With the next year of the Apex Legends Global Series mere weeks away and following an extremely successful end to year two of the tournament series, rumors of conflict between EA and some of the biggest esports organizations in Apex are circulating.
Full Squad Gaming’s Jake Lucky reported once again today that orgs and EA are having difficulty coming to terms with an agreement to bring org-themed skins into Apex, after originally reporting that EA was trying to bring org skins to the game without any offer of revenue sharing. These reports had fuel poured atop them by multiple members of Team Liquid’s competitive Apex team, who today announced that the org was allowing them to field offers from other organizations, suggesting that Liquid was looking to leave Apex.
While not confirming the two issues are related, the responses from Liquid members do make sense in regard to how suddenly it seemed Liquid attempted to move on from Apex when it already had one of North America’s best teams. Shortly after Lucky’s report, Liquid’s IGL Nocturnal made a statement on his stream regarding the team’s standing with Liquid, which did not mention EA and simply said the team “did not get the treatment that they needed.” Whether that treatment was from Liquid, from EA, or another entity was not clear, and Nocturnal did clarify later on that Liquid treated him very well over the course of his three years with the organization.
If Liquid is indeed leaving Apex due to conflicts it can’t reconcile with EA and how it handles its esports scene, it could spell bad news for players and fans of other organizations in the scene. Many large orgs already field professional Apex squads and its LAN events proved the game’s international appeal, particularly in North America and Japan. With an org as large as Liquid seemingly willing to get out of the scene so quickly, the news doesn’t bode well for other orgs fielding ALGS teams.
At present, it doesn’t seem that any other major orgs or their Apex teams have been affected by this reported conflict, which is the good news coming out of this for Apex players and fans. But at the moment, the competitive scene still feels uncertain.
Update Sept. 15 5:41pm CT: Team Liquid has released an official statement on the situation with their Apex squad. The statement includes a note that the org is making the squad “restricted free agents,” and that the decision was not due to “performance” or “behavior.”