The departure of the Team Liquid Apex roster has been officially confirmed, despite the team sitting in first place in the ALGS Pro League
Team Liquid's Apex roster has officially departed the organisation, after their contracts expired. They were made available to other offers back in September but have continued to represent Team Liquid until today.
Brandon "Nocturnal" Singer and Brandon "FunFPS" Groombridger will now be free agents. They have competed with Nicholas "sSikezz" Odom in recent months but he has never officially signed with Team Liquid.
This news comes just as the ALGS Pro League reaches it's conclusion. Team Liquid sat in first place overall in the ALGS Pro League as their departure was announced.
Why release such a successful roster?
The question on everyone's mind is, and has been since Septembers announcement, why release such a talented roster? Currently set to win Pro League, and qualify for the ALGS Split one Playoffs, Team Liquid are one of the best teams anywhere in the world.
In their lengthy goodbye post to the Apex community, Team Liquid explain that this decision was because "On the financial side of things, the ALGS and how it is moving forward with monetization for teams simply doesn't fit with our operations, and so we need to take our leave, though we take no pleasure in doing so."
Sources indicate that this decision came because of a bust up over team skins. Dataminers discovered ALGS team branded skins for legends and weapons in the files several months ago. It is understood that EA had implied, or promised, to teams that they would receive a revenue share of 'their' skin when it was released in game. But, recently that was changed. There has also been a similar row recently between EA and top content creators who also felt aggrieved at a backtrack on their own revenue share from creator skins.
In the replies to that tweet, top professional player HisWattson also hinted that there was an issue with org skins. It seems clear now what that issue is, and the impact it is having on the Apex eco-system.
Team Liquid cut down Apex content
The Team Liquid blog post goes onto say that "We had a number of great content pieces planned that would let the squad—and their fans—shine. We had to cut these pieces down early due to the shift in direction of the ALGS. We do regret missing the opportunity to highlight this superstar squad—and our talented Apex staff."
It is very clear that this decision had nothing to do with the results of the roster, and everything to do with finances. Sources told esports.gg back in September that the Team Liquid roster had rejected reduced terms, now the further details emerging confirm that Liquid had to scale back it's Apex budget.
Will the ex-Team Liquid Apex roster find a new home?
Surely, a team as successful as this roster will easily find a new home. Yet, it doesn't seem to have been that easy. Despite their successes, they have been searching for a new home since September - with seemingly no results until now.
Team Liquid are joining Cloud9 in departing Apex Legends. It seems to be a difficult time for the esport. Multiple major organisations leaving, both citing financial reasons, could indicate that other organisations might be hesitant to enter the esport. Of course, this comes with a background of worldwide global economic downturn, high inflation and plenty of uncertainty. With EA reportedly removing alternative revenue share options for teams, is Apex an attractive proposition?
What is attractive is the team's results. This roster is guaranteed a space at the ALGS Playoffs, which will have a $1 million prize pool. They will be a major contender in the second split of Pro League, and could easily make all 3 LAN events in ALGS year 3. In 2022, the Team Liquid roster has earned almost $250,000 in prize money.
It seems that their position as a LAN qualified team has earned attention from a major organisation. Team Liquid tweeted that they have "found a new home". But, it is hard to ignore the warning signs that this is a tough period for the esport.