Apex Legends introduced a new 3v3 Arena mode with Season 9 in early May, and I’ve been enjoying it for the handful of times when I’ve been able to play out a full match. Most of the time, a player will bail after a few bad rounds, leaving me at a severe disadvantage or giving me a victory that feels hollow and undeserved. In a game update yesterday, developer Respawn rolled out a new system to deal with leavers
Following the update, players who leave an Arena match will get a 10-minute timeout that blocks them from queuing for all games, including the core battle royale mode. You’ll only be punished if you leave a full squad. In other words, as long as you’re not the first person on the team to abandon the game, you’re safe. That is, unless you’re in-party with the first leaver; in that case, you’re both screwed.
Incoming @playapex update.— Respawn (@Respawn) May 24, 2021
We're restoring the slow effect to Wattson's fences, introducing leaver penalties to Arenas, improving loot distribution for backpacks, and more!
See the full list of changes below: pic.twitter.com/tJoFLLfEK0
Unfortunately, the update has come with some hiccups. Several players onApex Legends Adds Penalties For Leavers In Arena Mode winning games against undermanned teams. Others are reporting wildly disparate Reddit are reporting that they’ve been flagged with the leaver penalty for winning games against undermanned teams. Others are reporting wildly disparate matchmaking. Whoops.
There’s also a loophole that less honorable players have been gleefully abusing: they dodge the 10-minute penalty by going AFK and grief their teammates into leaver chicken.
All in all, grouping up with strangers in Arena is still a bit dicey. Unless you’re running a full party, you may want to hold off on Arena mode for the time being.