PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) is arguably one of the most popular video games of 2017, winning an Esports Industry Awards nomination for the Breakthrough Game of the Year. The nominations were released on Wednesday, June 28th, with the other breakthrough video games in the bracket being Vainglory, H1Z1, Quake Champions, Injustice 2, Paragon and Rainbow Six Siege.

Of these, there are games that share key features with PUBG, such as the shooter aspect of Quake Champions and Rainbow Six Siege; H1Z1‘s survival theme, as well as Vainglory‘s and Paragon‘s MOBA genre (although PUBG is classified as a Multiplayer Online Battle Royale game, developed by Brendan Greene from his Arma 3 mod).

So, the question is, what – amid these games, as well as countless other shooter games like Battlefield 1 and BorderlandsBorderlands makes PUBG deserving of an Esports Industry Awards nomination, and why was it so well-received in the gaming market?

Developed and published by Bluehole Studio Inc. and released as early access by Steam on March 23rd 2017, PUBG has been bought by approximately 6.5 million players – making it one of Steam’s top 10 best-selling games, as well as one of the top five most popular games on Twitch – and has received a Steam rating of 7/10.

What makes the game attractive to players is the thrill of combat, the elements of suspense, the tactical skills that it cultivates the more you play and the will to win that it ignites within you. In addition, since the game is still in its Early Access stage (the official release is intended for late 2017, with the Xbox version release set for 2018), improvements and modifications are constantly being added.

The Aim of the Game

The aim of PUBG is to be the last player alive out of the 100 that originally start, by killing your opponents off. Initially, all players are dropped down (via skydive) onto the island with no food, medicine, transport and, most importantly, no weapons. These must all be gained from scouting through abandoned buildings, traversing the landscape, or by collecting the loot left over from the killing of another player. Stealth tends to be one of the key roads to survival, as shooting gives away your position and leaves you susceptible to attack, even if hidden. Teaming up with other players is permitted – even mid-game – and offers the benefits of more comprehensive surveillance as you can cover more directions, as well as an increased chance of hitting opponents.

Team playing noticeably led to the recording of a highly amusing game, in which 50 of DooM49’s players banded together and subverted the primary function of PUBG by refusing to kill one another … instead, they engaged in synchronized swimming, car racing, and firing at frying pans, finally ending their adventure by shooting their comrades in synch in order to die together.

Team Acquisitions for PUBG eSports

The emergence of PUBG eSports teams has already begun. TSM (Team SoloMid) announced the formation of a PUBG team on July 14th 2017, while Tempo Storm has finalised the acquisition of their own team, called Pure RNG, who have claimed the top space for all-time points on the Showdown Series of North America.

Tempo Storm already has teams in Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft, and League of Legends, the Championship Series Summer Split of which is currently in motion, with Betway’s odds depicting a fierce battle for supremacy. Pure RNG’s team consists of: Keane “Valliate” Alonso, Diondre “YaBoiDre” Bond, Luke “Meluke” Laing and Randy “Randingo” Joiner, with Trey “Afflux” Bourne as their coach and manager. Almost all off them have participated in Call of Duty and some have engaged in Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and Overwatch, providing their initial grounding in combat games before they discovered PUBG.

Both team spirit as well as aspirations for Pure RNG are high: Valliate has declared that their aim is to “be known as the undisputed best team in the world”.

With the finished version of PlayerUnknown’s Battleground on the horizon and PUBG eSports teams increasingly appearing, we can expect an exciting future for the game, its viewer base, and its players.



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