Craig Robinson

Craig Robinson

After several years volunteering as an esport writer, Craig decided to make it his go-to career. He has specialized in a variety of games, with his recent focus on Rainbow Six and Apex. Craig has written for Esports News UK, Ginx TV & Hotspawn Esports.

Apex Legends Online Tournament One: A Review

Apex Legends Global Series
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We go through the good and the bad talking points of Apex Legend’s first Global series event.


The first Apex Legends Global Series tournament has finished. From the last weekend of January to the first weekend of February, the Online Tournament One took place. Whilst every region concluded, Europe held its Finals on February 1st. The purpose of the tournament was to qualify 73 successful teams to the Major One, with an additional 27 direct invites to the Major One announced later. For Apex Legends’ first-ever Global Series tournament, the event has been hectic. From the sheer amount of games across each region to server issues, there is a lot to get through.

To start, we will address the major talking points of the Online Tournament One. For those looking for a list of qualified teams, see the bottom of this article.

Shock values

As you can see from the list, several notable teams are not attending. Teams like NRG Esports, Alliance, G2 Esports, Team Liquid were all upset eliminated during the top 80 opening rounds.

n.b. BDS did make it to Texas, in fact, they finished second in EU! Just clarifying the tweet to avoid confusion

This could be due to a variety of factors, which we will go into. But the main one is the fact that the esports scene is more accessible and hungrier than ever. The Apex Legends competitive community were aware that Respawn Entertainment and EA had big plans for Apex Legends esports. In December, Respawn revealed the Apex Legends Global Series, with $3,000,000 USD available throughout the year. Now there’s an opportunity for everyone to get involved.

January opened the Tournament Mode feature, which allows tournament partners to open up scrim lobbies for selected teams. Organizers like GLL, offer AM-PRO to known teams the opportunity to join scrim lobbies. With AM-PRO and hungry teams gaining practice alongside the known squads, they get the opportunity to live in their world. As a result, orgless and pug groups made it into the Major One.

But how does this explain how a team like NRG was upset? Well, NRG ran into some roster issues late 2019, which lead them to a month-long search for a 3rd player. Out came Frexs, the team’s newest member announced in January. With teams preparing for a considerable amount of time, the roster issues may have played into teams upsetting them. NRG had to change their style up when their typical drop was contested. As a result, they ran into other teams, and that broke their routine. They finished 18/20 in their round, thus facing elimination. It paints quite the tale of just how deep the Apex Legends scene is. Only teams on top of their own game can excel in these circumstances.

Scheduling issues

While the depth of the competitive esports pool is large, which makes it even more open for upsets, the schedule doesn’t help. Apex Legends maintained its expectation of very long tournament days. The first day reportedly took roughly 12 hours to finish. After looking at the number of rounds in each region, It’s easy to understand why. It's not uncommon for fatigue to set in under these circumstances. In addition, the way the rounds worked used a Bo3 system.

Looking at the Preseason Invitation, the system used ten rounds for a group. Ten rounds are more than enough to paint a consistent picture of team form. Whereas bo3 makes scheduling easier, especially in an open form online tournament, it has its own issues. In a bo3, it is more likely that teams can lose if they have poor luck early on. Because of this, it only takes one poor game in a b03 to really set a team back from reaching the top 5. This could be primarily the big reason why top esports organizations suffered over the Online Tournament One.

ImperialHal’s thoughts on the bo3 system

Benefits of the schedule

Though the online system as obvious flaws, there is room for unknown talent to get the eyes they need. During the Preseason Invitational, there was many known teams and many unknowns. These unknown teams managed to get into an event and become stars in their own right. Because of the youth of the game and the sheer amount of players, it is easy to get overlooked in these events. However, that sudden attention is all you need in BR esports. Look at 789 in Poland for example. That team really stood out at times. Consequently, Luminosity Gaming signed them and that’s a success story for an unsigned roster. As more organizations drop rosters and new ones investigate the scene, these unknown teams may get the break they need through this system. That’s exciting, right?

No excuses

Any game that goes into esports with severe technical issues is not excusable. Throughout the weekend, it is well documented through twitter outrage that teams had their chances snuffed because of technical issues. Throughout the weekend, almost every team had crashes, server dc’s or bug that caused them to crash. This is simply not acceptable given how punishing the format already is.

14 teams experience a crash in the semi-finals – via North’s rpr

This isn’t hyperbole either. CLG complained on twitter that their tournament elimination was downright due to a known Wraith bug. If wrath portal exits involve texture clipping, it can lead to a game crash. Given how powerful Wraith is in the meta, this is a real threat that can be repeated in professional matches.

These technical issues became so frequent it was easy enough for people to montage EU reactions.

This section may seem harsh, but it’s best to talk about these issues now. BR esports has a history of failing. H1Z1’s esports tenure was terrible and failed within the year. Meanwhile, PUBG esports is in a tricky situation. Apex Legends really has the room to dominate the market that Fortnite doesn’t already control. We just want a solid Battle Royale esport that works. Talking about these issues isn’t to harm Apex Legends, rather highlight these issues for its potential future success.

Successful teams

North America

Playoff teams:

TSM, Sniper Abusers, Rogue, Team Squidward, RCO Esports White

Open teams:

Sentinals, Lil Poggies, VOL, Golden Guardians, Flying Saucerorrs, PRO, PVPxGeesh, Team Fire, smile, PTM, MSK, Stinky, Griefers, Aqualix Esports, FVK

EUrope

Playoff teams:

Kebabrulla, BDE Esports, Warthox Esport, Natus Vincere, Virtus.Pro

Open teams:

Fnatic EU, Gambit, Singularity EU, Luminosity Gaming, LEG, Team Purge, TI.Black, North, F/A Kids, SEGELBERT, Samsung Morning Stars, Pizza Baguette, NoWeaver, ad hoc gaming, Team Reciprocity EU

South America

Playoff teams:

Team Maia, CPTL eSports

Open teams:

HIGH, ReD DevilS, Team Genesis, Loto Gaming

Oceanic

Playoff teams:

Exo

Open teams:

Korean Rushers, Athaim

Korea

Playoff teams:

LFT 1, 4K

Open teams:

Griffin, High Quality, Cyma, T1 Korea, WGS

Japan

Playoff teams:

SCARZ White, Nora-Rengo

Open teams:

DeToNator, Hybrid Eclipse Arise, Pro Gaming team Selector Blue, ConnectGaming Luna, Handmade Potiono

South East Asia

Playoff teams:

MiTH Team 1

Open teams:

MiTH Team 2, Armory Gaming

Middle East and Africa

Playoff teams:

Hallediciler

Open teams:

2ND, ATK

China

Direct Invites to be confirmed at a later date.

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