PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (¨PUBG¨) has had unprecedented success since its early-access release. The game has now sold over 6,000,000 copies and is immensely popular on Twitch amongst streamers and viewers alike. Spend an evening on Twitter and countless images of chicken dinners will appear.
ESL and PUBG announced the PUBG Gamescom Invitational which will take place late August in Cologne. There’s set to be $350,000 on the line and PUBG has revealed a monetised cosmetic crate where proceeds would go towards the esports event and excess to charity and the best PUBG players competing.
Ignoring the debate around whether an early-access game should be monetising crates, PUBG certainly presents an interesting prospect as an esports title. At the moment, with the game in early access there’s still glitches that need to be ironed out, server stability remains an issue but we still see even the most established of games in full release (cough, FIFA, cough) experiencing all aforementioned issues.
There’s been certain esports initiatives already – although they’ve more been as fun initiatives. Dota 2 studio Moonduck have run small invitationals, inviting players and talent to compete and be cast and it’s gone down a treat.
I decided to cast the question out to the community and find out just whether or not people believe that PUBG will make it as a competitive esports title.
My two cents:
Initially going into the conversation, my opinion was simply that games such as H1Z1 and PUBG don’t particularly make compelling spectator esports. From my perspective I’ve watched countless hours of streamers playing PUBG and it’s always fun to watch streamers hunt for kills and play the game in the most active manner possible.
The more competitive you get, the more conservative gameplay becomes. Having read about the recent competitive H1Z1 at DreamHack, one player from a squad sat in a police car for a good 10/15 minutes without moving to secure higher placement. That’s the kind of gameplay that is not particularly fun to watch but I can understand from a strategic perspective that it’s wholly necessary at times. Not every esport has to be frenetic in play, and there’s a lot of games where things aren’t the most exciting for patches so that’s more of a by-the-by point. Also the spectator tool and sheer size of map makes it tough to get on board with. Then again, the developers have time to try and create the best possible tool to broadcast the game. It’s still very early on in as the game is still in early access.
To those claiming it’s too based on RNG, many consider Hearthstone an esport so I don’t really buy the “luck factor” as a big issue here.
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