Is Fuse The Future Of Apex Legends Esports?
Who’s the best Apex Legends character? If you said Wraith, you’re probably right (although Valkyrie is trying to take her spot). If you watch the Apex Legends Global Series – the pinnacle of Apex esports where the best pro players juke it out – you might say Gibraltar. If you don’t follow the competitive scene and play a lot of ranked, that answer might confuse you a lot. What might confuse you more, however, is how good Fuse is.
I’m not joking. An Apex Legends player known as WavyKirk used machine learning to assess the results of ALGS tournaments and find, among other things, which Legends perform the best at the highest level, and Fuse came out pretty well. Surprisingly, Gibraltar offers poor value to teams – despite the fact that he nearly always has a 100% pick rate in NA tournaments. Other regions are slowly moving away from the defensive character, but he is still dominant. Bubble fights – where teams strafe in and out of Gibby’s Dome Shield – are also never worth taking, according to the study, as they result in third parties taking out the winner more often than not.
The Kirk Algorithm is a modified version of a football algorithm called the Colley Matrix, and WavyKirk shared their findings on Reddit in a detailed post. As well as finding the difference between controller and mouse and keyboard players (smaller than you might think) and crowning a surprising pro as the best of them all (Phillip ‘ImperialHal’ Dosen didn’t even make the top ten and Konstantin 'Hardecki' Kozlov, despite his incredible Wraith plays, came eighth), WavyKirk answered some questions about popular and less popular Legends.
Gibraltar’s surprisingly poor performance was belittled by a question asked by one commenter: “Gibby players have a low elo average. Is there any character that predominantly had a high elo average? [sic]” And the answer, as you’ve probably guessed by now, was Fuse. Old Fusey boy. The Australian armourer. The beer-loving bombardier. The grinning grenade master. You get the picture, he’s a moustachioed Australian man with a penchant for pints and excitement for explosives. And nobody thought he was very good.
Fuse is great fun to play, don’t get me wrong. His tactical ability fires a handful of micro-nades at opponents, his passive lets him yeet regular throwables further and faster, and his ultimate surrounds a group of opponents in a ring of fire that Johnny Cash would be proud of, highlighting them with Bloodhound-esque wallhacks for good measure. The fire does damage and slows opponents down, but it’s hardly broken – especially when it’s so difficult to accurately aim. There’s no denying that all of those abilities are incredibly fun to use, but few people actually thought they were good, until now.
It’s true, a few pro players have experimented with the explosives expert in the ALGS Season 2. Elwin ‘KSWINNIIE’ Echeveria used him a handful of times, and Furia’s Josh ‘mrhackulo’ Nguyen has been picking him on a regular basis – winning a match with 2,000 damage on the character and ultimately qualifying for Playoffs. It’s worth noting that Furia would not have qualified for the January tournament had it been the planned in-person LAN, but 15th place out of 40 Pro League teams isn’t a bad showing.
Will we see pros take up Fuse after this statistical revelation? His rise is unlikely to be as meteoric as Valkyrie’s, but we could definitely see more players turning to him in smaller tournaments. Teams will likely play it safe for the Playoffs, with so much money on the line, but weekly tournaments, show matches, or even early rounds of ALGS Split 2 could be the proving ground for our Australian underdog.
The ALGS meta can feel stale at times. Wraith, Valkyrie, Gibby. Wraith, Valkyrie, Gibby. Caustic, Valkyrie, Gibby. Wraith, Valk- you get it. Fuse provides a fun alternative for teams to use, much like we saw Loba do incredibly well in the EMEA ALGS Championship in the summer. If he’s competitive, too, then that’s an added incentive.
I understand why ALGS tournaments are sweaty and stick to the established meta, but I hope Fuse can bring some fun to the tournaments in the future. Who knows, maybe we’ll see a team running Fuse, Loba, and Ash at the ALGS Championship next time around. I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
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