PUBG Corp. announced that it will host the first official esports tournament for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds later this year. The PUBG Global Invitational 2018 will take place in Berlin, Germany this summer, pitting 20 professional teams against each other for a $2 million prize pool.
The tournament will take place July 25-29. Teams will be able to qualify by participating in regional tournaments that will be hosted in North America, Europe and Asia. More details are expected soon on the tournament process. In the end, two teams will be selected as the world champions, one each for first-person perspective and third-person perspective.
Driving the experience for viewers around the world will be Battlegrounds’ in-game camera system, which will allow broadcasters to zoom in on the action and provide live commentary. But the event will no doubt be enhanced by PUBG Corp.’s proprietary server-side replay system. Unlike owners of the game on Steam, PUBG Corp. is able to record entire matches in great detail and parse that data for later viewing.
This isn’t the first tournament run by PUBG Corp. That event, called the Gamescom Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Invitational, only had a $350,000 prize pool. It took place in Germany in August of last year, drawing in participants such as Cloud9, Team Liquid, Team Solomid and Luminosity Gaming.
The Gamescom Invitational was notable for two reasons: First, prior to the Gamescom Invitational, PUBG Corp. introduced for-pay loot boxes for the first time, drawing widespread critique from its fans. Fans should expect unique loot crates to show up in-game around the PGI 2018 event as well.
Later, during the event, Battlegrounds received a staggering number of viewers on PandaTV, the Chinese equivalent of Twitch. At one point, more than five million concurrent viewers were watching on that platform. Battlegrounds has since continued to explode in popularity in China, in part thanks to a partnership with the Tencent megacorp.