Winning in Apex Legends, as in any team battle royale, is a function of individual player skill, teamwork, and (our topic today) squad loot quality.
The best way to equip one’s team with good loot is to land in an area with high quality drop chances. This can mean one of the map zones that always rolls on high tier drop tables, the
first supply ship or start-of-game blue marked loot zone. Landing in a lower-quality loot area is no guarantee of avoiding a fight, and landing in a high-tier loot area is no guarantee of finding one. If you want to reduce your chances of being involved in a big fight before you loot up a bit (I personally prefer to get right into the thick of it), you should head for one of the high-drop areas (circled in blue) that is far from and late in the initial drop path.
After looting (and potentially fighting over) one of the map’s high loot areas, you should start moving through other zones ASAP in order to snap up the contents of unlooted zones and, more importantly, get the drop on other teams that are split up in their looting. Enemy players represent the highest concentration of loot possible, as they have been visiting many loot piles and taking only the best of what they find. Looting another player is (almost) like looting every spot that player has been to since their landing.
As the early game progresses and the map becomes increasingly looted by remaining squads, killing and looting other players goes from being the best way to gear-up to the only way. By landing in a zone with good drops, you’ll give your team the best chances of winning those critical midgame fights. A proactive looting-and-killing team will exit this phase with high tier armors, weapons, and attachments, as well as higher-quality backpacks that enable them to bring more ammunition/healing/grenades to fights. A team that plays proactively for gear is (usually) going to roll over a less-well-equipped passively-playing team.
So whether or not you land “hot” (amidst enemy squads) or not, you still want to land in a high quality zone that borders on other high-tier zones. After the inital looting, a squad should aim to find other squads, ideally ones that have themselves looted nearby high-tier loot zones.