The #SaveApexRanked movement sprung to life on social media yesterday and became a trending topic overnight. Numerous high-profile pros and streamers backed the hashtag alongside their pleas for Respawn to take meaningful action against the rampant cheating in Apex Legends’ competitive mode.
Although the hashtag is new, the demands for better anti-cheating measures are nearly as old as Apex itself. The #SaveApexRanked movement combines the voice of players who feel that Respawn’s initiatives to combat hackers are insufficient.
How did it start?
NRG’s Chris “sweetdreams” Sexton ignited the movement with a TwitLonger post called “Empty Promises and False Hope” on June 28. The pro went over the rampant cheating issue in the battle royale—which, according to him, isn’t restricted to any region and has been going on for several months.
The movement is a reaction to a tweet by Respawn that promised a few measures to “crack down on cheating” in the game, including hiring more personnel to help with manual bans and developing tools to improve detection of cheats and DDoS attacks. “Don’t let Respawn’s tweet about intentions to help ranked fool you,” Sweet wrote in response. “We have heard these [things] multiple times in the past with NO results.”
High-profile pros and content creators adopted the hashtag to share their own frustrations with the way Respawn has implemented anti-cheating measures. Alliance’s John “Hakis” Håkansson wrote that “Ranked has been unplayable for too long” and that “we need actions not words.” NRG streamer Tanner “Rogue” Trebb said that “cheaters and DDoSing control the entirety of my career, my goals within the game, and the ability to even stream.”
The hashtag made it to Twitter’s trending topics overnight, a display of widespread dissatisfaction with Respawn’s insufficient efforts to curb cheating.
Respawn director of comms Ryan Rigney acknowledged that Sweetdreams had some “very valid complaints.” “We’ve gotta crack down on the cheating and make real progress,” he wrote. “Actions are needed, not just words.”
Some adopters criticized the response, however, citing Respawn’s perceived inability to obtain meaningful results despite months of efforts. “You can’t be upset at wording when all efforts to prevent cheating have come up short,” Snip3down responded.
The #SaveApexRanked movement is the culmination of months’ worth of dissatisfaction and frustration with Respawn’s insufficient measures to combat cheating. Hackers are hardly a new addition to Apex, but the situation seems to have deteriorated in the recent months with a series of ordeals chipping away at pros and streamers’ tolerance.
A brief history of Apex‘s cheating problems
Sweetdreams’ TwitLonger (and the closest thing to a manifesto for the #SaveApexRanked movement) mentions that this is “about the 8th or 9th consecutive month of cheating and [DDoSing]” being the main issue on the ranked ladder. There are a series of perpetrators, but arguably none of them are as infamous as the hacker known as “Tufi.”
Tufi would purposefully cross paths with several streamers and disrupt their games with the use of cheats and DDoS attacks. The hacker was allegedly involved with a DDoS attack that stopped a GLL tournament in April.
Tufi terrorized the ranked scene for months. His consistent efforts to throw a wrench into the works of competitive matches earned him the ill repute of the “God” of Apex because he was nearly unstoppable. Respawn and EA have reportedly engaged in legal action against Tufi, according to Rogue—“he’s currently dealing with legal shit and I’ll keep it at that,” he wrote. At the time, Dot Esports reached out to Respawn, who declined to comment based on an inability to comment on legal action.
Tufi was hardly the only individual involved in disrupting ranked gameplay, though. Hackers, according to sweetdreams, will queue up into matches and use cheats to win the game—or take out the entire server with a DDoS attack if they die.
The persistence of the problem helps brew frustration among those who grind ranked and that feeling is compounded by Respawn’s perceived inactivity or inability to fix the situation. Nokokopuffs wrote in April that there were months’ worth of proof of cheaters “with no word/post or acknowledgment of the matter” on Respawn’s end. At the time, Rigney replied that Respawn was “trying every avenue (technical, legal, etc.) right now to see what we can do to fix it.”
The #SaveApexRanked movement gained the spotlight overnight and almost instantly, but the conditions that led to its creation—a rampant cheating problem and a perceived inability by Respawn to handle it—have been brewing for months.