Is Apex Legends the best Battle Royale around?

Is Apex Legends the best Battle Royale around?

On February 4th, EA and Respawn, with no prior warning, released a new Battle Royale in the Titanfall universe — Apex Legends. The element of surprise worked out, and the shooter immediately overtook Fortnite on Twitch, and in the first 72 hours it surpassed ten million players.

We looked into why Apex is better than other representatives of the genre — both as a game and as a potential esports discipline.

In almost everything, Apex Legends is reminiscent of the Battle Royale mode of the last Call of Duty. A small map, arcade shooting, nice graphics and a thoughtful interface that is suitable for both PC and consoles. The inventory system is almost one to one, except that the cartridges occupy separate slots.

Now for the differences. Blackout’s portable temporary perks have been replaced by characters’ permanent abilities. Each character has passive, active and ultimate skills. This rather changes every battle and the game as a whole: some will help with a shield or shelling in battle, while others will climb the cliff or find the enemy faster. However, there are no imbalances, and it pleases us.

Unlike most other Battle Royale games, there are no vehicles in Apex. The size of the map is chosen so that everyone can get to the safe zone easily too — the location is designed for 60 people, and not for the usual 80-100 players. The characters move quickly, especially with the help of some ultimate abilities, and you can even cut with the slide’s double acceleration. And who needs useless Blackout helicopters when there are ziplines, both horizontal and vertical.

The new BR game is ideal for those who are bored of PUBG but do not want to go to Fortnite yet. Apex Legends is something between these two giants of the genre. There is no need to search for loot and opponents for a long time, but it is not necessary to compete in the speed of construction either. At the same time just shooting well here, unlike in Blackout, is not enough.

If the Battle Royale in CoD is nevertheless closer to PUBG, where reaction, accuracy and a little luck decides everything, then Apex Legends is clearly trying to offer more: like Fortnite, but within reasonable limits. The abilities of the characters give a wide choice of actions and act as an alternative to all sorts of additions by Epic Games, and the construction system is easily replaced by multi-level locations with thoughtful landscapes and the ability to climb almost any wall. All in all, not only does it speed up the gameplay, but also allows you to quickly change the course of any battle.

Apex Legends has great optimization. Even on somewhat outdated systems, the game will work and give an honest 30 FPS. At the same time, the graphics at low settings will not severely damage your experience, and serious delays will appear only in lively combat operations. A dated station with Intel i5-2500 and NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti does an excellent job with average graphics without a drawdown below 60 FPS. 

In my first five hours of play, I only had connection problems twice, and one of them was connected with the Origin side (and not with Apex Legends servers), and the second simply did not allow the match to start and decided to go out to the lobby.

No desynchronization of opponents’ movements, no missed shots or teammates with a huge ping. At the same time, there were some glitches along the way — on the game forums, there are enough complaints about crashes. So far this can be forgiven: the developers certainly did not expect such an influx of users, and there is still time for operational patches — not even a week has passed since the release.

In Apex Legends it is very easy to negotiate with unfamiliar teammates. At the moment, this Battle Royale can only be played by teams of three people. If you start the match alone — Apex will surely find you mates, and you will have to communicate with them.

Respawn has made sure that the game is not interfered by the language barrier or the absence of a microphone: you can transfer any necessary information using the wheel of instructions. All teams are tied to marks on the map from the first person. To offer a further way to the location, highlight the position of the enemy, or even talk about excess body armor, just click on the mouse wheel. In the same way, you can indicate where the opponents have just been or what position is worth watching — any proposal of teammates can be accepted or rejected by the same pressure on the wheel.

Of course, it’s impossible to quickly discuss the exact landing place before disembarking, therefore in Apex Legends the whole team falls from the plane with a single jump. The direction is chosen by a randomly determined jumpmaster. And although teammates can disconnect at any time and go to the place they liked, it seems that the developers see Apex Legends as a team game … or a discipline.

Apex Legends can be the best esports battle royale game. Neither EA nor Respawn have yet talked about the competitive component of the game — companies did not even announce it, fearing to create a negative attitude to the project before the release. It is possible that in a month matchmaking will appear in Apex, and in another month — a full-fledged competitive system.

Unlike other representatives of the genre, in Apex Legends everything initially works on team interaction. It is convenient to communicate in the game, you can experiment with meta when choosing characters and resurrect allies. If during the battle the player does not have time to save, teammates will be able to collect his flag to one of the stations and bring their partner back to life. These little things already give a minimal basis for a more spectacular esports experience.

In addition, Apex Legends may be more attractive to the viewer. Matches usually last up to twenty minutes, and the dynamic gameplay does not get bored in the early stages. If in PUBG there is really nothing to look at until the third or fourth zone, then in Apex Legends, where the map is much smaller, the battles can begin after only a few minutes. The only problem is the observation of individual players — there are still a lot of them on the map, but Apex has fewer participants in the units, and this can be useful for broadcasting.

Respawn and EA unexpectedly released a really good game. The battle royale boom has already exhausted everyone, but the release of Apex Legends was a great success — Titanfall fans didn’t even complain too much that the studio did not release the third part of the series.

The developers managed to make a comfortable and unusual BR with cool mechanics. In the store with paid currency, you can purchase both additional chests with skins, as well as certain skins that were in the temporary rotation. Prices are almost two times higher than in Fortnite. All the rest is given only for Legends Point and Crafting Metals — the first is credited for success in the game, and the second is compensated for repetitive skins.

Apex Legends has gathered a huge audience for the release and has every chance to overshadow even Fortnite, at least for a while.

If Respawn Entertainment takes up the game and keeps it up to date with updates no worse than Epic Games, the new battle royale will break all records. Otherwise, Apex Legends will soon be forgotten, as happened with Blackout.

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Is Apex Legends the best Battle Royale around?

On February 4th, EA and Respawn, with no prior warning, released a new Battle Royale in the Titanfall universe — Apex Legends. The element of surprise worked out, and the shooter immediately overtook Fortnite on Twitch, and in the first 72 hours it surpassed ten million players.

Recrent: “I played two games and then requested a refund”

Recrent: “I played two games and then requested a refund”

The newest addition to the Natus Vincere PUBG squad, Dmitry “Recrent” Osintsev, told how he came to esports and why he chose Battle Royale from a Korean developer.

Natus Vincere are one of the favorites in the European Pro League — PUBG’s $1 million dollar league — which is set to start next week. NaVi will face the likes of Team Liquid, FaZe Clan and others for a chance to become the first ever World Champions in PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS.

Dmitry “Recrent” Osintsev talked about the upcoming league, how he got into PUBG, the new map Vikendi and why he quit Overwatch.

You used to play CS: GO and Overwatch. Why did you abandon these disciplines and chose PUBG?

I did not try to play CS: GO competitively. I played at the amateur level, and the game got old. After that, I tried myself in Overwatch. They even called me to some organizations, but at that time I refused: I wanted to get into another team — something better (laughs). I had higher requirements. If they called me to a good team, I would have agreed to go. But, probably, I was not good enough for this.

What was the reason for moving to PUBG?

I had a team, or rather a mix. After the tournament, we broke up, because the captain decided to take a break from Overwatch, and no one wanted to play without him. I did not see any prospects in Overwatch and decided to try PUBG.

At that time it was very popular. The first time I tried it in May 2017. PUBG was on all the streams, everyone was playing it. I tried, played two games and then requested a refund because I was stuck in textures and died from the zone. I really did not like it. In fact, the main reason was that I had a weak computer then, and it didn’t run PUBG that well. I really missed the FPS, which kept around 40-50. It was impossible to play, although I already had a monitor at 144 Hz. Two months later, I bought PUBG for the second time (laughs) and then I started playing tight.

Do you play any other games besides PUBG? Maybe you follow other esports disciplines, watch tournament broadcasts?

I don’t play anything else. I only watch Natus Vincere on CS: GO. Watching videos on YouTube, Zeus blogs and so on. I am interested in the life of this team.

No single player games?

Not really. I haven’t played any single player games for a long time. Right now I’m waiting for Metro Exodus. I think I want to play it.

When did you understand that you want to connect your life with games?

I also wanted to break into the professional stage in CS:GO, but did not know how to do it. I spent little time on the game. Probably, when I played Overwatch, then I already understood that I wanted to connect my life with esports. I did not like to study as an economist. From the first semester, I didn’t like it when I entered university (laughs). But I dropped out only in the third year.

How did your parents react to the fact that you quit your studies at the university for the sake of your esports career? Do they support you, watch your streams?

Now, yes. My father watches all the tournaments in which I participate. In general, they are interested, I tell them a lot of things. Parents know what is happening. But at first, when I just left the university, they naturally reacted extremely negatively to this.

Everybody knows that optimization suffers in PUBG. At times, FPS drops even on top-end systems, and on medium and low-end PCs it’s generally dark. Does the low frame rate hinder the skill of the player?

I think it interferes, and very much. I’ll tell you by example. I played on a rather weak hardware for a year — I had a processor like i5 4460 and a GTX 970 video card. At some moments, the FPS could sink to 15. I only updated my computer in June-July 2018, that is, for a year I played on bad PC, and this greatly hindered the development of my skill.

I think PUBG Corp. is trying to optimize, but for technical reasons they don’t succeed. I read some blog from the developers, maybe it was a video where they say that it’s difficult for them to branch from what they originally had. I do not know what the problem is. But when they try to correct one mistake, they get new ones. Because of this, it is difficult to optimize the game.

You have played for TORNADO ENERGY for almost a year. Why did you leave the team?

I just received an offer from NaVi and I thought that in such a composition, in which I was called, I could achieve greater success than in the previous team. Because for the year of the game we, in fact, did not achieve any high results in tournaments.

Are you satisfied with the results in the composition of NaVi? Is it a pleasure to play in this team?

I like everything. The first week, maybe even two, after the announcement, we played badly. We performed well on the OGN Super League and after that the game began to improve. There have been few tournaments lately, and now we are preparing for the European league.

Do you think the team relationship should be that of co-workers or should it be like a second family?

I think the second option. Just friendly relations, in parentheses “family”, as you said. It seems to me that such a team can achieve more.

In Dota 2, CS: GO and LoL, the position of the coach appeared quite long ago. In PUBG you need it?

I think we do. Or, at least, would not hurt. A coach can help the team. I think in the next six months or a year the teams in PUBG will come to this. The Chinese had a coach six months ago.

In a recent interview, you said that the PEL format is “not bad” for you. Do you like such a system more or are the usual LAN tournaments better?

To begin with, in PUBG — everyone knows this — there is a significant element of the randomness. And a large distance can eliminate the influence of any random events to the maximum and reveal the real winner already. The distance of 300 games, which will be at PEL, I think, is able to determine which team is really the strongest. But it is not clear how this format will be interesting to the viewer.

Tell me how the team will prepare for the PEL? Do you have a bootcamp?

Bootcamp is planned directly at the venue. We will most likely arrive a week before the start of the league and play in those conditions.

It turns out that PEL will be your first major LAN tournament in your esports career?

I played on the LAN in Norway, but it’s hard to call it big. I am a calm person in this regard. I think that I will feel comfortable.

What can you say about your opponents? Who do you think will make you the most competitive?

It is hard to say. Almost all the teams had roster changes, and it is not clear who will perform. Plus the points system will change a lot. Everyone is used to the fact that kills play a small role, and points for places are the greatest, but now the picture may be quite different. Meta can change a lot.

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Is Apex Legends the best Battle Royale around?

On February 4th, EA and Respawn, with no prior warning, released a new Battle Royale in the Titanfall universe — Apex Legends. The element of surprise worked out, and the shooter immediately overtook Fortnite on Twitch, and in the first 72 hours it surpassed ten million players.

Nerf: “I couldn‘t picture myself doing anything other than playing PUBG”

Nerf: “I couldn‘t picture myself doing anything other than playing PUBG”

No stranger to competition, Benjamin “Nerf” Wheeler is a familiar name to fans of PUBG Esports, having competed seriously since 2017 and joining up with Cloud9 in August 2018.

Since then the team qualified for National PUBG League — PUBG $1 million dollar league for North America. After the first week of the competition, Cloud9 secured themselves a third place, just behind Why Tempt Fate (ex-OpTic) and Tempo Storm. 

Following their success at the opening weekend of the competition, Cloud9’s Benjamin “Nerf” Wheeler talked about PUBG esports, competing for top spots, and the future of the game.

Who are you? Give us a quick introduction.

My name is Ben Wheeler, my IGN is Nerf. I’ve PUBG since early Beta and have over 4,000 hours in the game.

Your current name, Nerf, is a shortened version of your original name, NerfMePlz. Where does that name come from, and what led to you shortening it?

My name Nerf comes from when I played MOBA games, where the term is more common.

You’ve been competing in PUBG for quite some time, playing with NOVA back in 2017 and through 2018. What was it like for you in the early days, and did you always have a goal of going pro? What is your background in competitive gaming, and what’s the first game you took seriously with the mindset of “I want to do this for a living?

Competing back in the early days of competitive was just me learning as much as I can from mentors or better players. I learned techniques and strategies through playing with many good players, and developed my own playstyle and learned from their mistakes. Ive always played games for fun and never really got competitive in them until the BR genre came out. I instantly fell in love with battle royale style games, and the sense of accomplishment from winning is what made me want to go after the competitive side of gaming.

PUBG was the first game I thought “Hey, I could go pro in this”. It was back when I played the first big qualifier for IEM Oakland and just barely missed out on qualifying. That motivated me to continue to look for a team and play in leagues.

You joined Cloud9 back in August, immediately winning the Hong Kong PUBG World Invitational a few weeks later. Was it strange to be met with so much success instantly? What has it been like for you since you joined Cloud9?

I dont think it was strange to be met with such success after such short time with the team. Ive always felt if I had the right teammates I could do so much more as a player. Ever since I joined Cloud9 it really has turned my life around completely, I am able to stream and play PUBG for them full-time, and for that I couldnt be more thankful to Cloud9 for such an amazing opportunity.

Does your team spend a lot of time together outside of the game?

When we are at LAN, we spend almost all our time together, and when we are at home, we all have friends we hang out and talk to 

How does your family feel about your decision to pursue a pro gaming career? Are they supportive? If you weren’t playing PUBG professionally, what would you be doing?

At the start of my career I wasnt making a salary, and my parents werent even aware of the potential in esports. I think when I qualified for my first LAN in Romania, it was an eye opener for them in realizing that this could be a career I can stick with. They have been supportive ever since and watch all my tournaments online. I couldnt picture myself doing anything other than playing PUBG or partaking in esports in general.

Heading into the NPL as one of the invite teams, were you confident your team would qualify? What type of expectations did you have for other teams, and what were the biggest surprises?

We were confident we would qualify, but honestly our performance should have been better. I think we expected the other invited teams to perform well and what surprised us was what some of the qualified teams could pull off at LAN.

What does it mean for you now that you’ve qualified for the NPL?

Qualifying for NPL means everything to me, every bit of practice. VOD review. and game time all come down to how we perform this phase. I have had many ups and downs as a player. The thing that motivated me to keep grinding was the constant support from friends and other pros. I strive to be the best player and I wont stop until I achieve that goal.

What are your thoughts on the new ruleset? How much do you expect to see the meta change? Do you think teams will still be adapting well after Phase 1?

The new point system and rule changes will make kills more valuable and speed up the overall pace of the game. I think it will be a while before we start to see a “normal” meta.

What is your favorite weapon + scope combination? What do you expect to see the most of in NPL phase 1?

My favorite weapon combination would have to be the Mini 14 with a 4x ACOG Scope. Expect to see some high kill games from teams due to the point changes.

Erangel or Miramar?


What are you looking forward to most this year?

I’m most looking forward to seeing what we can achieve as a team

Anything you’d like to say to your fans?

For my fans I would like to thank you for being supportive over the past year of my journey throughout PUBG. I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

Credit: PUBG Esports

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Is Apex Legends the best Battle Royale around?

On February 4th, EA and Respawn, with no prior warning, released a new Battle Royale in the Titanfall universe — Apex Legends. The element of surprise worked out, and the shooter immediately overtook Fortnite on Twitch, and in the first 72 hours it surpassed ten million players.

PUBG Esports introduce revenue share with the teams

PUBG Esports introduce revenue share with the teams

PUBG Corp is announcing a series of initiatives to support the professional esports teams associated with PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS, including profit-sharing on team and league-branded digital items, direct support of team operating costs, and event sponsorship.

This multifaceted approach will help support the growing PUBG competitive scene by lowering the barrier of entry for dedicated players looking to engage with the professional leagues and helping established teams thrive.

“We are nothing without our teams and players, so it’s critical that we develop these programs to support our competitive scene and help teams build their brands,” said Richard Kwon, CMO, PUBG Corp. “In addition to building a popular esport that caters to our PUBG fanbase for years to come, we want to create a financially viable environment for players to sustain themselves and profit from their hard work.”

To directly bolster team participation in PUBG’s North American (National PUBG League; NPL) and European (PUBG Europe League; PEL) leagues, PUBG Corp. will help offset expenditures associated with team operating costs. These expenses will include costs associated with team travel, housing subsidies and local transportation fees.

Additionally, NPL and PEL-specific in-game items will be created starting with Phase 2 of each league. Twenty-five percent of all in-game item sales will go to each of the teams in their respective leagues, further incentivizing league participation and offering fans a way to support their favorite teams and regional leagues.

Financial support will continue with world-class competitions hosted by official PUBG partners later in the year. Each of these events will host top teams from each regional league. To give greater incentives and rewards for participants, exclusive in-game items will be created for each of these global events and 25% of sales will go directly to the participating teams.

Additionally, PUBG Corp. will be matching each organizing partner’s prize pool, effectively doubling the reward opportunity for each of these events. More details for each of these international events will be shared at a later date.

PUBG’s 2019 esports activities will culminate later this year at PUBG Global Championship, bringing together the greatest players from around the world. To celebrate this, PUBG Corp. will create a PUBG Global Championship item. More details on this in-game item will be shared at a later date; however, 25% of its sales will be added to the championship prize pool, raising the stakes for the competition.

Exclusive team-branded items will also be created for each of the participating teams in the PUBG Global Championship, along with a celebratory item for the eventual champion. Once again, 25% of team-branded item sales will go to each of the teams while 25% of sales from the champion’s celebratory item will go towards the winners and all teams from the same league.

National PUBG League will start on February 1st in OGN Super Arena in California and it will feature a $200,000 prize pool. PUBG Europe League will be following closely and will lauch just two weeks later in Berlin. 

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On February 4th, EA and Respawn, with no prior warning, released a new Battle Royale in the Titanfall universe — Apex Legends. The element of surprise worked out, and the shooter immediately overtook Fortnite on Twitch, and in the first 72 hours it surpassed ten million players.

Gaming industry now raking up $110 billion a year in profits

Gaming industry now raking up $110 billion a year in profits

The profit of the gaming industry increased compared to last year and amounted to $109.8 billion — a whopping 11% increase from 2017.

The audience for gaming video content grew by 10% — 850 million viewers for 2018. Analytical agency SuperData published the final report on the gaming industry for 2018.

80% of the profits came from free games — SuperData linked this to the popularity of Fortnite, which brought Epic Games $2.4 billion and topped the rating of free-to-play projects. According to the agency, the success of the battle royale showed the effectiveness of a simplified version of combat passes and limited in-game items sales. Service representatives also noted that $54.3 billion out of $87.7 billion in free games came from Asia.

9-year-old League of Legends still earned more than $1.4 billion this year, even ahead of Tencent’s mega-hit Honour of Kings, which earned $1.3 billion.

The market for paid games grew by 10% and brought $17.8 billion in profit in 2018. Despite the high competition in the genre, PUBG Corp. earned over a billion dollars — 19% more than in 2017. The only project of the studio topped the rating of paid games and bypassed FIFA 18 and 19, GTA V, Call of Duty Black Ops 4 and Red Dead Redemption 2.

Gaming video content brought the main platforms more than $5 billion last year. Of these, 31% earned Twitch — bypassing YouTube in profits but losing by the number of unique users for the year (183 million against 594 million). Together Twitch and Youtube earned 55% of all streaming revenue for the year.

The most popular streamer channel in the world was Tyler “Ninja” Blevins — a popular Fortnite streamer. The top ten most viewed channels included those dedicated to esports as well, like Riot Games, Overwatch League and ELEAGUE.

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Drainys: “It’s been two years and the game is still the same laggy mess”

Drainys: “It’s been two years and the game is still the same laggy mess”

Former Natus Vincere PUBG player Svyatoslav “Drainys” Komissarov shared his opinion on the state of the battle royale game, the professional scene, and why he left NaVi.

About the state of PUBG

“It’s hard to say, because the game doesn’t change at all. On the competitive stage, everything is also doubtful: cheaters, PEL-leagues from PUBG Corp … That is, they made a separate league for pro-players and closed all tournament operators — be it ESL, GLL and everyone else. It is not clear whether PUBG is alive anymore.

Why I think that it is more alive than dead — there is nothing else to play. There is Fortnite, and there is PUBG. There is no alternative. There is no game you enter every day, and it delivers fun. Fortnite and PUBG are two games that really bring pleasure. Therefore, despite all the problems of PUBG, including technical ones, this game is not dead — it lives. But as soon as an adequate good alternative appears, there will be tough competition. <…>

I would like PUBG to be made by some other developer, like Valve. But it is unreal. It seems to me that the Korean team and who are responsible for the development of the game they just kill the game more and more. All that is possible, they spoiled. When the game had HYPE — remember the same Gamescom — at this tournament there was a lot of crashes, a lot of lags.

All the same things that didn’t allow this game to move further as an esport. In the end, it all became so ridiculous that people simply turned away from the competitive part of PUBG and went somewhere else. The same can be said about streamers. It’s been two years and the game is still the same laggy mess.”


About salaries in PUBG

“If in Counter-Strike we have wages of about $10-20 thousand in top-shooting teams — that is, a lot of money — then in PUBG the salary of the top player in the European top-tier team can be $1,500 USD. That’s good money, but it is not big money.

One and a half thousand, that’s it. Some maybe get more. Maybe FaZe Clan , Team Liquid or Pittsburgh Knights, maybe they can receive $3,000 but I wouldn’t bet on it. I have no information here. It seems to me, either way, not much at all, compared to the likes of Counter-Strike and Dota 2.”

About Natus Vincere

“I don’t know if it was a positive experience overall. In fact, we did win in a few tournaments but there were a lot of difficulties within the team, within the organization. Therefore, I would say that this is a more or less a neutral experience. It’s great, of course, to play for a big org. Understand how this all works. But objectively it was hard. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. There were difficulties, but experience is experience.

In fact, I cannot objectively answer the question why I left NaVi, out of respect for the team members and the manager. I can say that there were difficulties both within the team and with representatives of the management team. As elsewhere there are difficulties — this is all part of the ride.”

You can watch the full interview in Russia here.

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Is Apex Legends the best Battle Royale around?

On February 4th, EA and Respawn, with no prior warning, released a new Battle Royale in the Titanfall universe — Apex Legends. The element of surprise worked out, and the shooter immediately overtook Fortnite on Twitch, and in the first 72 hours it surpassed ten million players.