In only a few days, the Apex Legends Global Series will be back on LAN. For the first time in 2023, players from all across the world will fight to find out who the finest Apex squad on the planet is.
There are returning champions looking to defend their crown, old gods ready to return to the top, and a new crop of young players eager to stake their claim. But with so many teams coming from all different areas, it can be a bit difficult to know exactly who to follow and cheer for, or what teams to look out for when they square up with your favorite squad.
So, to break down all the possibilities, we created a tier list preview for some of the teams you should be paying attention to this weekend. All teams technically have the possibility of winning the bulk of the $1 million prize pool, but that doesn’t mean all teams are created equal.
The following tier list isn’t ordered within tiers. Instead, it just seeks to group together teams that we think will perform at a somewhat similar level heading into the Split One Playoffs. It also lists all teams originally slated to participate, although some teams listed might end up not competing due to visa issues.
The teams in the S tier stand solidly at the top of their regions, with consistent success domestically and prior experience in international LAN environments. The hard favorites to win the tournament, each of these teams defines their regions and sets the gold standard for how competitive Apex should be played.
TSM and XSET sit at the top of North America, never ending in the bottom half of all match days in Split One and finding success in the 2022 Championship with seventh and 12th-place finishes, respectively. Fnatic lead APAC North after a fourth-place finish in the 2022 Championship, holding first in all domestic leaderboards from kills, placement, top-10 and top-five finishes, and games won. Aurora combine constant pressure and aggression with unique legend picks that include Caustic, Wraith, Mad Maggie, and Catalyst. Their compositions are tailored to counter the current meta and Aurora have found major success on both maps with their unreplicable playstyle centered around specialist legends.
- Vexed Gaming
- Fire Beavers
- The Guard
- Crazy Raccoon
A-tier teams should certainly make the final round, and it wouldn’t be terribly surprising to see one of these teams win the whole thing, either. They might not have shown the same consistent excellence as some of the teams in the S tier that are our favorites, but they also should be taken seriously as contenders.
These teams can generally be lumped into two groups: there are the very consistent squads whose playstyle maybe limits some of their “big point game” potential and there are the teams that have shown they can succeed with a more volatile, fight-happy style and rely on huge point swings even if they have a few duds. Acend and The Guard are quintessential examples of that first group, and that makes sense considering both teams use Crypto on at least one map. They’re teams that stay consistent by almost always getting to the best spots in the final zones and earning high placement points. On the other hand, there are teams like Vexed, Luminosity, and Cray Raccoon who love to get points from gathering big-kill games. Vexed in particular will be an impartial fan’s favorite team to watch, with a massive 66 percent of their Pro League points in Split One coming from kill points.
Finally, three teams of note are Fire Beavers, NRG, and DarkZero. All three teams had their struggles during the first split of Pro League, but all three also impressed in their regional final and have built solid momentum leading up to the Split One Playoffs. A better Pro League day or two for all of these teams probably would’ve vaulted them into S tier easily, and they’re serious threats to win it all in match point format.
- Spacestation Gaming
- Team Singularity
- iG International
- Iron Blood Gaming
- ENETER FORCE.36
- 100 Thieves
- Oxygen Esports
- Moist Esports
- NorCal Esports
B tier is the most populated tier on our list, and therefore it’s the hardest to pin down. Some of the teams in the B tier will end up in the final. Some of the teams in the B tier might be eliminated before teams in the D tier are. Some teams here might even have a shot to win the entire thing. By and large, these are teams that can hang with the top dogs but also have the propensity for a bad day or two to derail things entirely.
Take Team Singularity, for example. They’re far and away the toast of South America this year, and last year were one of the top teams heading into the bracket stage of the ALGS Championship. But a few bad performances knocked them out of the final completely. On the other hand, Sen—uh, Spacestation, that is—don’t have incredible peaks all the time, but they’ve also come agonizingly close to becoming ALGS Champions the last two years in a row.
While they might not be favorites to win, these are all teams that should be taken seriously. And the amount of teams in the B tier that could feasibly win the Split One Playoffs just goes to show how far competition in Apex has advanced over the last couple of years.
- Esports Arena
- ONIC Esports
- DEWA United Esports
- Exo Clan
C-tier teams find themselves struggling against their regional contemporaries, showcasing potential in some aspects of gameplay but often being held back in others. Success for these teams can be considered as surviving to the grand finals, but these teams can still play spoiler to any tournament hopes when match day comes.
Esports Arena find themselves in an interesting predicament, with a strong end to their Split One performance in NA, having won the regional finals in a record five games. But Caprah, ESA’s Valkyrie, came under scrutiny after his toxicity was publicly revealed and he was taken out of the starting roster. Subbing in for the playoffs is Cody, who last played professionally in January 2022, potentially hindering the roster’s cohesion on LAN. GØDFIRE’s 1Worst stands out as the second-highest player in South America for points, but throughout all of Split One, the team didn’t win a single game. K1CK won South America’s regional finals but showed a clear deficit in top-five match results compared to rivals Team Singularity and NorCal Esports.
Although the teams in the C tier have noticeable cracks in their armor, each can still make a huge difference in deciding the final 20 teams in the grand finals. Each of the teams at the playoffs have proven that success is not impossible, but the chances look slimmer for C tier and below, who are sometimes outclassed in different ways.
- GHS Professional
- ganbare otousan
- FC Destroy
The teams in the D tier rank the lowest in their regions and lack the standout results their competition earns. All teams here suffer from one major problem that handicaps their performance, from weak regional placements to disappointing end-game statistics. For these teams to survive the bracket stages, identification and immediate fixing of their issues are needed.
Ganbare otousan uses Mad Maggie on World’s Edge for aggressive pushes on bunkered zone teams but fails to close out end-game situations, never having won a game with this composition. FC Destroy, while running a more traditional composition of Horizon, Seer, and Valkyrie, also struggles with top-five scenarios, making 13th during Split One but only winning a single time on Storm Point, showcasing a clear map weakness for both of the teams. GHS Professional are one of the two teams entering the playoffs that still uses Gibraltar for both maps, which easily leads to problems in a Seer and Crypto dominated meta, where Center of Attention and Drone EMP can destroy the safety of reviving in the Dome of Protection.
In the end, any team can play spoiler to a favorite at any given moment. But the teams in this last tier will surpass all expectations of them if they wind up playing in the final on Sunday, Feb. 5.
The ALGS Split One Playoffs begin on Feb. 2.