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An In-Depth Analysis Of The ESPN Apex Legends EXP Invitational
The hero shooter battle royale by Respawn Entertainment, Apex Legends, has just concluded its largest esports event: the EXP Invitational. Team SoloMid (TSM) was crowned as the ultimate champions of the battle royale.
The recent EXP Invitational gave players a great look at how the pros play. If you missed it, you can catch all the action from both days here.
The Apex Legends meta is constantly shifting thanks to changes and tweaks the devs slipped in to further improve the game. One does not need to look hard to see these changes, just look at the new hop-ups which proved to shake the meta when it was first introduced in Season 2, and it was extensively used by the pros.
Let’s see a breakdown of what the EXP Invitational pros ran for their matches.
The most popular Legends over the weekend was undoubtedly Wraith, Wattson and PathfinderÂ with more than 5 teams running the same lineup to great effect. Tempo Storm, Sentinels, TSM, Reciprocity all ran this lineup, to name a few teams.
Variations of the lineup were also seen, often swapping one Legend to another such as Lifeline for her quick healing potential.
This connects well with data back from Season 1, pointing out the most picked Legends back then.
Before Wattson was launched, the defence Legends saw minimal usage across matches due to their huge hitbox and subpar abilities.
So, is the Wraith, Wattson and Pathfinder lineup the ultimate winning combination? The answer is “yes”, but with a small caveat.
First of all, let’s see what these Legends bring to the table. Wraith has great survivability and provides decent mobility while granting valuable invincibility to teammates all around.
The same goes to Pathfinder, albeit without the invincibility. In a game where mobility is paramount, these two Legends are S-tier despite receiving 5% more damage with the Low Profile perk, which doesn’t really matter as long as the player is dodging and darting while shooting.
These Legends can also provide flanking routes and escape plans through their abilities. I’d say they’re perfect for high-octane battles that are abundant in Apex Legends.
Wattson, the latest addition to the Legends roster, saw a lot of screentime during the EXP Invitational. This is because of a few interesting points of interests. Firstly, she can barricade buildings, denying exit or entry. Secondly, her ult is a godsend in the last circles where battles are fought right in the open with scarce cover.
Wattson’s fences can deny potential flanking routes when deployed properly while forcing opponents to go into her squad’s kill zonesÂ to deal with the situation. Right off the bat, it is clear why Wattson is the superior defence legend compared to the other two; Gibraltar and Caustic, in which both require very strict situations to shine.
Her ultimate can provide great cover against ordnance and throwables, especially when cover is a premium in those late-game scenarios. While mobility is important, taking cover is another important factor in clinching a win.
In short, this lineup has a good balance between turtling and mobility.
Even the Season 1 data shows Wraith and Pathfinder, alongside Lifeline, taking the Top 3 spot for win rate.
This strong lineup has a few caveats, such as it is very loadout dependant, meaning you need to loot properly to dish out optimal damage since there is no damage-dealing ults nor offensive tactical abilities.
Wattson also has no escape abilities, often relying on her teammates to get her out of sticky situations. This also means hot-drops are deadly for her and her teammates.
Does this mean other heroes that weren’t picked aren’t viable at all? Short answer: It really depends.
The long answer: Well, in a purely competitive environment, their abilities aren’t as helpful as the top three used Legends over the weekend. Let’s put Caustic in example; his Nox gas is painful and obscures opponents’ vision, yes, but it also slows down and obscures all your teammate’s vision too, effectively negating all advantage of bringing numbers into a fight.
Another Legend that wasn’t picked at all was Bangalore. Her skill set isn’t as valuable as the others in terms of competitive matches. Not to mention, her ult, Rolling Thunder, is just a joke, dealing close to no damage and has a long delay, giving enemies ample time to relocate.
But who are we to say no to your playstyle, if you enjoy playing as the less popular Legends, then, by all means, please continue. I enjoy playing Caustic once in a while.