NRG Aceu believes Apex Legends “cater[s] toward the casual fan base” rather than competitive players

The pro has some suggestions for Respawn.

Image via Electronic Arts

Apex Legends has enjoyed great success in its first year. But recent changes have caused some players to become unhappy with the direction the battle royale is heading in.

NRG Esports’ Brandon “Aceu” Winn has been critical of the current Apex meta, complaining about overpowered Peacekeepers and skill-based matchmaking (SBMM). The pro commented on the state of the battle royale during an interview with Grady Rains yesterday, explaining that Respawn devs “cater toward the casual fan base.”

“It’s like [developers] don’t listen to the actual people playing the game,” Aceu said. “If somebody’s playing your game for 12 hours a day… they’re gonna know what’s wrong with the game, they’re gonna know what the game needs, rather than someone who gets home from work, plays like an hour, and gets off. And it really feels like they’re trying to lower the skill ceiling.”

The pro is likely alluding to SBMM, which places players in lobbies based on your performance in previous games. Respawn introduced SBMM to protect lower-skilled players from being severely outmatched in lobbies, while giving high-skilled players the challenge they need to remain invested. This would theoretically continue to encourage fans to play the game. But SBMM has been an unpopular feature since its debut.

Content creators and pros use normal lobbies to get away from the intense ranked gameplay in Apex Predator. This is also a good way to practice trick shots, new weapons, and create entertaining videos. 

And Aceu feels that SBMM is irrelevant in a game that has a dedicated ranked playlist. During the pro’s Dec. 2 broadcast, he called developers “stupid” for ruining the game with the unpopular feature that’s leading to a decline in Apex’s player base.

But the pro later said he “exaggerated” and acknowledged how passionate devs are about the battle royale.

Aceu did have some suggestions of his own on how to improve the current state of Apex.

“Remove Wattson, she doesn’t need to be in the game,” the player said. “Nerf the Peacekeeper a tiny bit. Lower the maximum damage, it’s ridiculous. Take away skill-based matchmaking, there’s no point to have two different ranked modes. And every legend should be the same size.”

Aceu fans looking to catch some high-level gameplay can tune in to his Twitch channel.