Apex Legends’ Season 7 is here, and a wave of bans has come alongside its new map and character. Over 400 players have been banned from the game across all platforms for exploiting a glitch that allowed high-level players in the game’s ranked mode to play with—and presumably dominate—newcomers.
As reported by PC Gamer, Conor Ford of the Apex Legends security team announced on Twitter that 419 Diamond+ rank players have been banned for using a glitch to play in Bronze rank lobbies. (Correction, 5:37pm—Ford reached out Kotaku to clarify that, as stated in the tweet, banned players were Diamond+, which includes Diamond, Master and Predator ranks. We’ve updated the article accordingly.) Apex’s ranked mode is divided into tiers that require RP, earned based on match performance, to progress through. Bronze is the starting level, while Diamond is several tiers higher and a much more rarefied group; as PC Gamer notes, only about 2% of players were Diamond rank at the end of the last season. Diamond and above ranked players were able to matchmake into the lower Bronze lobbies to earn some easy RP against newcomers.
The exploit doesn’t appear to be new, and this is just another variation of the smurfing (higher-ranked players getting into lower-ranked matches) that plagues online games. Still, it’s nice to see developer Respawn take some action to make the game more fair for everyone.
On the Apex Legends subreddit, players cheered the bans and the game’s security team. Others lamented that exploits like this still exist in the game at all. And one player said what we’re all thinking: “I’m unsure which upsets me more. That 419 people decided to abuse the game in order for a false sense of skill and gratification, or that we were 1 person off the funny weed number.”