Electronic Arts have announced their Community Tournament Guidelines for ‘non-licensed’ Apex Legends events, with some huge restrictions placed on prizes and broadcasting.
Following its stealthy release on February 4, Respawn Entertainment’s foray into the battle royale market quickly shot its way to the top of the popularity charts - dethroning Fortnite Battle Royale after racking up over 50 million players in its first month.
After that initial boom, the game’s developer released the highly anticipated content of their season one battle pass - but left some fans disappointed by their offering. Since then, the title has slowly lost its way in terms of popularity, slipping down in player base and viewers on live streaming platforms like Twitch.
While some organizations were quick to jump into the game’s competitive scene, there has been no official plans, as of the time of writing, put in place by Respawn for an esport path - leaving only outside parties to organize their own events and tournaments.
However, those organizers may be in trouble after EA announced their hugely restrictive guidelines for events. One of the huge standout points from the announcement is that each organizer is only allowed to offer up to $10,000 in prize pools per year.
Tournaments are allowed to be broadcast, however, not via television channels. There is also a restriction on the income that the broadcast can make - also set at $10,000 USD, or an equivalent in a different local currency.
A number of pro players have already voiced their concerns about the rules. UYU’s Chris ‘BixLe’ Dunbar tweeted: “With some of these restrictions, I feel like they should at least throw the community organizers a bone and let them use custom matches. Limiting prize pools and revenue is a big yikes man.”
https://t.co/GSQkjqUaIm with some of these restrictions, I feel like they should at least throw the community organizers a bone and let them use custom matches, limiting prize pools and revenue is a big yikes man.— Chris Dunbar [ UYU ] (@BixLe_) April 25, 2019
Rogue's Fortnite Battle Royale professional player Alex 'AlexJJ' Campbell chimed in by posting: “How to kill your game 101, jeez.”
how to kill your game 101 jeez— Rogue AlexJJ (@officialAlexJJ) April 25, 2019
It remains to be seen if Respawn or EA will alter their current guidelines, similar to other games like League of Legends and Rocket League, if they allow bigger esports tournament organizers to officially license the game.
The guidelines also note restrictions on what type of sponsors that can partner alongside the event, with adult products/services, online dating, Alcohol, tobacco, tattoo services, and gambling/wagery/lottery - including fantasy sports - all prohibited.
While banning some of these sponsors may make sense, there are companies who fall under into these brackets that are regular supporters of other games and professional organizations that won’t be able to make their mark on Apex.