For Apex Legends Season 14, the game’s first map is getting another rework called Kings Canyon Reforged. While the classic battleground has undergone a few changes over the years, it sounds like it’s going to be a pretty significant rework this time around – and that could be great news for Apex’s competitive scene.
While Kings Canyon does get thrown in as one of the maps in a ranked season from time to time, it was quickly expelled from the map pool for the battle royale’s highest level of competition, the Apex Legends Global Series. While everyone agrees that Kings Canyon is a fun, nostalgia-packed map, its layout, cramped points of interest, annoying end-game zones, and other factors mean that it is far from a good map for competitive play.
This year, the ALGS was played with just two of Apex’s four maps, those being World’s Edge (pretty much the unanimous choice as the game’s best competitive map) and Storm Point. The year prior, all the action was played out on just World’s Edge.
I’m not 100% sure on where the majority of pro players stand when it comes to wanting more or less maps, but as a spectator of the ALGS, I know that I’d love to see an extra map in rotation for Year 3. While I’m aware this is an added strategic burden on the teams and players, variety is always welcome in any esport. Although World’s Edge and Storm Point are both excellent maps, I fear the experience may become a bit stale if we’re to have another entire year with just these two in rotation.
So, can Kings Canyon actually be redeemed and turned into an ALGS-viable map that pro players would be happy to compete on?
It would take a lot of work, but I reckon Kings Canyon Reforged will be a little bit more meaty than past reworks.
“Time changes everything, and Kings Canyon is no exception. What will rise from the ashes of the past?” a teaser on the Apex Legends website reads. Maybe I’m reading too far between the lines, but this sounds like more than just a facelift and a new POI.
While Respawn is well aware of the nostalgic value of Kings Canyon, it is also equally aware that players seem to have better in-game experiences on its other three maps. I’m willing to bet that it exchanges some of that nostalgia for a truly transformative rework of the map – hopefully with a bit of expansion to increase the overall footprint of it too.
How Respawn could manage this while keeping within the parameters of Apex’s lore and Season 14’s story is anyone’s guess. However, with Olymups’ rework from Season 12 not hitting the right note with the competitive community, maybe Kings Canyon will look to become that third map.
Admittedly, we are due a new Apex Legends map in Season 15, if the cadence of new map releases remains the same, and this could be a competitive-minded map like Storm Point that can be dropped straight into Year 3 of the ALGS after it kicks off, presumably later this year.
However, with Respawn potentially hinting at significant changes, I’m hoping we’ll see a third competitive map sooner than that with Kings Canyon. Maybe it’s just irredeemable, and no amount of work can get it in a state that ALGS players will approve of. But I’d like to think that Kings Canyon Reforged will, at the very least, look to make it a better experience for those climbing the Apex Legends ranks.