Gen.G defends lead in PUBG Global Championship Grand Finals

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Gen.G made history by claiming the first-ever PUBG Global Championship on Sunday night, holding off the likes of Four Angry Men and FaZe Clan in the final match to take home $2 Million USD.

The PUBG Global Championship played host to the thirty-two teams from around the world as they competed across three weekends for their share of a $6,000,000 prize pool. The PUBG Global Esports’ inaugural season culminated in a two-day finale inside Oakland Arena between the remaining sixteen teams following a Group Stage and Semi-Final.

During the Grand Finals, PUBG announced that the PGC prize pool had grown to $6 million dollars thanks to contributions made by its player base. The additional $4 million came from PGC themed items being sold in-game, which were introduced prior to the Group Stage following the news that organizations would not have their team-branded items sold in-game.

Instead, 50% of the PGC item revenue would be shared amongst participating teams. With 25% added directly into the PGC prize pool, and the other 25% distributed based on the number of votes a team received in the PGC Pick’Em Challenge.

I believe this ‘crowd-funded’ prize pool showed how successful PUBG Esports can be for teams and organizations if conducted correctly. I’m not saying this way the most ideal way to establish revenue sharing and promote the esport in-game, but it certainly displayed how passionate esports fans are, along with their willingness to monetarily support their favorite team or player.

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Entering the Grand Finals, a case could be made for each of the sixteen teams to win the PUBG Global Championship. This was by far the most competitive lobby PUBG Esports has seen in its brief history, there may have been “favorites” heading into the Grand Finals, but the best-of-twelve format meant that any match had the potential to become a team’s turning point.

Gen.G immediately set the tone on Day 1 of the Grand Finals with back-to-back wins on Erangel, jumping out to a comfortable lead for the team and their fans, nearly too comfortable. Having collected a staggering 42 points in only their first two matches, the team struggled to wrap up Day 1 as they accumulated just 14 points over the next four matches. During those four matches, 4AM and FaZe Clan began chipping away at the lead to set the stage for an exciting Day 2.

Similar to Day 1, Gen.G produced two impressive matches to open Day 2 with back-to-back second-place matches, compiling another 37 points to re-establish their lead. Sticking to the script of Day 1, the team struggled across the next three matches where they collected merely 4 points. This left the door open for FaZe Clan and Four Angry Men heading into the final match where a team would be crowned PUBG Global Champions.

Four Angry Men entered the Grand Finals widely as the fan-favorite, fresh off an impressive performance in the Semi-Finals, it seemed as if the team was catching their stride at the ideal time. During Match 11, following a three-match skid from Gen.G atop the leaderboard, Four Angry Men put together an incredible 21 point performance to steal the top position heading into the final match of PGC.

Meanwhile, FaZe Clan had rolled out their “FaZe Sunday” gameplay, pulling within seven points of the first-place position prior to the start of the final match. The PEL juggernauts struggled to find their game early on during the Grand Finals before ultimately closing out Day 1 with a chicken dinner. With things starting to click for the team on Day 2, another FaZe comeback, similar to the one we witnessed during the Semi-Finals, was gradually beginning to feel inevitable.

Three of PUBG Esports’ most successful organizations, featuring some of the esports’ best players, supported by some of the largest fan bases, entered a winner-takes-all match for $2,000,000. Shortly into the match, FaZe Clan and Four Angry Men lost two of their four members in an unexpected fashion. Eyes were glued to the scoreboard as the teams began to pick up valuable kill points.

Still holding the first-place position, Four Angry Men took a two-seater buggy with their remaining two members towards the middle of the zone. They were predictably picked apart from every direction, marking the end of their match and PGC tournament in a marvelous ball of fire.

This maneuver resembled the team’s strategy from a Miramar match earlier on Day 2, where the team sent one player into the middle of the zone, where he survived countless grenades and went on to clutch out a 2v1 against Genesis for the win. It’s tough to fault the team for attempting a similar move that had paid off once that day, but during the final match of the Grand Finals with $2,000,000 on the line, it’s easy for me to say in hindsight it may not have been the best decision.

With Four Angry Men out early, it was only time before Gen.G, and possibly FaZe Clan, passed the final score posted by 4AM’s elimination to win the PUBG Global Championship. From there, the zone continued to favor FaZe Clan’s remaining two members, who had a great position near center-circle with a compound to themselves.

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The only issue was Gen.G had begun to rack up kills while playing on the edge of the zone. There were a couple of moments where it looked like Gen.G could have been eliminated, leaving the door open for FaZe Clan to steal first-place.

As the final match closed in on a handful of teams, one member remained up for both Gen.G and FaZe Clan as the zone shift away from each of them. Gen.G had collected a generous amount of kills and reclaimed the first-place position when their final player was spotted and eliminated. For a brief moment, Gen.G had been eliminated with one member of FaZe Clan still standing.

Unfortunately for FaZe Clan and their fans “Ubah”, their most dangerous and prone to pull off the upset player was spotted making a tough rotation into the zone and was eliminated. Before the had even concluded, it was obvious that Gen.G had pulled off the victory and would be crowned PUBG Global Champions.

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Gen.G had not only reclaimed but held onto their top position in the final match thanks to their outstanding play and ability to play under pressure. The final match of PGC was one for the ages, if you want to convince anyone into watching PUBG Esports, just play this match for them.

The PUBG Global Championship displayed exactly what this esport is capable of in just its inaugural season. There are many things that can be done better for the teams and players during league play, but the peak of an amazing first season couldn’t have gone better. Stay tuned for more information regarding Phase 1 of the 2020 season!