Electronic Arts announced the second year of the Global Apex Legends Series today sports league, which will feature new league formats for professional and amateur players, and a total prize pool of $ 5 million. But the most interesting news of all is that the second year will also bring console players into action, not in their own league, but directly in the PC lion pit.
The addition of Xbox and PlayStation players will bring "a vast majority of our gamers and fans to the same competitive umbrella," EA said. "The battle between controllers and mouse and keyboard is about to reach a new level of intensity!"
Well, anyway. To help offset the inherent advantages of the speed and accuracy of a mouse and keyboard setup, controller players will use "PC value goal setting" settings in competition, which it is approximately 50% weaker than the default resistance of the console. In a recent update, Respawn added a switch so that all platforms could switch between console strengths and PC support. This little help is almost certainly needed to preserve an appearance of balance in battle, but I think it will inevitably lead to questions and complaints (and a lot of ugliness) if a player with a controller wins over a mouse and a mouse. rival equipped with keyboard. (In theory, a PC player could also use a driver, if it thought it helped. For some reason).
Crossplay, which allows PC and console gamers to come together in multiplayer actions, is becoming more common and popular. However, it is still a rarity in professional sports, due to the need for a balanced playing field when there is real money. When Call of Duty League announced yes moving from PlayStation 4 consoles to PC during the 2021 season, for example, ruled that gamers would continue to be restricted to competition controllers; mouse or keyboard were not allowed, despite being on the computer.
Despite the clear potential for headaches, it will be very interesting to see how this cross-platform competition is shaken. My expectation is that it will dominate M&K, which could force Respawn to play with goal assist settings or even set aside console players. But the controller team may surprise us with a few wall-to-wall shots, which, again, could call for action on Respawn if the impression is that console competitors are taking an excessive advantage of their drivers.
Of course, you might be too sad about everything: if this experiment works, it could lead to more widespread cross-platform competition in professional sports. We'll find out in a couple of months: the ALGS Year 2 preseason qualifiers will start in September.