Apex Legends 100 Thieves team dropped as competitive scene declines

EA and Respawn Entertainment’s battle royale game took the world by storm when it stealth-launched back in February of this year and introduced a fresh new take on the genre. With its quality-of-life elements like the ping system, fast and fluid gunplay, plus unrivaled traversal mechanics took straight from spiritual sibling Titanfall, the game’s player base and Twitch viewership quickly overtook that of previous king Epic Games’ Fortnite. The tables have since turned back, however, and recent news that the Apex Legends 100 Thieves esports team has been dropped comes as yet another blow to the Respawn battle royale.

100 Thieves isn’t the first esports giant to drop its Apex Legends team, following in the footsteps of Cloud9 and Immortals before it. A unified move away from the game would seem to be a clear indicator that Respawn’s shooter is falling out of favor with competitive as well as casual players. A definite motivating factor in casual fans moving away from Apex has been Fortnite‘s faster-paced updates, as well as its adoption of key Apex Legends features like pinging and respawns, though it isn’t immediately clear why professional teams are stepping away.

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Prize pots in Apex tournaments may not be the esports industry’s biggest, but with the Preseason Invitational and Twitch Rivals TwitchCon San Diego competitions on the horizon—which offer a combined $1 million prize pool—it could still prove to be a lucrative game. Regardless, 100 Thieves went ahead with disbanding their team and announced the news on Twitter, where they wished its members Justin ‘Teenage’ Phipps, Isiah ‘Lifted’ Slowik, and Justin ‘JP2’ Pate the best in their future endeavors.

Elsewhere in the Apex Legends scene, the Iron Crown event recently saw a solos playlist added to the game, though yesterday it was removed to coincide with the event’s conclusion. While fans had been clamoring for a solos mode since launch, the event’s monetization was not at all well received and ultimately led to disparaging remarks aimed toward the community from developers, prompting Respawn CEO Vince Zampella to apologize.