Wait, pause. There’s a new feature in ALGS?

The Apex Legends Global Series is no stranger to technical difficulties. Previous tournaments have been plagued with freezing, stuttering, and server crashes, impacting players as they compete for the biggest prize pool in the world. Now, EA has introduced a new feature that they hope will lessen the server issues and make ALGS more fair to all competitors: The pause.

New ALGS pause feature

You may have noticed a couple times throughout the Year 3 Championship Group Stage matches that the games would suddenly pause. This is apparently a feature, not a bug. In a recent blog post explaining the situation, EA wrote that they are trying to minimize the impact of server issues by pausing the gameplay for every player instead of letting the issue impact a few, or one, players. 

How does the ALGS Pause work?

To clarify how this new feature will work, EA laid out the procedures they use.

First and foremost, only ALGS officials can use the pause feature.This is usually done by looking at game server information and getting real-time feedback from referees. So that means that players, coaches, and teams can’t request a pause during the game. 

Secondly, players and coaches aren’t allowed to speak or communicate during the pause so that no competitive edge is given.

Additionally, a server pause will only happen if no player on player damage has happened for two seconds. This is done to make sure that pauses don’t occur in the middle of an active fight. However, this damage counter doesn’t count towards knocked players.

When the ALGS officials are ready to start the game up again, the referees will notify every team. After every team is ready, a 30 second countdown will begin that every player can see and the game will start right where it left off.

Dark Zero and FaZe in a fight just before the match paused
Dark Zero and FaZe in a fight just before the match paused

Finally, if a pause request is made to the servers, but the issue is resolved before a two second no-damage window occurs, then the pause request will be canceled. This means that there could still be significant server issues for individual players, but the entire server may not pause because there is still an active fight somewhere on the map.

Also, a dev tweeted that this pause feature will be available through the live api, meaning that everyone can use this feature in their custom matches and it is not limited to usage in the ALGS.

Player reactions to the Pause feature

Overall, the pro Apex Legends community has reacted positively towards the feature, while some specific uses of the pause in the group matches caused complaints. 

Jack “NiceWigg” Martin called the pause a “W feature” during his ALGS B-Stream, as one of the members of BLVKHAND crashed while the team held a god spot in Ring 5. 

In reaction to a Dev tweet about the new pause feature, the official TSM Twitter account said “W coms”

However, some pro players have criticized the usage of the feature during their games. Christopher “Sweetdreams” Sexton tweeted that his game crashed during Game Two of his group matches and no pause was initiated. 

In one specific case, Dark Zero was wiped out by FaZe in Match Four of Group C vs. D after a pause caused additional technical issues. Some fans believe the pause caused Dark Zero to miss their shots and miss out on winning Match Four. 

Another case in which a pause was not used was in Split Two of the ALGS in July, when OpTic Gaming’s Mark “Dropped” Thees crashed, leading the team to lose their rotate and ultimately ended in Dark Zero winning and getting match point. According to EA, the Pause feature was first available during Split Two, so the lack of a pause caused a fair amount of controversy.

Hopefully the use of the Pause feature will create a more fair competition for all players, though the overall hope is that these game changing server issues will be fixed.

For more information on the ALGS Year 3 Championships, check out our full coverage and for more esports news, check back on esports.gg!