NRG’s Sweetdreams wins heavily-criticized $100,000 Samsung Odyssey Invitational

A perfect storm of errors by tournament organizers led to widespread complaints among players and fans.

Screengrab courtesy Samsung

Team Sweetdreams, led by NRG’s Sweetdreams, won the $100,000 Samsung Odyssey Invitational in a landslide Monday night. Sweet’s team beat second place ShivFPS’ Team Shiv by more than 30 points, putting an exclamation point on a victory that some players felt was a foregone conclusion.

Controversy surrounding the event overshadowed the competition, as participants and fans drew attention to the lack of care that went into organizing the high-stakes tournament.

“I play in every single one of these, then immediately regret it,” 100 Thieves content creator Jack “NiceWigg” Martin tweeted, referring to Apex tournaments that allow professionals and amateurs to compete alongside each other. “Bending team rules, all that shit. Community tourneys are horrible.”

Nicewigg wasn’t the only one with a bone to pick. Several other players commented on the poor organization and lack of publicity surrounding the event, as well as the opaque rules that players would be allowed to team up. Some teams, like the winners, fielded three players who are incredibly good at Apex. Other teams had to make do with players either unfamiliar with high-level play or not much experience with Apex at all.

Popular streamer xQc, one of the invited players outmatched by the Apex pros, asked his chat if there was a live broadcast or public standings for the event. He ultimately was able to get the score from his Twitch chat, but most viewers were left in the dark. There was no way to determine how many games would be played and no obvious way to figure out the scoreboard. There was no live broadcast of the tournament.

With more than 100,000 viewers between the top three streamers alone, the event was subjected to a barrage of further criticism on players’ streams and social media.

“The issue is that the people organizing tournaments have no experience in Apex,” TSM’s Phillip “ImperialHal” Dosen said during a break between the games. “This is definitely the most scuffed tournament I’ve ever played.”

At least three invites were offered to team captains at the last minute. Content creator iamBush was asked to play the night before the tournament but turned it down because of the short notice. Pros Beau “RamBeau” Sheidy and Cloud9’s Zach Mazer were also invited. They were told just hours before the tournament’s start that the lobby was full and there was no longer room for them to participate. That wasn’t true, however. When it began, the tournament only featured 16 teams instead of the usual 20.

Despite the numerous problems, the Odyssey Invitational offered a $100,000 prize pool over its six games. $50,000 was awarded to the winners—that’s $20,000 more than the winners of the ALGS NA pro league’s first split received. The issues and the large prize pool just added to the high-profile failures of the Odyssey Invitational.