by Matthew Rondina
The multiplayer battle royale, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) has taken the PC gaming world by storm, captivating both players and viewers all around the world.
The premise of the game is straight forward, you and 98 other players are flown over a remote island and skydive down to it. Once on the island it’s all about survival as you scrounge for weapons and ammo while battling back other players – your goal is to take out everyone else.
The action grows increasingly more intense as time goes on, the battlefield “shrinks” pushing you and your remaining foes together forcing a showdown to decide who is the last person standing. The game features Solo, Duo and SQUADS, the different modes allow you to team up in groups of 2, 3 or 4 players to share in the chaos.
Since the game’s launch in March of 2017 it’s been on the top ten sellers list with 11 million + owners according to SteamSpy.
Check out our coverage of PUBG in Episode 1 of RE:PLAY
PUBG’s first move into the competitive gaming world was a 2017 Charity Invitational in support of the Gamers Outreach Foundation. The event held in May saw developer BlueHole invite 128 players to compete while taking donations on the game’s official twitch stream. The event raised $220,000 and also provided key framework for future competitive events.
The First eSport Battle Royale
During Gamescom 2017 Bluehole and the ESL worked together to make history with the first eSport Battle Royale tournament. The competition featured a $350,000 prize pool with players facing off in separate events for solo, 2 and 4 four player squads. Each competition followed a 3 round format to crown a champion in the different categories.
Brendan Greene the creator of PUBG has taken a level headed approach to eSports growth, telling Rolling Stone, “From day one, I’ve always thought of eSports as a final point for this. But we want to grow the eSport organically through the community.” So far depending on community has worked, and Greene has had the vision to predict big success for a hardcore PvP battle royal experience like PUBG.
The big question is, will PUBG be able to last as an eSport? So far many key indicators are pointing to yes. The community is extremely engaged; players, big names in streaming, and massive audiences continue to drive the title’s popularity, breaking records along the way. With all of this going for it, the stars seem to be aligning for Battlegrounds to enter the eSports realm permanently.
Even with the resounding success, a few questions still remain about it’s viability and longevity in competitive gaming.
PUBG does feature a lot of Random Number Generation (RNG) that could create too many matches decided by luck of the draw. Many would argue that games like Poker have a similar style and it’s part of the thrill – getting dealt a big hand, or a dud, and seeing how far you can push yourself.
Greene is hoping the community will continue to grow with a final eSports destination, either way it looks like a fun ride is in store.
About the Author: Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been in love with teaching, technology and gaming for over 20 years. Follow Matthew’s gaming adventures on twitter and join in on the fun!