PUBG Global Series: A massive overhaul to 2020 PUBG Esports

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fortyseven communications (fortyseven) /

PUBG Corp. has announced its initial plans for PUBG Esports in 2020 with the introduction of the PUBG Global Series (PGS), a replacement to the pro-league format and its nine competitive regions seen during the inaugural season.

The announcement comes with the introduction to the PUBG Global Series, a format that PUBG hopes will build off of the success of the PUBG Nations Cup and PUBG Global Championship with a focus on team revenue sharing and an improved competitive structure. Without directly stating it, PUBG Esports will abandon the pro league format used during year one, meaning teams from the original nine competitive regions will compete in qualifiers for three PGS Events set to be played in April, July, and October.

The first of these three PGS Global Events will begin at the PUBG Global Series: Berlin (PGS: Berlin) and will be hosted in April 2020. The top-four teams from the PUBG Global Championship 2019, (Gen.G, FaZe Clan, Four Angry Men, and OGN Entus Force) have already secured their place at this event, which means the other 28 spots will be filled via regional qualifiers, unfortunately, details concerning the qualifiers weren’t covered in this announcement.

At times during this year, it became apparent that PUBG Esports had bitten off more than they could chew. While personally I love watching the best PUBG players week in and week out, there are times during the middle of a Phase where it felt as if there wasn’t much to play for, and many agreed that the lengthy phase format needed adjusting.

From a casual viewer standpoint, there is a reason the PUBG Nations Cup and PUBG Global Championship did as well as they did. Viewers want to spectate something when there is a lot on the line each match, and while it’s unfortunate for the players to be subject to short-form chaos such as best-of-twelves, it’s what moves the needle for PUBG Esports currently.

As with anything, the reaction to this news ranges from the greatest thing they’ve announced to it being the death of PUBG Esports. Realistically, we’ll need more info to see exactly how this will play out and if it’s a better alternative to the previous structure.

Most importantly, the announcement touches on the area that PUBG Esports has lacked in most, revenue share. After distributing over $6 million USD in crowdfunded prizes at PGC 2019, the message appears to have been finally received that fans want to purchase esports items and support their favorite teams and players.

The focus on revenue sharing and building a more compelling viewer experience is both a step in the right direction, what that means for the teams within the pro leagues and contenders series remains to be seen. In my opinion, it’s unfortunate that teams who have competed to rise through the ranks will now be forced to square off once again for a shot to qualify for a PGS event. However, if the competitive structure does promote a healthy competitive PUBG scene, along with additional in-game promotions, professional players may receive opportunities that weren’t possible prior to this change.

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Admittedly, I know very little about running an esports organization, however, I can’t imagine that the lack of in-game revenue sharing opportunities makes housing a team in Los Angeles or Berlin very attractive. At least in this format orgs won’t be handcuffed into throwing money at a roster over the course of a lengthy phase, while that team could very easily swing and miss at placing high enough to break even on the investment.

Financially, this change appears to match the level that PUBG Esports is at currently. An esport that’s big enough to compile massive global event prize pools, yet too small to run nine competitive regions, year-round, with little promotion or viewership.

What do you think of this change to the PUBG Esports ecosystem? Is this the right thing to do for PUBG Esports at this time, or should this be revised or overturned immediately? Let me know!