Skill-based matchmaking in Apex Legends has stood as a point of contention with many of players in the community, and Twitch streamer Tanner ‘TannerSlays’ Roach is among them.
Hit titles like Fortnite integrated skill-based matchmaking in their systems to improve the quality of play on casual servers, and Apex followed suit at the tail end of Season 2.
At the time, Senior Systems Developer Eric ‘Ghost’ Hewitt said “indisputable evidence” suggested SBMM helped with player retention in matches - but it has since resulted in players feeling that the game has gotten too “sweaty.”
During his December 12 stream, TannerSlays gave his side of the SBMM debate, seeing as the Team SoloMid player has been experiencing a noticeable change in the quality of games outside of Ranked playlists.
“Everything is so serious [compared to before], it’s like R-99, Peacekeeper, fight to the death,” Tanner said. “If you lose, it gets super toxic. There’s no room to have fun.”
Ranked playlists have the high-octane action that competitive players look to thrive in, but it’s in the casual modes of the game where people typically go to experience entertainment over honing their skills.
However, SBMM has made it so that even in the casual playlists, players find themselves in environments that keep them on their toes rather than kicking back and relaxing, according to Tanner.
“Zero fun, sweat or die,” Tanner said. “You have to try your heart out every single game, or you’re not having fun… I wish it wasn’t in the game, and we can go back to having fun.”
The streamer noted that before the implementation of SBMM, the game “flourished,” and content creators were able to actually have fun – leading to a healthy viewership among Apex audiences.
“It was an amazing game to watch, content was at an all-time high, viewership was at an all-time high,” Tanner said. “When you literally could hop on with your friends and do whatever. Go for clips, have really sick clutches; the content creators were having fun. Now with skill-based matchmaking, everything seems like sweat or die.”
With a big Holo-Day Bash Christmas event reportedly on the way, fans are sure to be interested to see if Respawn decide to scale back the SBMM in Apex Legends.