Competitive esports are often decided by the smallest margins and the fewest hints of a competitive advantage that some teams can gain over others. It becomes clear in the competition Apex Legends However, community that no one is really sure what is fair and what is not when seeking that advantage.
That apex The community came alive on social media last night after an on-stream conversation from Apex Legends Global Series players, NRG’s Chris “sweetdreams” Sexton and Spacestation’s Mark “DROPPED” Thees. The pair spoke about how some analysts and coaches in the scene access game files to determine invalid end zones, or where it’s impossible for a particular game apex played in ALGS matches to end up on a map.
To some, that sounded like an unfair advantage based on “data mining” rather than just playing the game. For others, it simply means using publicly available information through a process that has been known for some time to get a better understanding of how maps and rings work. Very few people seem to agree on this, and the argument immediately sparked riotous reactions, hot takes, and the inevitable memes about the situation.
For fans trying to keep up with the various threads and conversations, there are two separate arguments here: whether or not accessing the files in this way is allowed in the ALGS ruleset, and whether retrieving this zone information is actually helpful or not.
As most pros have pointed out, any professional gamer who regularly plays and trains under the ALGS build of the game, in which many potential endzones are eliminated from the competition to create fairer and more interesting action for players and spectators, should be able to know , where games take place typically do not End. If you’ve played hundreds of matches over the course of a few months and have never seen an end zone in a certain area of a map, it’s probably because games can’t possibly end there. All professional players naturally carry this knowledge with them to a certain extent.
On the other hand, if changes are made to these “invalid” rings from time to time, teams who can quickly access this information through the game files certainly seem to gain a brief advantage over teams who don’t know how to access the files. The usefulness of the maps created by invalid zones diminishes over time, but they’re almost certainly more helpful than not doing it at all. Otherwise, teams wouldn’t bother to create them.
Then there’s the question of whether teams are even allowed to access and use this information by ALGS. The process of finding invalid zones doesn’t seem particularly difficult, but it definitely requires a bit of technical know-how.
Maps like this have been made by developers for a while. Above all, shrug created one for Storm Point almost a year ago. It appears that these files are readily available and not encrypted or really protected in any way, leading many teams to believe that this is a legal and viable strategy for obtaining information about zones and implementing it in their game plans.
The ALGS ruleset contains rules against accessing and tampering with the game, which are clearly intended to prevent all forms of cheating. It’s just unclear if finding out where zones can’t be placed in public-facing files is some sort of violation of these rules, or if it’s okay.
In any case, players are expecting an ALGS ruling on the matter shortly.
Until then, sit back and enjoy the memes.