EA has taken the next step toward making Apex Legends a full-fledged esport by announcing a $500,000 tournament called the Preseason Invitational. A three-day tournament featuring 80 teams will decide who takes home the grand prize.
Design director, Chad Grenier said, “We continue to explore all the entertaining ways both players and spectators can experience Apex Legends and look forward to bringing this event to life.”
The tournament will be double elimination and everyone invited will take home some prize money. Each team will begin seeded in the winners’ bracket and progress to the next round through their performances. Each round will see some teams drop into the losers’ bracket, while the higher-performing squads will keep going through the winners’. When there are 20 teams remaining, the final battle will begin to see who is crowned “champions”. The winning side will collect $105,000 while the last-placed team will walk away with $4,800 for their troubles.
This step by EA toward serious competition is sullied a bit by the “qualification” process. Instead of having regional qualifiers, as is commonplace in games like CS:GO and League of Legends, players will have to email ApexLegendsPreseason@ea.com and give their Origin account information along with their connected email address. Players will then be invited to the event, which takes place in Krakow, Poland from September 13-15.
Poland has hosted scores of other massive esports events and was home to IEM Katowice Major in CS:GO earlier this year.