The Apex Legends Global Series is holding a LAN event in Raleigh, North Carolina this weekend, but the competitors due to make it to the tournament have had a rough time of it, with a fair few unable to travel due to visa issues or COVID. Now though, Alliance’s community manager Jasper “Kanochu” Jacobs has put together a list showing just how bad the issue is.
For those who don’t know, Apex is a battle royale game with a seemingly global player base, with the world’s best players spread across Asia, Oceana, Europe and the Americas. At the start of the game’s life there were plans for an entire global series, but that was put on hold due to the lockdown situation, with events only having returned in the past few months.
The return of LAN play has obviously meant a degree of travel, and with that has come a large amount of travel disruption. Even the first major event, the ALGS playoffs held in Stockholm, were blighted by the issue, with Reignite winning the tournament despite their star player having to sit out due to COVID, while many others had a similar problem.
EA can do better
As you can see from the list above, the same is true of the event in the US, with visa issues and COVID taking a significant toll. While COVID is beyond the control of the organisers before players get the event, the fact the Raleigh event was announced a couple of months ago has also seen many have point out that getting a visa to travel can take a huge amount of time, up to two years in some cases, meaning some players never had a chance in the first place.
What’s more is, the list is not even exhaustive, with Kanochu adding to it in the replies and Element’s Elwin “KSWINNIE” Echeveria posting today that he had failed a COVID test. This mirrors Sweden, where players also had to drop out due to COVID, and raises questions as to whether the safeguarding measures taken at ALGS events are capable of keeping players from getting sick.
There is a lot to admire about the ALGS events too, with Respawn making a genuine attempt to sell battle royale esports to the masses, but if these issues persist it will be hard to take tournament results seriously. When half the lobby is using a sub due to visa issues or COVID, the competition is compromised, and Apex publishers EA are big enough and rich enough to do better than they currently are.