The owner of Esports org Athaim shares his thoughts on the Apex Legends competitive scene and the future of the organization

Nafiu Aziz
By Nafiu Aziz
5 Min Read
Image Credit: Respawn/ Athaim

Recently we had the absolute pleasure of sitting down with Damilola Akinleye who is the owner of Esports organization Athaim.

Athaim recently changed their whole Apex Legends roster with fresh new faces. While they competed in the Apex Legends tournaments with a fully Russian squad in the past, the new squad consisting of mostly Australian and Thai players will be competing against the very best in the upcoming LAN tournaments when the world returns to normal.

Furthermore, we also talked a lot about how 2020 affected the Apex Legends Esports scene in general. And how Athaim plans to expand in the near future with more than just Apex Legends, Sim racing, and Brawl Stars.

This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

Can you tell us more about yourself and your role in Athaim as an Esports organization?

I’m the Founder of Athaim. I wanted to build this organization into a competitive gaming platform and also a lifestyle brand.

Unfortunately, 2020 has not been a great year for LAN tournaments. Would you say it affected the Apex Legends professional scene in a negative way as it canceled some of the biggest LAN tournaments?

Yes, it has affected lots of plans, Apex Legends had in building the competitive scene. They had Lans with prize pools from $500,000 to more than a million dollars. Lots of teams were expecting to compete for that share. Their competitive platform has switched to online, with teams only playing in specific regions.

Even if LAN comes back next year do you still think it’s going to have the same amount of hype it had back in the pre-season invitational Poland?

It will have more, the top players have grew a bigger following and have improved their gameplay. The level field of competition regionally has been raised. I see it having over 100,000 live concurrent viewers.

How confident are you with your current Apex Legends roster consisting mostly of Australian and Thai players since you already had a lot of roster shuffles?

I feel they will do very well on Lan, they still have lots of mistakes to correct but I feel this team is our best roster compared to the past.

I feel our region has the toughest competition and most creative. When Lan arrives we will be more dominant than the other regions.

“I would put APAC North > APAC South> EU > NA > SA> MEA”

What does Athaim usually do to lift up players’ morale as it can be really difficult to compete in high-level tournaments?

It really depends on the players you have, personally, I feel it’s better sometimes to not talk about negative situations because it lets players not worry. That’s our approach, we learn and move on, no prep talk, no motivational speech.

High-level tournaments are stressful as is, playing in a relaxed state with less worry brings better results.

Do you see VALORANT being a big threat to the future of Apex Legends or both of them can co-exist peacefully?

Nope, I see it coexisting peacefully, same way csgo co-exist with call of duty. Valorant isn’t a battle Royale and has a slightly different skill base. The top Valorant players are built differently, former csgo players, and top 1% overwatch players. Many apex players have tried to compete in Valorant, especially in NA, and ended up coming back to Apex Legends due to the skill gap too big. There are a few success stories such as zombs on sentinels but most came back to Apex. Apex has a different skill gap, mastering map rotation, character abilities, cross-play with controller and etc.

Except for Sim racing and Apex Legends what lies ahead for the future of Athaim?

We are Also competing in Brawlstars, also plan to come back to CSGO in the future. Maybe Valorant, we shall see.

Nafiu Aziz is an avid gamer and a writer at GameRiv, covering Apex Legends, CS:GO, VALORANT, and plenty of other popular FPS titles in between. He scours the internet daily to get the latest scoop in esports.