So you want to run a little Apex Legends tournament for your pals in the local computer club, but you don't want to risk the wrath of the EA legal department in the process? Now you can, assuming that you're willing to comply with the newly-posted "community tournament guidelines" that lay out what you are, and are not, allowed to do in your local digital donnybrook.
First and foremost, community tournaments must not be for-profit events. "You may not use Apex Legends to generate revenue except as expressly permitted by these guidelines," the rules state. "EA understands that the running and management of your tournament may require you to incur certain costs, but your monetization plans should aim at covering such costs, not to generate a commercial profit."
You are also not allowed to use EA or Respawn art, logos, or trademarks to promote your tournament, and you must state "in a clear and conspicuous manner" that "this tournament is not affiliated with or sponsored by Electronic Arts Inc."
Your tournament may be streamed, but you are not permitted to generate revenue in excess of $10,000 in total by doing so, and it must not be broadcast on television. Signup fees are allowable but must not exceed $20 per person, and "must be solely to help offset the cost of organising your tournament."
Prize pools of up to $10,000 are allowed, across all events in a calendar year, but prize amounts have to be established ahead of the tournament start date and cannot be based on payments from participants or spectators. Prize pools can be crowdfunded, however, and tournaments can also be sponsored, but not by companies that sell or promote the following:
- Sexually explicit materials, or online dating
- Alcohol, tobacco or medical substances or devices
- Weapons or explosives
- Tattoos or body branding services
- Gambling, wagering or lottery (including fantasy sports sites)
- Political ads or otherwise promoting a political agenda
- Any product or service that is inconsistent with the assigned to Apex Legends age rating for the country in which the tournament is held (e.g. a toy targeting children in Germany where the game is rated 18+)
Finally, the tournament and all participants must abide by EA's user agreement, including its rules of conduct. But since you're playing Apex Legends anyway, you've already read and digested all of that, right?
You may also be wondering how exactly Apex Legends tournaments are possible, given that the game doesn't support private servers or custom matches. It's actually pretty simple: Instead of competing against one another directly, teams play public games for a set period of time and attempt to rack up the highest cumulative score.
In the Twitch Rivals: Apex Legends Challenge in February, for instance, teams played in four-hour windows, earning one point per kill and five points per win. The NA branch of that tournament was won by a team made up of Ninja, Dizzy, and King Richard, who collectively earned 420 points during their four hours. It was, as Chris aptly put it, "basically a competitive pubstomp."