PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is offering its first real taste of competition at Gamescon. So far, two days worth of action has offered up an interesting tournament, and it’s pretty much confirming my fears of PUBG struggling as an esport. While we’ll get to that in a bit, something interesting happened yesterday during the final duo match which was won by “Suisse My Baguette,” a team who came from the open qualifier and won the top spot.
Yesterday’s action was a large improvement on the previous day in terms of production. Understandably, trying to focus on 80 players at once is every camera person’s worst nightmare, but this is still the early stages of PUBG esports. It was exactly entertaining to watch either, as strategies were used which were conventionally boring to watch as a spectator. Players were swimming under water in the final moments within the playable zone, dodging out of action and making it rather boring to spectate. Nonetheless, some action was offered up in the final moments which led to the open qualifier team taking the Golden Frying Pan.
Not much is known about “Yukiiie” and “THZ” or even “Suisse My Baguette,” but they did beat out Cloud9 (who placed second), TSM, Luminosity and Team Liquid. It’s a dream come true for a team who arrived on the day hoping for some PUBG, but these sort of things don’t often happen at LANs. The last time a team did considerably well through the open qualifier was No Tide Hunter at Dreamhack Summer for Dota 2. They went on to become Alliance and won the international, but still with PUBG being relatively new, we can’t really say we’re surprised.
The nature of a professional PUBG match is hard to spectate. It’s easy watching one really good player or streamer, but watching a tournament isn’t offering the initial performance needed from a good esport. What makes a good esport is a number of important factors. It has to have a player-base, viewership, excitement and action. PUBG has all of those, in a sense, but relative to esports there’s still a lot of work to be done.
The spectator tool is still relatively new, and I think once mods become available we might see new game modes coming in for the competitive side. If money is on the line, you can only imagine how safe teams would play to remain hidden and secure the win. There’s a First Person duo competition today and then the squad finals tomorrow. We’ll see if things smooth out before the competition ends this weekend.
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Last Updated: August 25, 2017