The best teams in pro Apex Legends recently qualified for the $1 million Stockholm LAN at the end of April, which will be the first in-person tournament for Apex esports since September 2019. But only half of the teams who qualified will be provided travel to the event and accommodations from EA while in Stockholm, leaving some players doubtful about their ability to attend.
As awareness of the issue grew, fans and Apex pros vocally questioned the lack of travel funding for the high-stakes tournament today, calling on the ALGS to provide more financial support.
João “KiingZ” Sobral, a Brazilian player recently signed to Xen, was one of the affected players. Although Xen placed fifth in South America’s Pro League, earning them a spot in Stockholm, only the top two teams from the region are provided with travel funding by EA, leaving the Xen roster with tough financial decisions to make.
In a chat with Dot Esports over Discord today, KiingZ further explained their situation: “Basically we have to pay our travel to Sweden, our stay there (hotel or Airbnb), our food…” KiingZ calculated that the airfare would cost more than $6,000. That alone represents a prohibitive expense for the team.
KiingZ confirmed that Xen, the American esports organization that recently picked them up, can’t pay the full costs. Last night, KiingsZ solicited sponsors over Twitter. Late this afternoon, a group of prominent Apex streamers, led by NRG’s Tanner “Rogue” Trebb, offered to fund Xen’s trip to Stockholm themselves.
The Mexican team SCRY was another Pro League squad in a similar situation. SCRY fought tooth and nail in the highly competitive NA Pro League for their spot in Stockholm, outperforming more established teams like Sentinels and Complexity. SCRY, who are free agents, went on the hunt for financial help on social media because their eighth-place finish in North America didn’t entitle them to travel and accommodation reimbursement.
And this afternoon, NRG offered to fund the underdog team.
While some of the best Apex teams are signed to larger organizations that can afford to provide travel and accommodations to their players, many others don’t have that luxury. For them, an appearance in Stockholm, which should be an incredible opportunity, will instead represent a significant financial risk.