Apex Legends players got a little extra bit of magic with the first major event of 2023 in the game. Yes, Spellbound will have plenty of cosmetics, the return of Control, and a Seer Heirloom for players to pursue. But it also contains something far more valuable than those things for some people in the community: private matches.
Apex players have long lobbied Respawn for the ability to create and participate in their own private lobbies for some time now. Private games are common in titles like Overwatch, but in Apex, the process of getting access to a private match has been complex for a while now. Instead of just booting up a game and sending a code to their friends, players instead needed to ask EA for a private lobby code and hope access to one was granted to them.
Once you got that code, you could finally start building your own lobby. But typically, these codes were reserved for pro players, tournament organizers, and major content creators looking to host their own tournament or to create their own game mode with custom rules, much like Disguised Toast’s Apex hide-and-seek events.
With the release of the Spellbound event, those restrictions will apparently be gone. Every Apex player will be free to create their own private match whenever they want.
While this is obviously good news for everyone, as access to private matches will allow players the privilege of exploring new maps at their leisure without needing to worry about getting shot at, or to try things out on maps with their friends, it’s particularly great news for the competitive Apex scene. Getting more players access to private lobbies, and therefore the possibility of more scrims and grassroots competitive play happening, is vital to the scene and burgeoning new talent.
Instead of needing to make their way into an actual tournament series to find good practice for competitive Apex, many of which have entry fees that prevent some players from even trying to seek out those opportunities, now private lobbies are free. If you can’t find a tournament or lobby to play in, you can now try creating one yourself and seeing how many people you can get in your match.
The news will also be welcome for smaller content creators who haven’t had the chance to run or stream their own small tournament series as of yet. All in all, private matches should be a big boon to many different facets of the Apex community—provided the servers can handle it all when the feature goes live.
We’ll see when private matches launch alongside the Spellbound event on Jan. 10