State of the Ecosystem is a series overviewing the contemporary esports scene in several major esports titles, with a primary focus on the industry side.
Apex Legends is a free-to-play battle royale FPS game developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts (EA), which launched in February 2019. By the end of the year, EA had already showcased its commitment to the Apex Legends esports scene through the introduction of a global esports series.
The Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS), spearheaded by EA, first commenced in 2020 and runs over two splits every season. Notably, all three of ALGS’ LAN tournaments (Split One Playoffs, Split Two Playoffs and the Championship) are being held in the UK for 2023.
The Apex Legends esports scene works within an open qualifier system, allowing increased movement between the two ALGS tiers. Tier one is the ALGS Pro League, which allows teams to qualify for Split Playoffs and the overall Championship.
Many significant esports teams have been involved in the Apex Legends esports ecosystem, such as North American giants TSM, UK-based Fnatic (which owns a Japanese team in the APAC-North region) and 100 Thieves.
However, despite ALGS proving to be a popular ecosystem, many teams have departed the scene, seemingly due to poor monetisation opportunities from EA and the ALGS. Notably, EA and multiple teams had a breakdown in talks regarding a revenue share deal for Apex Legends esports, according to a report by Digiday. Organisations such as Team Liquid, G2 Esports and Spacestation Gaming have left the scene in recent years.
Due to its exclusivity in hosting the official World Championship, ALGS offers the largest prize pools and garners the highest viewership. In 2023, the prize pool for each LAN Split Playoff stands at $1m (~£800,000), with a $2m (~£1.6m) pool for its annual championship.
Despite the game’s relatively young age, a range of esports athletes have reached incredible levels of recognition and success. One of which is ‘Imperial Hal’, who was considered to be one of the best in the world before the former TSM player announced his retirement earlier in 2023. The tournament series also attracts notable partners, with its 2023 sponsorship portfolio including Monster Energy and WD_Black.
Whilst the ALGS is the dominant competitive outlet for Apex Legends, there are also many external organisations running tournaments and scrims, from tier-one to grassroots. More recently, EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) caster ‘Zephyr’ ran the ‘Zephyr’s Showdown’ – a non-EA tournament series featuring several of the ALGS’ top performing teams.
Notable Leagues and Tournaments
The ALGS is the most dominant tournament series in the Apex Legends ecosystem. However, the ecosystem also features popular independent tournaments.
Most viewed tournaments
As the most prominent professional tournament series, the ALGS dominates tournament viewership. The following tournaments are the most viewed Apex Legends Tournaments, by peak viewership, as of April 2023, according to Esports Charts.
- ALGS 2022 Split 2 Playoffs (676,653)
- ALGS 2022 Championship (632,352)
- ALGS 2023 Split 1 Playoffs (542,959)
- Crazy Raccoon Cup #9.5 2022 (383,242)
- ALGS 2022 Split 1 Playoffs (320,724)
Several notable organisations compete in the Apex Legends Esports Scene. Broken down by ALGS regions, the following teams regularly place highly in tournaments, host popular tournaments and scrims, and are highly regarded within the Apex Legends community.
Note this is a non-exhaustive list and exclusion does not signify an organisation is not notable.