Apex Legends Casuals Think Pros Are Ruining The Game

Natalie "Wattson" Paquette puts a finger in front of her closed mouth and tells everyone to shut up and play the game.

Apex Legends started its fourteenth season, hunted, this month. The latest content update adds a ton of things to the game, including a different playable character, tweaks to the OG Kings Canyon map, and a level cap increase. While this should be – and probably will be – an exciting time for players of Respawn Entertainment’s battle royale shooter, the community is showing divisions between casuals and pros, each of whose think the other one is ruining the game for everyone.

Launched in February 2019, Apex Legends has since gone through a slew of changes, transitioning to a seasonal model and introducing new characters and weapons, as well as balance adjustments and map fixes to keep things alive. This was in Respawn’s favor as, despite a quirky attempt to convince people to boycott the game before August, the game shattered concurrent player records just this week. That’s tight, except Apex LegendsThe player base is now melting due to a variety of issues from visual disturbances to fight the misery “constant voice spam.” However, one of the biggest complaints that dominate the game’s subreddit is the “trash” matchmaking system that unfairly pits casuals against pros (and other top players in the Apex Predator ranks).

As the name suggests, an Apex Predator is the seventh and highest rank of the game. The top dogs. The best of the best. It is awarded to those who really master it Apex Legends, achieving a ranked points score (RP) of over 15,000 and becoming one of the top 750 players on that particular platform. Apex Predator rank is a tough mountain to climb, but it comes with an assortment of rank-specific cosmetic awards such as badges, charms, and dive trails.

Read more: Apex Legends Destroys records as players urge fans to stop playing Apex Legends

According to a very strongly worded and highly rated post from Redditor Azrael462Respawn should “listen to the community and not the damn” [pro Apex Legends] streamers,” lower-ranked players claim not to play against higher-ranked players, as the game uses skill-based matchmaking (SBMM), a system that requires you to match up with others of the same skill level. Azrael462 stood out even more in the post, saying they were “tired to see ‘champion squad’ [teams] with triple stacked fucking [Predators] or [Master] badges and always fucking lose to them.” A separate Redditor called Ok_Kaleidoscope7434 shared a similar sentimentRespawn asking to “keep ranks together” because mixing and matching skill levels “ruined rank” for everyone.

Casuals aren’t the only ones frustrated about Apex Legends‘ matchmaking, either. Professional players, such as Jacob “HisWattson” McMillin and Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen, seem to agree that season 14 matchmaking failed. Most professionals have pointed to specific issues, including: the self-revival mechanic who just got chopped at the start of this season, saying it’s Respawn that’s ruining the ranking, not them. In the meantime, Apex Legends content creators like Lucky Chappy went on to lash out at pros, calling them “close-minded and selfish influencers” who reportedly complain about everything from both the Arc Star grenades and the Kraber sniper rifle, to demand that Kings Canyon be removed completely out of the ranked game this season.

If one side of the player base is pointing fingers at the other, like That Spider Man meme, it seems that lower-ranked players are teaming up against higher-ranking players to get them out of the game as quickly as possible. In a YouTube video by means of Apex Legends content creator Inqo, you can tell Inqo is being hunted by multiple players because he is simply an Apex Predator, the highest rank of the game. The dead giveaway for everyone in a given match is the fiery diving path pros drop a free fall, a cosmetic item that you only get by reaching the rank of Diamond, Master, or Apex Predator. As soon as Inqo lands, they are immediately chased and executed by a bunch of other rival players who all put Inqo’s corpse in a tea bag to celebrate, illustrating just how much these casuals can’t stand professionals.

Inqo, who participated in the annual Apex Legends Global Series esports tournament in recent years and has “reached the Predator rankings in multiple seasons,” told Kotaku via Twitter DMs that while the current state of matchmaking in public games is fine, the same cannot be said for ranked at this point.

“However, the matchmaking for ranked right now is terrible and is the reason I’m not playing. as anticipation [Predator] you will be put on the board [Platinum] and Diamond lobbies, which is wild and shouldn’t be happening. When I’m pred I enjoy the challenge and don’t want to be on the shelves every game. I don’t think pros or casuals ruin the top, but casuals seem to blame every bad update on pros. As for removing self-res (very glad it’s gone) a lot of casuals just didn’t understand it was ruining the high rank endgame lobbies. And it was the fact that their team would still be alive after killing all three that wrecked it in the endgame. Not that the fact that they could rez themselves. Same with the Kraber nerf, every pro just wanted it to get away from competitive lobbies! We didn’t want a nerf, we just wanted it gone. And casuals don’t seem to understand that.”

Kotaku has contacted Respawn Entertainment for comment.

This is not the first time casual and pro Apex Legends players have blamed each other for supposedly ruining the game. The heated debate sparked posts from casuals on social media last summer, from reddit to publisher EA’s forums, criticized the influence professionals have. Even T-Pain said streamers like FaZe Clan co-owner Nicholas “Nickmercs” Kolcheff were affecting the experience of casuals.

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