How the Apex Legends Global Series does Esports differently
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Esports can be seen as a bit of a scary or uncomfortable topic for those coming from a traditional sports background, but the Apex Legends Global Series (ALGS) is perhaps the most accessible when it comes to competitive gaming.
With a straightforward concept to understand in Apex Legends – a free-to-play battle royale where you look to eliminate fellow “Legends” – there is a reason the ALGS is one of the biggest esports franchises in the world.
The ALGS provides a clear pathway for talented esports players to make it to the big time, with the format split clearly into various tiers.
ALGS Challenger Circuit
The Challenger Circuit sees players on PC, Xbox and PlayStation platforms get their teams together to fight for a spot in the Pro League Qualifiers.
Players can quickly progress through the ranks, like Evan “Verhulst” Verhulst who went from being an unknown in 2021, to joining TSM and becoming one of the finest players in the world, finishing 7th at the Championships last year.
After the first ALGS split, the winners of each of the Challenger Circuit tournaments, as well as the top 16 teams based on cumulative points will qualify for the Pro League Split Two qualifier.
Here, the top Challenger Circuit teams will go up against the lower-performing Pro League teams, with spots in the next split’s Pro League up for grabs.
Another Challenger Circuit runs in the second split, with places in the Last Chance Qualifier for the ALGS Championship on the line. This way, any team can register for ALGS and can make it to the highest level.
ALGS Regional Pro Leagues
Featuring 30 of the top teams in each ALGS region, each team will battle it out over a regular season of competition, with the top teams advancing to the live-event playoffs, and the bottom teams defending their spot in the Pro League against the top teams from the ALGS Challenger Circuit.
The ALGS regions are as follows: North America, EMEA, APAC South, APAC North and South America.
The top 10 sides in each region reach the live ALGS Playoffs, whilst the bottom 10 orgs then have to fight for their place in the next split qualifier against teams from the Pro League.
The regions then come together for the Playoffs, where the top teams in each split face off live to get a slice of the $1 million prize pool.
There are two splits in the season, with both taking place in London this year. ALGS Points are on offer within each match, with additional points for an org’s final standing within the Playoffs. These contribute to ALGS Championship qualification.
Of course, the Playoffs presents a great opportunity for players to showcase their talent to secure a big move next season.
"We definitely didn’t know what we were in store for when we started Apex Legends out, but what steers the ship for us is what players are doing in the live game. A big part of reacting to a live game is how players are playing the game."
Steven Ferreira, Apex Legends Game Director
The 30 best teams from the year qualify for the ALGS Championship, where they fight it out for the £2 million prize pool and the Championship title.
The format of the Championship is very similar to the Playoffs, just with longer game series (eight rather than six), with the teams who rack up the most points progressing to the next stage of the tournament.
Given Apex Legends is a multi-team game, teams receive more points-per-kill if they win a contest to determine their ranking.
Set up to succeed
Despite being a huge title, it’s strange to think that Apex Legends was only released in 2019.
The ALGS is only in its third season, and now with a clear pathway after Covid, we are it expecting to take the esports world by storm. 2023’s Split 1 Playoffs was the third most popular tournament in Apex Legends history, with 6.7 million hours watched.
Apex Legends Game Director Steven Ferreira spoke of the importance of being adaptable in the game’s evolution: "We definitely didn’t know what we were in store for when we started Apex Legends out, but what steers the ship for us is what players are doing in the live game. A big part of reacting to a live game is how players are playing the game."
Apex Legends was the fifth biggest esports title by prize money in 2022, with over 273 various tournaments. The number of active users in Apex Legends is also growing, with the player base increasing from 264,000 to 413,000 over the past 12 months.
With that rise through the ranks system, which isn't really seen in any other major esport, as well as the introduction of two live Playoff Splits this year – both in the same city of London - you get a sense that momentum is building.