Electronic Arts’ Apex Legends Global Series has signed on with Lenovo Legion, who will sponsor competitions through March 2021 by supplying high-performance PCs and monitors. As the official PC and monitor partner, Lenovo Legion will support EA’s battle royale esports players as they compete for more than $3M USD during the season.
Lenovo Legion will supply over 200 PC’s to the series along with 200 monitors and a few laptops for talent. The PC towers for competitors feature Intel 9th Gen processors with NVIDIA GeForce 2070 Super GPUs, while its gaming monitors will provide 144Hz as the standard for series play.
The first Global Series Major takes place from March 13-15, 2020 in Arlington, Texas.
“Battle royale and specifically Apex Legends is a really exciting community to be a part of either as a competitive player or as a fan of esports. We recently eclipsed 70M players, which is great for being able to build a fertile esports ecosystem,” Apex Legends Competitive Gaming Commissioner John Nelson told The Esports Observer. “I think that obviously EA, Respawn and Lenovo all recognize the potential opportunity in working together.”
When looking for potential partners Nelson made sure that everyone knew what was involved, especially the challenges in running competitions. In developing a brand relationship with Lenovo Legion, he laid out the sheer size of the events.
“One of the challenges is the amount of players on the stage competing. We have 60 players competing in our matches. Our first three majors will have 100 teams competing in each. I think the biggest difference [in developing brand relationships] is scale. We are excited about Lenovo Legion powering all of our majors with more than 200 Lenovo Legion desktops and monitors.”
The Apex Legends Global Series will utilize an open ecosystem where players will compete and rise to the top of a points scale by winning or placing high at events. Competitions will take place online as to not alienate those players that may not be able to travel to events.
“We wanted to offer all players around the world the opportunity to compete,” Nelson explained. “Players can test the waters in online competitions or potentially in one of our three levels of live events. We also have challenger events, which are more of a local focus.”
However it is the premier events that will offer the best online performing teams the opportunity to compete against teams from all over the world. Inclusion is a priority for EA, Respawn, and Lenovo Legion, Nelson explained.
“We want to give players that experience and make sure across the globe we have representatives of teams from everywhere coming together. And it’s finding out who truly is the best.”
Matt Bereda, vice president of global consumer marketing at Lenovo is excited to be on board, not only as a business partner but as a fan as well.
“Now all of a sudden the gaming experiences are quite a ways distant from my Atari days that I grew up with,” Bereda recounted. “It’s a lot of fun for people and helping people activate their passions is what’s important.”
And in terms of activations, Lenovo is looking to connect with consumers through a variety of means. Product and logo placements will feature throughout the venue as fans enter the arenas. Additionally, Bereda tells The Esports Observer that fans will be able to play and test games such as Apex Legends on PCs that will be available to the attendees onsite.
Another aspect of the partnership will see Lenovo leverage content from events that can be streamed on socials such as Twitch, Facebook, and YouTube.
“There’s a lot of content that we’ll be able to be shared [on social media platforms]. We’re also looking at other opportunities of being able to take that content and get the word out on Apex, right?” Bereda explained. “Whether that be through content that we could integrate into the PCs as we roll those out or whether we integrate that into advertising or opportunities that we’re continuing to explore.”
Bereda is bullish on battle royale titles and he says market research shows that the genre has been a “big driver” for a new wave of first-time buyers into gaming-specific peripherals.
“And so integration into there is obviously, you know, a real important element and we’re just real excited about talking about actually what we could do with EA, and what really helped them to rise to the surface for us as being a key partner is being able to explore things beyond just the base event.”
Interviews were conducted by Trent Murray.
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