Popular Apex Legends player, Coby ‘dizzy’ Meadows, has called for the removal of SBMM from the standard ‘Play Apex’ playlist in Respawn’s battle royale.
Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) has caused quite a stir across multiple online games — most recently among the Call of Duty and Apex Legends faithful.
While the notion of SBMM in a competitive first-person shooter is somewhat understandable, having it at the core of your multiplayer experience – in a game that revolves around ‘survival of the fittest’ – is another facet altogether.
Mere days after announcing his withdrawal from professional Apex Legends, dizzy has made his pitch for SBMM to be removed from casual modes within Respawn’s battle royale.
Meadows’ Tweet simply reads: “Remove SBMM from the ‘Play Apex’ playlist please,” which was lapped up by his following. Albeit a simple message, dizzy’s thoughts run parallel to the community — which has previously stated that SBMM is ruining their multiplayer experience.
Remove SBMM from the "Play Apex" playlist please
— dizzy (@dizzy) December 15, 2019
Meadows has now turned his hand to content creation, which will (for the most part) revolve around catering for a casual player base.
However, should SBMM remain at the root of Apex Legends’ player selection, then dizzy will likely find himself grinding through matches as though they were Ranked games, which takes away from the ‘pub stomping’ aspect of gameplay which his fanbase tune-in for time after time.
Apex Legends’ rival battle royale, Fortnite, has encountered similar issues with SBMM. FaZe Thiefs reflected a similar sentiment to the Apex Legends’ community, in that a skill-based player filtering system is “ruining” the game, as it removes the fun aspect of gameplay.
While it is understandable why content creators and plenty of players want SBMM to be removed, a dev from Respawn aptly detailed why it caters for a large proportion of the game’s playerbase.
Eric ‘Ghost’ Hewitt explained that “there is indisputable evidence (through data) that it helps out something like 80-90% of the community with retention,” while the remaining 20-10% can suffer.
Although this system seems logical to implement (as it makes player matchmaking more consistent and engaging), those looking to casually pub-stomp will no longer be able to do so, as they’ll be matched against players of a similar skill level (based on the algorithm’s calculations).
By this same logic, SBMM will likely take away from the very essence of Ranked matches. Since it looks like skill-based filtering is here to stay, there appears to be a need to define the bounds of how ‘strict’ the system categorizes players, in order to retain 100% (and not just the majority) of the game’s playerbase.