EA and Respawn Entertainment have announced the Apex Legends Global Series – an international multi-tournament esports program with a whopping $3 million in total prize pool.
Since the game's launch in February of 2019, Respawn's battle royale was an instant hit, with its potential as an esports title immediately realized.
Events such as Twitch Rivals and X-Games gave fans and players a taste of what to expect with competitive Apex Legends — before Respawn stepped up the game with the $500,000 Preseason Invitational. On December 17, the future of the esport has been unveiled with the Global Series from EA and Respawn.
The competition will begin on January 25, 2020, and will be for PC players from over 60 countries. Initially set to feature 12 live events (in addition to online competition) EA and Respawn will 'self-execute' some of these events, while others will be operated by PGL and GLL.
The competition is open to all players on PC, with registration starting in early January. Players must be over 16 to participate, or 17 in Japan and 18 in Russia or South Korea. Full rules can be found on the Apex Legends website.
"The competitive journey for many will start with online competition, with competitors potentially advancing to live, regional Challenger Events and global Premier Events," EA explained. "Players will earn Apex Legends Global Series Points for their performances in online and certain live events and those atop the standings will be invited to the four Apex Legends Global Series Majors, the highest competitive live event tier."
Apex Legends Global Series structure
Hopeful players will need to earn Global Series points to earn an invitation to the first of four Majors, which will take place on March 13-15, and feature 100 of the best three-player squads.
The fourth and final Major will be the Global Series Championship, where the top 60 teams will each compete for a $1 million prize pool and the title of 'World Champion.'
We're excited to announce the Apex Legends Global Series!
🌎 Twelve global live events
🖥 First online tournament on Jan 25 using new tournament servers
🏆 $3 million up for grabs
Get all the details on the Apex Legends Global Series: https://t.co/6gjYDtrTka pic.twitter.com/4BNb5pATGl
— Outlands Television (@PlayApex) December 17, 2019
Battle royale esports has faced challenges with other games like Fortnite and PUBG. There are challenges to make th games translate well as a spectator experience, as well as ensuring luck or 'RNG' is balanced out through the points system.
Respawn hopes Apex Legends' exclusive Match Point format will set it apart: "Match Point requires teams in the Finals to reach a points threshold through a combination of match placement and accumulated kills. Apex Legends is the only Battle Royale esport to feature this uniquely exciting end game mechanic."
Apex Legends' "immense esports potential"
Head of Respawn, Vince Zampella, has said that "competition is at the heart of Apex Legends," and expects esports to play a "big role" in the future of the game.
John Nelson, Competitive Gaming Commissioner for Apex Legends, believes that the game "possesses immense esports potential. "Through close communication with our community, we’ve built an accessible Apex Legends ecosystem where any player can become a potential star while the world watches our unique, entertaining take on Battle Royale esports."
There will perhaps be some disappointment for console players on PS4 and Xbox One, where Apex is also immensely popular. It's unknown at this time if controller on PC will be permitted in the Global Series, as is possible in Fortnite.
More details about the Apex Legends Global Series is set to come soon, closer to launch in January.