As Apex Legends gears up for the first LAN tournament in years, concerns are being raised regarding the quality of equipment and standard of organisation at the event. The game is owned by EA, with the tournament being run by CSGO Major tournament organiser (TO) PGL, and is due to take place in Sweden this weekend.
Prior to players travelling out for the competition, there were already some doubts about how ready the venue and organisers were to run the event. TSM’s Jordan ‘Reps’ Wolfe spoke a few weeks ago about the fact the PCs at the event were, in his view, not up to standard, criticising the fact they won’t achieve the average FPS pro players are used to, and are the same spec as the PCs he played on three years ago at the X-Games.
Reps took to Twitter again this week to add his thoughts on the specs, calling them pathetic, while his team-mate Phillip "ImperialHal" Dosen complained of the same issue. What makes Hal’s point more interesting is the fact, as he pointed out, that the PCs he will train on are ‘max spec’, but that he will then be forced to downgrade when competing in a $1m event.
Complaints from all sides
There are players from EU resorting to Twitter to make the same points too, with Casper "Gnaske" Præstensgaard saying he had gone into the firing range to test PC specs and seen an alarming drop in frame rate. With a full lobby he speculated the game may even crash if too much is going on at once, which would be embarrassing to say the least.
Zach Mazer is in game leader (IGL) of Cloud9, one of North America’s best teams, who come to the event with an outside shot of taking the title. His situation is currently exacerbated by the fact he may not be able to compete due to having symptoms of COVID, despite not having failed a test, but he still took to Twitter to discuss the trouble the event has given him and where he feels the blame lies.
In terms of COVID, that has also been a massive issue for organisers that have seen players fly in from as far out as Australia and Japan. Many have succumbed, from every continent, and as Zach himself stated these are people who have been double vaccinated prior to travelling, leading to questions about the potential safeguarding around the event and whether a quarantine would have been better.
In defence of EA, it looks as though there was an attempt made to address the PC issue, based on a tweet by Alliance team manager Pontus Bengtsson. He mentioned that the planned change to higher spec PCs had been reverted, which suggests there may have been supply issues. However, with the event run by EA, there is no real excuse for cost cutting in the first place and many have said the top end PCs should have been part of the deal from day one.
The tournament is due to go ahead over the weekend, with $1m on the line, and represents something of a crossroads for Apex Legends esports. After a decent start with a LAN event in Poland won by TSM, the scene was forced to shut down LAN tournaments by COVID, and has only just begun to recover, making this weekend a key moment in the future of Apex esports.