Facing off with Fortnite, Apex is turning to esports

August 26, 2019


Fortnite soared to the top of the video game world when it launched in 2017. Electronic Arts’ “Apex Legends,” a similar free-to-play battle royale game, where players fight until the last squad standing, eclipsed “Fortnite” in online views in February.

Apex’s victory was short-lived, and Fortnite surpassed its viewership the following month. Now EA has plans to get Apex back on top once again. The company is betting competitions of professional and amateur gamers — known as esports — will broaden Apex’s audience.
New features and esports deals
EA made a big play to bolster Apex’s esport credentials in June when it announced a deal with ESPN to allow college and professional esports players to compete in Apex games at two events over the summer.
The game also added a new competitive mode Tuesday that ranks gamers based on how many wins and kills they can pull off. Fortnite implemented a similar competitive-ranking mode in March.
“Pro teams typically scout from the upper echelon,” said Chris Hopper, head of esports for North America at Riot Games, which develops “League of Legends,” one of the biggest esports titles. “But they also find up-and-coming talent in the ranks immediately below.”

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