Apex Legends esports fans have been waiting all summer for some details around Year 3 of the Apex Legends Global Series – well, the wait is over.
For Year 3, the overall structure ALGS will look similar to last year. There is still the top tier of the Pro League, and an amateur Challenger Circuit that feeds into that, for each major region. There is still the intention to host three LAN events throughout the season (although due to COVID, only two of the proposed three went ahead as in-person events in Year 2). And the overall prize pot for the season remains at a healthy $5 million.
However, ALGS Year 3 will not be without some significant tweaks. For a start, the Pro League in each region will be shrinking from 40 teams (20 invited teams and 20 pre-season qualifier teams) to 30 (22 invited, eight pre-season qualifier teams). While this does mean fewer amateur teams will be able to qualify for the top tier of Apex Legends esports, ALGS commissioner John Nelson tells The Loadout why the decision has been made to narrow the field.
“The ALGS is defined by big plays, dominant runs, and rising stars,” he says. “We want the Pro League – both in size and structure – to reflect that. By strategically restructuring the ALGS Pro League to 30 squads per region, we hope to spotlight the absolute highest level of competition in this division, while also giving up-and-coming teams and players more opportunities to become stars. Similarly, by narrowing the pool to 30 teams, we’re able to focus more intently on delivering deeper, more impactful narratives and content to fuel fandom.”
Another Pro League shakeup comes in the form of Regional Finals. At the end of each ALGS split, the top 20 teams in a region will play in an online, Match Point competition. The winner of this event will automatically qualify for that split’s LAN Playoffs event, while that region’s remaining Playoff spots will be filled with the top points scorers from throughout the entire split.
The Challenger Circuit will also receive a tweak. For Year 3, the winning team from each tournament in Challenger Split 1 will automatically qualify for the Split 2 Pro League Qualifier, and the winning team from each Split 2 tournament will automatically qualify for the Last Chance Qualifier for the ALGS Championship.
In terms of what he hopes to see in Year 3 of the ALGS, it’s clear that Nelson is focused on higher quality competition in the Pro League, catering to Apex’s “global audience”, and of course more growth.
He says that the ALGS will be “building upon [the Year 2 Championship’s] momentum and continuing to raise the bar for in-person experiences” with Year 3’s LAN events, and predicts another “record-setting, action-packed year for fans, whether watching from home or from the stands”.
Year 3 of the ALGS begins with the Pre-Season Qualifiers next month, and the first split of the Pro League will get underway on November 6. Details around registration and lists of the 22 invited teams in each region’s Pro League can be found here.