PUBG Cell esports: Taking over the West

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, or PUBG, is synonymous with battle royale. Accountable largely for ushering in a brand new period for multiplayer video games, PUBG is now tackling a distinct type of problem: rising its cell model within the West. 

It’s no secret that aggressive cell video games are rather more standard in Asia than in Europe or the US, and bringing a recreation that’s already profitable in Asia to a Western viewers is a problem in itself. In September, Esports Insider sat down with James Yang, Director of PUBG Cell, to debate PUBG esports and plans for the sport’s development. 

(ESI Illustration) Picture credit score: PUBG Cell / James Yang

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Yang informed Esports Insider in regards to the significance of PUBG’s new regional professional leagues. “We began professional leagues comparable to North America, LATAM, Brazil, Turkey, CIS, and Western Europe, and the viewers acceptance and viewership efficiency has exceeded our expectations thus far. Our latest PMWI 2021 [PUBG Mobile World Invitational] event reached a peak concurrent Western viewership of over 400,000 viewers, which represents an 800 p.c improve in comparison with the PMWL 2020 [PUBG Mobile World League] West final 12 months.”

Yang added that the second most-watched language in PMWI 2021 was English, with an viewers share of 32.7 p.c. In distinction, final 12 months’s PMGC had solely 8.3 p.c of viewers watching in English. This quick development, Yang argued, is a symptom of audiences changing into extra open in direction of cell esports, and cell gaming on the whole. 

Spearheading the cell esports push

PUBG Cell is among the titles spearheading the push for cell video games into the West. Yang stated that previous, skeptical perceptions of cell esports nonetheless rule a lot of Europe and North America — however there’s undoubtedly progress being made. To make cell video games extra interesting, key gamers are delivering greater and higher tournaments with ever-increasing prize swimming pools. 

The identical is true for PUBG Cell, Yang stated. “This 12 months’s PMGC 2021 rewards the perfect groups with a $6m (~£4.5m)  prize pool – an quantity that is among the largest in esports. We are going to proceed to indicate that cell esports is as large as PC esports, and as entertaining and enjoyable to look at as sports activities.”

The regular tempo with which cell video games are rising has coincided with extra questions being raised concerning whether or not a cell recreation is usually a ‘actual esport’. Yang stated that, in his opinion, PUBG Cell isn’t very removed from being a top-tier recreation. Nevertheless, there’s nonetheless numerous work to be accomplished if we’re ever going to see PUBG Cell the identical approach as League of Legends or Dota 2. 

Yang defined: “We nonetheless need to affect the trade stronger and achieve additional belief for an extended length within the ecosystem. We additionally must additional be a magnet for all audiences and improve the recognition within the Western hemisphere. If we proceed our regular development and stroll down the precise path, we’d have the ability to declare our spot as a Tier 1 esport sooner than folks would possibly suppose.”

For PUBG Cell, changing into a top-tier esport is a mission, Yang defined, though he remained secretive in regards to the precise steps the corporate will take to make it there.

Picture by way of: Onur Binay / Unsplash

Dropping the ‘cell’ from ‘cell esports’

In the identical approach PUBG Cell helps enhance the overall notion of cell esports and accelerates its development, the rising reputation of cell video games, on the whole, helps develop PUBG Cell as nicely. This isn’t the time to ask questions on how the pie is being divided, however relatively a time to work on making the pie greater, Yang argued. This, after all, signifies that the sport builders themselves must work collectively in making your complete cell esports sector out there for a wider viewers. 

Yang added: “I’m excited to see increasingly cell esports titles becoming a member of the ecosystem. It can in the end result in an elevated measurement of the cell esports enterprise, in addition to wholesome competitors. We gained’t stand nonetheless in our present place, as a substitute, we’ll attempt to develop even sooner by constructing an excellent bigger esports ecosystem on prime of what we have already got established thus far. 

ESI Digital Winter 2021
Picture credit score: ESI

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“My hope is that quickly we gained’t want to say ‘Cell’ in entrance of ‘Esports’ anymore.”

There isn’t any doubt that cell will proceed to play an important half in increasingly manufacturers’ esports methods, and the numbers are already exhibiting development in audiences for cell video games within the West. 

Though Western markets stay targeted on PC and console esports, cell gaming is slowly however steadily making its approach onto the streams and into the handsets of hundreds of players throughout the globe. Being cell brings its personal set of deserves, and it could solely be a matter of time earlier than audiences in Europe and USA are bitten by the cell esport bug.


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