PUBG Esports announce important details regarding 2020 season

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fortyseven communications (fortyseven) /

An announcement from PUBG Esports in December turned the competitive scene upside down, now after weeks of speculation, more details regarding the 2020 season have been released.

Following the completion of PUBG Esports inagural season in November 2019, the company was quick to hit the reset button entering the 2020 Season. Abandoning the pro-league structure featured in 2019 to welcome in a new schedule and format designed to emphasize four major global events throughout the 2020 Season. The first of which being PGS: Berlin, scheduled to take place on April 20, where thirty-two of the best teams from around the world will kick-off the first global event of the season.

After an undeniably successful conclusion to the less-than-flawless inagural season, PUBG published a broad outline of how PUBG Esports would return for its sophomore season. Though the league was slated for a variety of fundamental improvements, the announcement of a complete overhaul demanded much more detail than initially provided for those invested in the esport.

For weeks, many important details remained unknown to players, coaches, and organizations within the esport. During that time, various organizations announced their departure from PUBG Esports, something the league grappled with throughout the 2019 season. Finally, the competitive scene has received some encouraging information regarding the “new and improved” competitive structure. Specifically for PGS: Berlin, details about the schedule and elimination process have been announced.

Recognizing their performance at PGC 2019, the top-four teams from last season’s grand finals have been directly invited to PGS: Berlin. Leaving twenty-eight available spots for teams to qualify, however, there is an individual number of available spots per region. The number of spots per region can be debated, and it has been on Twitter, but I haven’t noticed any major issues here. Personally, I would have preferred to see Japan receive more than one seed, but with the recent combination of some regions, it’s tough to remove one seed from any other region.

The format will consist of two groups, each with sixteen teams, where the top-six teams from each group will safely advance into the grand finals. The bottom-two of each group will be eliminated, while the middle-eight teams from each group will move into an elimination stage. There, only the top-four teams will round out the grand finals, the remaining twelve will be eliminated. This format allows teams who may have struggled early on to find their game and advance from the elimination stage while setting the stage for the grand finals.

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Alongside the schedule, seeding, and format for PGS: Berlin, one of the more interesting details of note is PUBG Esports will guarantee a minimum of $20,000 USD for participating organizations. This is an excellent step in the right direction, considering the lack of revenue sharing to incentivize organizations last season.

In 2019, one of the strongest teams in North America, with a guaranteed spot in the PUBG Global Championship, decided that another phase wouldn’t be worth it and withdrew from PUBG Esports. If that doesn’t sound the alarm bells, I don’t know what does. While it’s a great start for the competitive scene in 2020, this guarantee for qualifying teams at the major event isn’t enough to tackle the rampant revenue sharing problem in PUBG Esports.

The latest announcement also mentions that each of the three PGS events will feature a $500,000 USD prize pool. While there will be another $2,000,000 USD up for grabs at the 2020 PUBG Global Championship. Each of the three PGS events, along with PGC to wrap up the season, will feature crowd-funded prize pools.

We witnessed how substantial a crowd-funded prize pool can become during last season’s PUBG Global Championship, where PGC themed items were sold in-game. A portion of the revenue from these items contributed directly to the prize pool, which was increased by a staggering $4 Million USD.

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In 2020, PUBG Esports will look to build off the success of the global events in year one. Crowdfunding for the event’s prize pool is one of the biggest things they can introduce for PGS events. It’s encouraging to see the team acknowledge and utilize something that benefits everyone involved – teams and players win more money, PUBG makes more money, and fans get new and exciting skins.