The biggest day in Apex Legends esports history is just a month or so away – the 2021-22 Apex Legends Global Series Championship in Raleigh, North Carolina. While we recently saw a return to international LAN events in May with the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs in Sweden, the Championship will mark the first time a team will be crowned as an Apex Legends world champion – and it’ll be happening in front of thousands of fans.
It’s an exciting prospect for players, organisations, fans, and also those who work behind the scenes on the Apex Legends Global Series, including the competition’s commissioner, John Nelson.
Prior to this week’s announcement that the ALGS Champs will be heading to Raleigh, we got the chance to fire over some questions to Nelson about the event, what the team learned from the Playoffs in Sweden (which had a few rocky moments in the build up), and whether EA’s vision of three LANs on three continents may be realised next season in Year 3 of the ALGS.
The Loadout: A quick look back at Stockholm – how did it feel to see players back in the same room competing? I also know you love a good storyline, so I’m sure the tale of Reignite certainly hit the spot for you as it did with the majority of fans too!
John Nelson: Apex Legends esports has grown exponentially over the past few years, with some of the biggest ALGS moments happening online or remotely due to the pandemic. Despite not being able to host global, in-person tournaments, our fandom has reached all-time highs and continues to grow event over event. It’s incredibly telling of the future potential of the ALGS.
The return to live competition has only continued this momentum – we witnessed it in Stockholm during the Split 2 Playoffs, reaching an AMA of over 539,000 during the Finals and breaking our previous viewership and engagement records.
With 40 of the best Apex Legends squads and a pool of passionate fans from around the world coming together at PNC Arena, the ALGS Championship promises to build on Stockholm’s energy and continue to raise the bar for competitive Apex.
What have you and the rest of the ALGS team learned from the return to LAN in Stockholm? There were a few bumps in the road before it kicked off, so are you confident those will be ironed out for Champs?
We had to overcome some logistical hurdles to bring the ALGS to a LAN environment for the first time in more than two years. Throughout the Split 2 Playoffs, we made sure we listened to and considered every piece of feedback our competitors and fans voiced – we did everything in our power to preserve the competitive integrity of the event while also delivering an exciting competition with record-setting viewership.
Every event is an opportunity to learn and absorb feedback from your community – as we look towards the ALGS Championship and beyond, we’re confident that we can continue to bring our competitors and fans the best Apex Legends esports experience possible.
Moments like this are what it’s all about. 🙏
— Apex Legends Esports (@PlayApexEsports) May 2, 2022
Is there a particular reason why Raleigh was chosen as host for the 2022 Championships?
Raleigh is quickly becoming a hub for esports, and continues to host top events across esports, entertainment, and traditional sports. PNC Arena has a rich history of hosting marquee competitions and events, and the 2022 ALGS Championship will mark the first major esports competition held at the venue.
How excited are you about the ALGS getting a live audience at a LAN for the first time?
The ALGS team is incredibly excited about welcoming our fans to the PNC Arena for the ALGS Championship. We’ve waited for this moment for more than two years, to come together with our Apex community to experience the energy and excitement of in-person competition featuring the top-ranked international Apex teams.
We spent a lot of time developing the competitive experience and perfecting the ALGS broadcast over the last two years while we were operating ALGS online. The ALGS Championship is the cumulative moment that will bring all these elements together, where competitors, fans, and viewers from home can all feel the energy inside PNC Arena.
Aside from what we saw during the Split 2 Playoffs, like Multiview, Twitch drops, etc., have any other advancements or improvements been made in terms of the broadcast and the viewer experience for Champs?
We’re proud of the broadcast enhancements and viewership offerings we developed throughout the last two years. The introduction of Multiview gave viewers at-home exponentially more control over how they watch ALGS competition – enabling fans to more easily follow their favorite teams and players as they compete for the top spot and ensuring that they don’t miss a second of ALGS action.
We’re constantly seeking ways to build upon our broadcast innovations and improve the competitive viewing experience for fans.
Will there be any on-site activations and experiences for those attending in person?
More details to be revealed on onsite activations at a later date.
The press release says that “thousands” of fans will be accommodated in Raleigh – are you able to say what max capacity for the event will be?
We will have more information to share regarding the amount of fans that we’ll be able to accommodate for the ALGS Championship as we get closer to the event.
Let’s say someone outside of the competitive Apex circle hears about this big, $2 million Apex LAN that’s going on, and tunes into the ALGS for the first time – what would you want them to take away from that experience of watching the Championship?
We think the ALGS Championship will uniquely capture the passion, energy, and dedication of our competitive community. In bringing together the top international squads from around the world to Raleigh, we think viewers will see the truly global scale of Apex esports.
Right at the start of this season, you said the plan was initially to take the ALGS to three different continents. I know it was out of everyone’s control due to COVID, but are you able to share which region missed out this time around?
While we were only able to bring ALGS to two continents for Year 2 due to COVID restrictions, we’re looking forward to hopefully expanding Apex competition to new regions around the globe in the future.
Is the three-continent plan a goal you still have for next season? Or too early to say at this point?
Our vision is to bring more competitive Apex experiences to more people globally. The ALGS has one of the most international and far-reaching pools of competitors in esports, representing countries and nations from all over the world – building on our global playerbase and audience continues to be a top priority for our team.
Anything else you’d like to add about ALGS Champs in Raleigh?
This event marks a significant moment for the ALGS after what has been an unprecedented past few years.
With an Apex community of over 100 million unique players worldwide, the recent launch of Apex Mobile, and the growth of our competitive ecosystem, which continues to break franchise and EA esports viewership records, we’re hopeful the ALGS Championship will set another major benchmark for the franchise and further position Apex Legends among the top echelon of esports.