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Apex Legends: 2021's Emerging Meta Dethrones Wraith and Wattson

Move out Wattson, as Caustic is the main tank dominating the current and the future Apex Legends meta.

The 2021 esports season of Apex Legends has begun. Respawn Entertainment’s mid-season patch is out, Esports Arena is underway, and teams are preparing for the new ALGS Winter Circuit. While we are only days into the new year, it seems like there is already a developing meta that may see Apex Legends’ meta change once again.

On January 6, 2021, the Esports Arena hosted their first event of the year. The Esports Arena hosted their ninth tournament of the Series E Season 1 event. Both North American competitors and European competitors took to the servers in their opening event back. While the Esports Arena tends to be a minor event on the calendar, this event earned some additional spotlight.

The recent Apex Legends patch – Fight Night dropped, bringing some balance and game design changes. Respawn Entertainment mentioned in the patch notes they only fine-tuned some Legends and never meant to reshape the metagame; although the new feature may have inadvertently done that.

The patch notes explain that they are changing the way rings work in the late game. The sixth ring takes longer to collapse in itself with the removal of the seventh ring. Naturally, there is more space to play around in the late game, and there is a natural progression onwards the circle’s center.

Redefining the Meta

It seems like the new circle changes have perhaps redefined the meta. The slowly collapsing sixth circle and bigger 5th circle means there is more space to play. Teams don’t have to compete for vital map positions as much, meaning fights play out differently. Because of these changes, there is now much more value on different Legends.

Gibraltar allows teams to feel safe in open terrain and work out where to go when fights happen. A Caustic and Crypto comp is strong as it means players can play aggressively and push map features and Gibraltar setups. Another popular comp involving Wraith and Bloodhound still exists, with teams like Sola Fide and Sentinals opting to a variant of that composition. Furthermore, the map rotation changes in the later rings mean these comps can spend their time well. These teams can opt to rotate late and find favorable advantage spots with the increased ring space and slower closing ring speeds.

One thing to note is some teams won games without a single Wraith. Wraith loses some value as her portals are not as vital for quick rotates in bigger and slower closing rings. Her ult still has value, especially for slower-moving comps or for aggressive teams. The trajectory, for now, implies Wraith’s 100% pick rate is out the window.

On a more surprising note, teams like LG earned a game win with Loba, with other teams like Apple Tarts opting for Loba as well. The idea is that Crypto’s ability nukes the enemies’ shield on the body or placed on the ground for less than ten seconds. If players keep their main armor on the floor, then Loba can potentially Black Market their Red armor or EVO in the ultimate heist. On a final note, TSM played Caustic, Gibraltar, and Horizon, opting for that wombo combo from their ult synergies.

While the meta is not set in stone, it seems like the majority of these comps have a place in the future metagame. It will be interesting when Scrim broadcasts resume, and teams begin competing in the ALGS Winter CIrcuit beginning January 17.

Featured image via Respawn Entertainment.

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