Electronic Arts has just revealed an Apex Legends Preseason Invitational event. According to sources, it will be a $500K tournament that will take place in Krakow, Poland. This announcement comes on the back of rival gaming sensation, Fortnite having just wrapped up their inaugural championship.
Held from Sept. 13-15, the battle royale shooter competition will feature 80 teams (240 total players) in a bracketed tournament. This is the first official Apex Legends competition operated by publisher EA and developer Respawn Entertainment.
Alongside the tournament announcement, the companies have also announced that other recent and upcoming tournaments are now considered part of the newly-branded Apex Legends Preseason. ESPN’s EXP Pro-Am Apex Legends Exhibition earlier this month is included, as well as this coming weekend’s EXP Invitational – Apex Legends at X Games Minneapolis. EA has not yet revealed plans for a regular or ongoing season of Apex Legends competition.
According to the official rules, the tournament will utilize the ESL Play platform, and teams must pay a $150 registration fee. Each registered team will receive a meal voucher to be used during the tournament, as well as merchandise, collectively valued at approximately $150.
“When we started the EA Competitive Gaming Division, we had a vision to make stars of all our players as we build an entertainment spectacle that captivates millions of players and spectators,” said EA Senior Vice President and Competitive Gaming Division GM Todd Sitrin, in a release.
“Today we officially expand EA Competitive Gaming through the addition of Apex Legends, owner of one of the biggest game launches in history that continues to be powered today by a passionate global community. The Apex Legends Preseason Invitational is the key next step in our esports journey.”
The free-to-play Apex Legends surprise-released in February to significant buzz and Twitch viewership, thanks to a coordinated marketing effort with top influencers such as Tyler “Ninja” Blevins and Michael “shroud” Grzesiek. However, the game struggled to maintain top viewership numbers in subsequent weeks.
Besides ESPN, Twitch and FACEIT have also held competitions, and many organizations (such as Cloud9 and NRG ) have signed players in the hopes of a competitive push by EA. The publisher’s Competitive Gaming Division also operates Madden NFL and FIFA esports efforts.
Recently, EA delighted the fans with a new feature for Apex Legends. Namely a new event will be coming to the game ahead of the battle royale game’s third season. The publisher made the announcement during its latest earnings call, where it also revealed that Season 2 is performing beyond expectations.
According to VG247, Respawn will debut an in-game event that will “bring new content and deliver one of the most fan-requested features.” EA CEO Andrew Wilson said the event will release “in the next few weeks.” No other details were provided, but if the event is scheduled to release fairly soon, it’s possible we’ll be given more concrete details before long.
Fans have requested numerous features for the game, so it’s difficult to deduce what Wilson might be teasing. The most common requests are typically the addition of Titans–as Apex Legends is a part of the same universe as Titanfall and Titanfall 2.