Electronic Arts will kick off a new esports league early next year called the Apex Legends (opens in new tab) Global Series that will see players from around the world competing for a prize purse of more than $3 million. Competition will be open to all players who meet eligibility requirements, with online tournaments leading to live, regional Challenger Events and global Premier Events, and ultimately the Apex Legends Global Series Majors.
There will be four Majors held throughout the year: The first three will pit 100 three-player squads against each other for a share of a $500,000 prize pool per event, while the fourth will feature the world's top 60 teams in a grand finale battle with a $1 million prize pool at stake. All four Majors will operate under the "Match Point" rules introduced in September at the Apex Legends Preseason Invitational (opens in new tab): Instead of a straightforward last-man-standing battle, squads must accumulate points, based on kills and placement, over successive rounds. Once a squad earns enough points, Match Point is activated and the next win by that squad grants overall victory.
The trick is that other squads can continue to earn points and become Match Point eligible at the same time, which means that teams must play consistently throughout the tournament and be able to seal the deal when the time comes. As the Washington Post (opens in new tab) reported in October, it can be a grind for players because there's no limit to the number of matches played before a winner is declared—it took 11 rounds in a row for Team SoloMid to win the Preseason Invitational—but it's also very exciting for spectators.
"Competition is at the heart of Apex Legends," Respawn Entertainment boss Vince Zampella said. "We expect that esports will play a big role in the future of Apex Legends and it all starts here, with the Apex Legends Global Series. We look forward to seeing who, out of our millions of players, will become true legends of the arena."
The first online Global Series tournament will take place on January 25 and 27, with registration (opens in new tab) set to open in early January. More online qualifiers are set for February and March, while the first Major, which will be held at Esports Stadium Arlington, is scheduled to take place March 13-15. Full details and official rules can be had at playapex.com (opens in new tab).