EA and Respawn Entertainment have revealed exactly what the next year of Apex Legends esports will look like, and fans are in for a lot of excitement. As well as confirming that live events will return in ALGS Year 2 if it is safe to do so – yes, that means LANs – EA has added console crossplay and created an amateur league that will run alongside the pro circuit.
The first Apex Legends Global Series season had to be rethought at the last minute due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning that all the planned live events had to be converted to online tournaments. However, Year 2 of Apex Legends esports will try to set the record straight, and improve on last season’s record-breaking viewership.
Speaking with Gfinity, ALGS commissioner John Nelson says that he can't wait for Year 2 - and in particular, the potential return to LAN tournaments. "Without a doubt, the thing I'm most excited for is our potential return to live events," he says.
"There's nothing like that experience of being an an esport event and seeing the players, their reactions, the team camaraderie, and the roar of the crowd. I can't wait to be back in that room with everybody."
READ MORE: Are you ready for Apex Legends Season 10?
Apex Legends Global Series Year 2 Will Have Cross-play And LANs
EA revealed more about its ALGS Year 2 plans during the EA Play Live stream. Here’s a rundown of what went down:
ALGS Year 2 Prize Pool and Schedule
The ALGS Year 2 prize pool will be $5 million. EA has not confirmed whether it will crowdfund the prize pool for major events like it did with the ALGS Championship, but Nelson tells Gfinity he thought the program was an "enormous success."
"At this moment we're announcing the $5 million base prize pool for Year 2," he says, "but at this moment I can't get into any specifics around any potential future prize pool-augmenting programs that we might be working on."
The prize will be fought for across two splits and three live events, culminating in the second ALGS Championship next July. Here is the full schedule, with an explanation of the two splits that replace Year 1’s seasonal circuits:
The first Apex Legends live event of the ALGS era is currently scheduled to take place in January 2022. Here is the full schedule of ALGS Year 2 events:
- Preseason Qualifiers: September - October, 2021
- Preseason Qualifier 1: September 11-13
- Preseason Qualifier 2: September 25-27
- Preseason Qualifier 3: October 2-4
- Preseason Qualifier 4: October 9-11
- Pro League Regular Season - Split 1: October - December, 2021
- Challenger Circuit - Split 1: October - December, 2021
- Split 2 Pro League Qualifiers: January 2022
- Split 1 Playoffs: January 2022
- Pro League Regular Season - Split 2: February - March, 2022
- Challenger Circuit - Split 2: February - March, 2022
- Split 2 Playoffs: May 2022
- Championship Last Chance Qualifiers: May 2022
- Year 2 ALGS Championship: July 2022
While he can't reveal the locations of any live events just yet, Nelson tells Gfinity that, "Apex Legends is a globally popular game, and we're looking to lean into that with our live events - to take our events on the road and have a presence in multiple places around the world."
He is keen to point out that the plans are still at the whim of the world, and that his team are prepared for any eventuality that might see live events taken off the cards once more.
Registration for the Preseason Qualifiers opens on August 18, 2021, and the winning team from each qualifier will automatically qualify for Split 1 of the Pro League.
After all of the qualifiers have been played, the 16 teams with the most cumulative points earned will also qualify for the Pro League. The remaining teams will begin Split 1 in the Challenger Circuit.
ALGS Pro League
The ALGS Pro League is the same Apex Legends Global Series you know and love, just with a lovely new name. There are some differences when it comes to the events, but it’s looking pretty similar.
As well as the 20 teams that make it through the Preseason Qualifiers, 20 more teams will be directly invited. This means 40 teams from each region will compete in the ALGS Pro League. EA hasn’t announced the invited teams just yet, but we expect it to go off the final ALGS rankings at the end of last season.
The 40 teams are then seeded into four groups – similar to how the ALGS Championship worked. Each group will play each other group twice over five weeks of competition (a double round-robin format), meaning that teams play 36 matches over the period. $500,000 of the $5 million prize pool is allocated for each Pro League Regular Season, and the top teams will qualify for Playoffs.
The Split 1 and Split 2 Playoffs each have a $1 million prize pool, which teams will compete for in-person. Live events will continue to use the ALGS' controversial Match Point format, Nelson confirms, saying that it brings "excitement, intensity, and an edge-of-your-seat feeling for fans."
The bottom eight teams, however, will have to fight in the Split 2 Pro League Qualifier against the best Challenger Circuit teams if they want to compete in the Pro League for the second split.
ALGS Challenger Circuit
The ALGS Challenger Circuit is a new addition to the ALGS. The amateur league will run simultaneously with the Pro League, and provide opportunities for teams to qualify for Pro League competitions.
"The Challenger Circuit is going to be really exciting for players of all skill levels who aren't in the Pro League to have that introduction to the ALGS and an opportunity to see how they stack up," says Nelson.
The Challenger Circuit is split into six regions:
- North America
- APAC South
- APAC North
- South America
- Middle East & Africa
As mentioned above, teams that do well in Challenger Circuit 1 will have the opportunity to qualify for Pro League Split 2 via the Pro League Qualifiers, and those that perform best in Challenger Circuit 2 will be offered a spot in the ALGS Championship Last Chance Qualifier.
Year 2 ALGS Championship
The Year 2 ALGS Championship will take place in-person in July 2022, and the top 40 teams in the world will compete for $2 million and the glory of becoming the Year 2 ALGS Champions.
This time there's no regional competitions, so we could see all of the first season's winners face off against one another in the finals.
Cross-play will be enabled for all ALGS competitions in Year 2, so Xbox and PlayStation players will be able to compete against their PC brethren at the highest level for the first time.
To maintain competitive integrity, EA points out that “all controller players will be competing using PC-value aim assist settings, regardless of their platform.”
"I expect to see teams that are made up of multiple platforms - and maybe even all three," says Nelson. For him, opening the ALGS up to more players can only be a good thing to ensure Apex Legends is a truly global esport.
Newly Eligible Countries and Territories
Players from the following countries are now also eligible to compete in ALGS competitions:
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Trinidad & Tobago
That’s everything we know so far about Year 2 of the ALGS, but we’ll keep you informed of any new information as soon as it is released.
You'll be able to read Gfinity's full interview with John Nelson next week.