“Now that custom lobbies are available for everybody, anything goes!”
Apex Legends has finally added the feature players have been asking for since Season one. Apex private lobbies have arrived with the recent Spellbound Collection Event, which means that the entire landscape of esports has changed for the game. One of the most important and engaging parts of esports tournaments are the casters. They explain the plays, they make the predictions, and most importantly, they bring the hype to each and every game.
We had the opportunity to ask some of the most prominent casters for Apex Legends what they think about the new private lobbies and the future of Apex Legends.
- Jon "Falloutt" Kefaloukos has been a professional caster and host for Apex Legends since 2019. His latest events were casting for the i2022 ALGS Championship in Raleigh, NC and the preliminaries of the upcoming 2023 London Championship.
- Tiffany "SpiderTiff" has been a caster and on-air talent for the past two years. She has hosted for ALGS and has worked on the World Series of Warzone and Call of Duty League: Résurgence Fortune's Keep event.
- Benjamin "ZephyrCasts" Fossitt has been a caster for four years in League of Legends and Apex Legends, with his most recent two years focusing on Apex. Zephyr has casted for ALGS, the Challenger Circuit, Pro League Qualifiers, and Last Chance Qualifiers.
Have private lobbies been a long time coming in your opinion?
Falloutt: "Yes, but if you look at other BR’s it’s on track and pretty exciting."
SpiderTiff: "I think it’s nice that the private lobbies aren’t gate kept and everyone can do them once they drop - so sure. There are a lot of things I’d like to see apex have, and I’m excited that we’re getting positive changes for the community as those creators are the ones streaming the game to bring awareness to it every day. Now buff Pathfinder."
ZephyrCasts: "Custom lobbies have been a staple among several games within the industry and it’s been requested by our community for a very long time. As Apex has continued to grow, I know the process of setting up personal custom lobbies behind the scenes has grown as well. This change not only answers a major demand, but also alleviates a lot of the hard work done behind the scenes from several individuals at EA and Respawn. With that in mind, I think it was inevitable."
For interviews, recap and analysis check out our ALGS Split 1 Playoffs event hub.
How will this help the game grow?
Falloutt: "The overall ecosystem just received a major boost - private lobbies means more grassroots tournaments and opportunities for players to compete in tournaments which increases the size of the funnel for players and fans on their path to falling in love with competitive Apex."
SpiderTiff: "The game will have new eyes on it from tournament organizers looking to put events together and content creators will have the ability to host fun events with their communities. I’d love to see some more hide and seek style community events!"
"Now that custom lobbies are available for everybody, anything goes!"
ZephyrCasts: "Of the tournaments that currently exist in Apex, most target an elite set of players. That group often doesn’t mix with the casual player base that makes up the majority of the game. Now that custom lobbies are available for everybody, anything goes!
The ability to host low level tournaments among your peers. Content Creators crafting new events and special ideas within their fandom. Even dedicated fans who just wanna explore the maps without the pressure of adhering to the standard BR format. There’s so many potential ideas that now cater to a much larger subset of individuals in Apex. This flexibility allows the game to push its audience further, bringing in a potentially massive set of new players."
Do you think this puts Apex back on track with other major esports games?
Falloutt: "I think Apex was already on a great track, personally! I tend to be optimistic but our Champs numbers were insane, Playoffs will be a big test but I’m confident. To answer the question though, I don’t think this will be the big boost needed for Apex to become a tier 1 esport, there’s still work to do there (in game skins, more ways to grow the fan base by building content and brands around pro personalities, etc.)"
SpiderTiff: "In terms of more grassroots tournaments and events, yes. Apex needs more events and eventually LANs outside of the Apex Legends Global Series for more players to get the reps in for competing and new players to find their drive and test their skills. There is a fine line though, because you want those events to be run properly, with the sponsors and prize pools that players deserve, but I think it’s a good start."
ZephyrCasts: "I personally think that grassroot events are a major step in support for games everywhere. Many individuals know me for my work within Apex, but several years before that I spent most of my time involved in the League of Legends community. While a personal anecdote, I saw how custom lobby access within LoL propelled dedicated groups to enjoy the game further and expand their support and understanding for competitive play. I hope to see the same for Apex now with this change."
"Apex needs more events and eventually LANs outside of the Apex Legends Global Series"
Do you think this will increase opportunities for diversity in casting?
Falloutt: "Absolutely it will increase opportunities for diversity in casting, and help with the overall development cycle for new talent in Apex. The opportunity for anyone of any background with any community to host a tournament gives chances for more diverse and different casters to grow. I’ve already chatted with a few aspiring and diverse casters about helping join and mentor them for new tournaments if time allows!"
SpiderTiff: "I think it’s going to be great for people looking to jump into the realm of casting and even observing. As far as diversity in casting - I think Apex has one of the most diverse talent roster in esports, but for new people looking to get their foot in the door and grow through experience and reps this will be perfect. It should jump start creators and other tournament organizers putting together events that will only help Apex as a whole."
ZephyrCasts: "Absolutely! For the last 4 years, Apex has been an incredibly difficult game to cast due to the scarcity of events. Without easy access to lobbies, basic entry tournaments for all forms of talent haven’t existed. Now that anyone can easily host under the right circumstances we should see a whole swath of new individuals representing the game."
"It should jump start creators and other tournament organizers putting together events that will only help Apex as a whole."
What do you think about the player minimum for private lobbies?
Falloutt: "Bit of a bummer but I understand there’s significant technical and financial challenges to private servers for a game like Apex."
SpiderTiff: "I’m not sure exactly what the minimum number of players that is required in order to start the private matches - but it makes sense, other games do have player minimum required to start lobbies. I think they should definitely scale the minimum according to the game mode - if someone is playing Arenas or Control then it should require less.
As far as content creators looking to utilize private lobbies for their communities - if they don’t have enough people to start the lobby, it could drive collaboration with other creators and their communities for nights with customs which could be cool."
ZephyrCasts: "While it does prevent some very simple ideas from occurring, I know this change was made targeting a bigger picture in mind. I’d love to jump into a game as a solo and tinker with the specifics that exist in Apex Legends, but I know how demanding these lobbies can be, working behind the scenes.
I can’t imagine allowing all this free custom access doesn’t come with its own new set of challenges for EA and Respawn respectively. Hopefully in the future we can see these freedoms extended, but for now, this change is a massive improvement for the health of the game."