For a "global" series, this season of ALGS sure won't travel very far.
While there was plenty of excitement following the initial announcement of the Apex Legends Global Series heading to London for the first LAN of the competition’s third year, it was quickly followed by confusion. London had been long-rumored to be the next LAN home of ALGS, but no one expected the UK to host all three ALGS LANs in 2023.
However, that’s exactly what ALGS organizers announced with confirmation of the location for the Split One Playoffs, which will take place in early February of next year. And Apex pros were quick to pan the decision to host three separate events for a global series all in one location.
The issue isn’t London itself. The city is undoubtedly a worthy location for an ALGS LAN and there will be several representatives from the UK playing in the tournaments that will take place there this year. The issue is all of the LANs happening in one location. And many Apex pros can only see, as ImperialHal succinctly puts it, a missed opportunity for the game they love.
Pros and content creators alike also openly questioned why the ALGS hasn’t attempted to host a LAN in Japan yet. While there are still questions to be addressed for tournaments in the country due to potential costs and COVID-19 restrictions, Japan is still home to one of the most passionate Apex fanbases around the world.
The recent announcement that the VALORANT Champions Tour would be heading to Japan and Riot’s success in building up their fanbase for the tactical shooter in the country has only exacerbated some of these concerns. While APAC North regularly provides some of the best teams in Apex as well as a great fanbase, the ALGS will finish its second year with LAN events having only held events in Europe and North America, with four of five possible LANs taking place in EMEA.
Other regions with strong Apex ties are missing out with the decision to host all of the year’s LANs in London, as well. North America maintains many of the game’s most popular teams, and successfully hosted last year’s ALGS Championship. Elsewhere, the winner of the last two ALGS LANs, the current roster of DarkZero, hail from Australia. APAC South is another region that hasn’t seen any hint of the ALGS, despite their teams having particularly strong showings in international play. And the IEM Rio Major in CS:GO showcased just how passionate South American esports fans can be, especially when the teams representing their countries are involved.
Placing every LAN in London most likely helps solve some of the issues that plagued ALGS LANs this past year, such as visa problems preventing many players from traveling to LAN events. Still, it doesn’t seem to fit with the international spirit of the ALGS and what it’s supposed to represent.
While plans are firmly in place for the Split One Playoffs (and most likely the playoffs for the second split as well, given the official announcement gave solid dates for that event, too), it remains to be seen if the ALGS will give more of its fans in different places around the world an opportunity to see one of their tournaments live.