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Apex Legends Arenas Could Be The Next Big Esport

Apex Legends Arenas Could Be The Next Big Esport

Apex Legends Legacy is bringing with it a brand new mode, Arenas. It essentially combines the economy and round based tactical style shooter elements you might be familiar with from games like CS:GO or Valorant. Many are looking to this mode for a more competitive and controller version of the now popular Battle Royale. Apex Legends features some of the best and smoothest gunplay as they built upon a wonderfully stable engine used for Titanfall 1 and 2. Throughout the life and rise of the Battle Royale genre it has struggled to land as a well rounded game mode for esports. Could this be a turning point for Apex Legends in that landscape?

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How Will It Work?

“At the beginning of each match, every player selects a Legend to play as, just like you normally do before a battle royale match. Each round begins with a buy phase — similar to what you might find in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive or Valorant — during which you can use credits to purchase weapons, upgrades, healing items, and your Legend’s abilities.” -Polygon

“Unlike other tactical shooters, your inventory gets wiped after each round, so teams don’t get massive advantages from round to round. Each of the individual rounds also has a slowly encroaching circle, just like Apex Legends’ battle royale mode, which acts as a time limit for the round.” – Polygon

So essentially it is taking the best pieces of tactical shooters like Valorant or CS:GO, but removing the snowball econ effect that can happen when a team pulls ahead early. This was probably necessary due to the smaller teams and strength of some abilities.

Competitive Appeal

One thing about Apex Legends that appeals to players with a competitive spirit is the shooting. Anyone familiar with Titanfall 1 and 2 knows how highly praised the games gunplay and feel was, rivaled only by Destiny for best in class first person shooter.

This was one of the immediate draws to Apex Legends both in the viewership for streamers, but also for the crisp and responsive gameplay. Nobody with high levels of skill in a shooter wants to play something that is clunky, unreliable, or sluggish.

Apex Legends offers more than just amazing gunplay, the host of character offerings and abilities is one of the hallmarks of the games identity, but it’s also what keeps things fresh. With an abundance of shooters, and the existence of PUBG and Fortnite, they need more than just clean gunplay to standout. This makes it a perfect fit for the round based tactical shooter genre, especially on the heels of Valorant’s popularity, which built on the Team Fortress and Overwatch appeal.

The Battle Royale Problem

Ultimately, the reason Apex Legends could swoop in and become an esport giant is very simple: battle royales haven’t landed the esports plane. Fortnite continues to lean away from becoming an esport driven Battle Royale, and Apex, along with all others, is still laden with RNG.

The higher level of skill a player has, the more aware they will be to factors within the game that are completely out of their control. The more those factors add up, the less appealing the game is for an esport or competitive realm, because so many big wins and losses can come down to chance or luck.

Apex can build on an existing brand and appeal, and along with its tremendous gunplay they have learned and gathered a massive amount of data about class and ability balance since launch. This puts them in prime position to become not just a unique esport, but a crisp and balanced esport with a ravenous and waiting audience. Battle Royale paved the way back to the roots of competitive shooters in CS:GO, and Apex Legends may just be able to pick up the ball and run with it.

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