Apex Legends has had quite a few contentious issues this season, from Peacekeeper's inconsistency to Charge Rifle's ungodly reach, but not many things have set the game's subreddits alight as Skill-Based Matchmaking (SBMM).
To say that the official subreddit of Respawn's battle royale has been spammed with SBMM complaints daily is a severe understatement. Heck, even saying it's bombarded hourly can at times be inaccurate - that's how riled up people are over SBMM.
Apex Legends players are already joking that they're playing ranked to get warmed up for public matches because sweating them out seems to have become the norm. This also led to smurf accounts running amok and it's not uncommon to see a level 4 player with 20-kill game trophies.
Respawn's step away from ping-based matchmaking has also brought about numerous connection issues, where you're either playing duos against three-player teams or trying your best to track teleporting players zipping around the map. Unless you're the dropout that is.
Now, it's easy to dismiss these concerns given just how salty the Apex Legends community can get over just about anything. I mean, the SBB outrage is probably the only reason why "nerf R-301/R-99/Peacekeeper" posts have dropped in frequency, and the nerf-callers often go by how they feel, rather than the truth.
However, one of the more reputable players, Aceu, has chimed in on the subject, jokingly suggesting that Respawn are going for the world record in how fast they can ruin a perfectly good game. He attributed the declining playerbase to the devs' recent decisions, SBMM being the most notable one.
Respawn, of course, both play their game and have access to relevant statistics, and they're adamant that SBMM is here to stay .
Apex Legends senior system designer Eric Hewitt recently said, "SBMM will become the norm for most MP games, as there is indisputable evidence through data that it helps out something like 80-90% of the community with retention for most of those games... which hurts us 10%’ers, I know".