doesn't have custom lobbies as part of their game at the current time. 

CAlan explained that "The goal with the league is to build the best possible format and structure to give the pro players something to want to show off their skills. And say I'm the best, but we also know we need customs to make this more effective being we have been using a Sniping System very familiar in Fortnite. And sometimes Team doesn't get into certain lobbies.” Despite all of this, the Apex Pro League has helped shape the look of the professional Apex Legends scene, having a hand in the creation of rules such as the ones that have been created regarding Heal Offs having to be inside the final ring and helping the best of the best to play against each other on a regular basis. All of this has been created with the competitive division of EA and Respawn and it has helped create a solid foundation for both sides to build to grow upon, once the competitive schedule is announced.

The Apex Pro League know that they have created a good thing and CAlan knows that there is more to work on to allow both the league and the scene to improve further. "Wawa and I are always looking for new ways to make the discord better and with the Launch of Season 3, Battalion has cooked up something super special for the community. We will be running League October 7th, with a new format, new structure, And even a new point system. and we will work to find new ways to give incentives for those who want to play in the League." 

They have managed to do just this as the North American league is entering its 10th season, Europe entering its 8th and Korea starting their first Pro League season at the same time. CAlan's final statement shows just how much the Apex Pro League means to them and the scene "I never really thought I would ever run or be apart of such a massive community. I think Wawa and I from time to time are amazed at how big Apex.Pro has got and how it all started from a late-night friendly phone conversation into something serious. I am thankful to have people like Nikolai, Battalion, Boogie who have helped tremendously shape the Apex.Pro. And continue to help it grow and continue to want to be innovative and find new ways and systems as well as new ideas on how to approach things. The Apex community is by far one of the best communities I have ever been apart of."

Apex Legends has over the last years had numerous events such as Twitch Rivals, Code Red and T1 Weekly tournaments, that have helped the professional scene to grow. However, had it not been for CAlan, Wawa, the support from the likes of Battalion, Boogie and Nikolai. The scene may not have been ready to receive the push it is finally getting, that current Respawn Entertainment CEO Vince Zampella, mentioned shortly after the game released. 

Apex Legends is ready to take its piece of the esport market and once it starts to roll around, it is hard to see how people and organisations will turn away from being apart of the scene. Having helped carry the game for so long on the professional side, it would not only be a great show of respect from EA and Respawn to work with the Apex Pro League but it would show that they are serious when it comes to wanting the professional scene to be as competitive as it can be.

(You can find more Apex Legends related content on Twitter @haloofthoughts) 
(Picture courtesy of Apex Pro League)

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