EA has chosen not to pay expenses for all 40 teams in their upcoming Apex LAN event. This has caused a huge stir and is clearly not a step in the right direction for the ALGS.
*UPDATE* March 30th 8pm EST - EA reacts to criticism
After publication of this article and other feedback regarding the lack of funding for half of the teams qualified for the Apex LAN Major, EA has now made a u-turn and will be covering travel expenses for all "starting players (3-man roster).
Article prior to EA's announcement:
The Apex Legends community has come together today to call out EA for their stingy offerings to the LAN teams. 40 teams have qualified for the LAN in Sweden, the first in over 2 years for Apex.
Although, unlike most other esports, developer EA is not paying for travel or accommodation for all of the teams. Instead they are only paying the flight and hotel for 50%.
This means 20 teams who qualified for the MAJOR will have to self-fund the trip of their entire roster and any support staff they might have.
While the prize pool for the Major is $1 million, 21st-40th place finishers will earn $6,000 or less, making the lack of support rather ridiculous.
Prize money distribution for top 20 finishers at the Apex LAN in Sweden:
- 1st - $250,000
- 2nd - $150,000
- 3rd - $100,000
- 4th - $80,000
- 5th - $60,000
- 6th - $45,000
- 7th - $36,000
- 8th - $30,000
- 9th - $24,000
- 10th - $18,000
- 12th-15th - $12,000
- 1th-20th - $9,000
Prize money for 21st-40th finishers at the Apex LAN in Sweden:
- 21st-25th - $6,000
- 26th-29th - $5,100
- 31st-40th - $4,500
Cruel policy hurts teams who need support the most
What is perhaps the most frustrating about this decision, is how they are choosing the teams they support with funds. In the 3 biggest regions (EMEA, NA and APAC N) where 10 teams qualify, the top 5 teams are getting support. In the two smaller regions (APAC S and SA) the top 2 of the 5 qualifying teams get support. Plus, the team with the most overall points from any region.
This means that most of the teams who get support, are not the teams who need it. The best teams, have the biggest orgs. Yet it has been teams like SCRY in North America who don't have an org who are left scrambling to find the funds.
No Apex LAN funding for coaches
Further to this, EA's funding is only for the 3 players on the roster. No coaches, staff or support are funded at all on any team. This further hurts small teams who may even have secured their top 5 and have funding, unless they can find extra cash, their coach stays at home.
Plus, regions outside of EMEA/North America are given a lot less spotlight. Their events are not streamed on the PlayApex channel. Their tournaments have less prize money, and subsequently they get a lot less attention from organisations.
EA's ruling that orgs can only have one team in any region has put a further stop to smaller regions getting attention from major orgs. These regions should get more support, not less.
Apex LAN should be a spectacle of the best teams
Apex LAN is so long awaited. This event in Sweden should be a spectacle. For over 2 years, fans have been speculating hypothetical matchups. All week, casters on PlayApex have been discussing how all the different regions have different metas.
All 40 teams have to be there. This event needs that level of competition. It is time for EA to stop underfunding their competitive Apex scene.
ImperialHal: This is a complete joke
As ImperialHal pointed out on twitter, Apex is totally out of step with other esports. Even FIFA, an EA esport pays for all the players to attend.
One of the worlds best FIFA players, FNATIC Tekkz won his first major in Barcelona aged 16. He has since gone on to dominate the esport, signing for F2 then FNATIC. Imagine if he missed out on that LAN in Barcelona due to finances.
Alliance Hakis commented on Twitter that Apex should be all about the underdog.
Who could be missing their big break at Apex LAN due to finances?
Huge Apex Legends revenue makes this decision hard to understand
Of course, funding the other 20 teams would cost more money. However, Apex reportedly makes around $1billion per year. The competitive scene drives revenue, and could drive even more if Apex finally introduced team cosmetics like Halo has done.
Through COVID, Apex competitive has stalled. A great game and an amazing competitive scene has lacked that Apex LAN event to really turn heads. The 'Pro' League of 40 teams in each region only pays prize money to the top 20 - meaning that a lot of Pro players work 9-5's or stream alongside.
Now, Apex is faced with an Apex LAN that does not have the best 40 teams worldwide - because some teams cannot afford to attend.
If Apex wants to establish itself as a top tier esport alongside Fortnite, CS:GO, Valorant they need to put the required investment into the scene and stop disrespecting their hardworking players. Apex has a unique game and an amazing community. It's time EA delivered an amazing esport to go alongside.
There is a community petition, started by Naturesbless, calling on EA to change their rules on who gets funding. Sign here.