Player Well Known brings PUBG Mobile to Europe

Player Well Known brings PUBG Mobile to Europe

PUBG Mobile is about to get more competitive, with a Player Well Known Invitational tournament series coming to Europe next week.

Even though we haven’t seen much potential for competitive play in PUBG’s mobile game, it turns out that’s because we weren’t looking hard enough. But that is about to change, with a new series of competitive tournaments coming to Tencent’s PUBG Mobile.

Today, Tencent Games together with PUBG Corp. announce their tournament Player Well Known Invitational coming to Europe. The event will feature 16 top European streamers, influencers, and pro players vying for their chance at a chicken dinner. The competitors will fight for $20,000 in prize money and an invitation to the World Finals in Dubai, later this year.

The tournament will take place in Kiev Cybersport Arena, in the very heart of Ukraine. The event begins next week and will happen on September 29 and 30. Player Well Known will be streamed live on PUBG Mobile Youtube, Twitch, and Facebook channels.

Invited players will form the squads of four people around themselves for the event.

Player Well Known will feature both game modes, with TPP being played on the first day and FPP on the second. The PWK Championship is made up of the Qualifiers, Preliminaries, Regional Finals, and World Finals.

The push for PUBG Mobile esports is in line with Bluehole’s five-year plan announced during the PUBG Global Invitational 2018. There are more events planned for the mobile game in the near future, with developers being keen on making it a success. The big factor for the future of the game will be the viewership numbers and the community response.

All the PWK games will be played on iPhone 7 devices.

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Riot Korea’s Head of Esports joins PUBG Corp as CMO

Riot Korea’s Head of Esports joins PUBG Corp as CMO

Although the player base for the overwhelmingly popular battle royale game has dwindled, its esports scene is yet to show signs of slowing down.

In the past year, since the inception of competitive PUBG, the scene has grown from a small gathering of like-minded individuals to a full-fledged esports competitor. Following several large-scale tournaments, all featuring prize pools in hundreds of thousands, Bluehole announced the PUBG Global Invitational — a $2 million dollar Battlegrounds championship.

Following the success of PGI 2018, the developer announced a five-year plan for the future growth of the esports scene. The plan includes developer supported regional leagues, revenue share for the teams, and World Championships, among other things.

In line with the announcement, Korea based PUBG Corp. confirmed the signing of Quan Zhengxian as Chief Marketing Officer, where he will oversee all the marketing and esports related business for PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS. Prior to this, Quan Zhengxian worked at the Korean branches of global game studios, including Riot Games, Blizzard, EA, as well as others.

For the past seven years, he was responsible for all things esports at Riot Games Korea, where he worked on the League of Legends World Championship 2014, Korea Regional Finals, as well as many other leagues and tournaments. Zhengxian brings years of experience in building the esports scene, running leagues, and organizing large tournaments.

Bluehole established their confidence in Quan Zhengxian and are hopeful that his expertise will help propel PUBG into a full-fledged esport. This is expected to be the first out of several executive-level signings in preparation for the 2019 season at PUBG Corp.

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All 20 influencers decided for the OMEN Challenge

All 20 influencers decided for the OMEN Challenge

Popular PUBG personalities, streamers, and content creators will team up with rookie players at OMEN Challenge to compete for a prize pool of $150,000 at Gamescom.

There will be 20 teams of two facing each other throughout three days of the competition, with the winning team taking the entire prize pool. As an interesting addition to the usual tournament format, OMEN Challenge will feature an additional $50,000 in mini-competitions.

Each player will start off with $3,000 to their name, which at the same time will serve as a bounty. Every time a player gets a kill, they will get a percentage of that person’s bank. The percentage will increase as the tournament progresses. On the final day of the competition, the players will be able to steal as much as 75% of their victim’s bank.

Additionally, players will be able to get extra prizes for the “Shot of the Day” and “Shot of the Tournament” awards. Viewers on the streaming platform Twitch will be the ones deciding the winners, as they will be invited to vote on their favorite moments of the competition.

OMEN have already confirmed all of the influencers that will be taking part in the competition: CheatBanned, Aleria1992, CyanidePlaysGames, Lost, Aimbrot, Lillithy, Moman, Moondye7, Happy, Innocent, OnScreen, Rumin, Dahmien7, MCKYTV, Kittey, SunTouch, WhiteyDude, Wizzite, Mojoonpc, and Mazarin1k.

The 20 invited players will team up with 20 amateur players on the 22nd of August during Europe’s biggest trade fair for video game enthusiasts — Gamescom.

OMEN Challenge will be one of the two major PUBG competitions taking place at Gamescom next week. ESL Meisterschaft finals will be concluded there as well, with 16 of the best teams from the regular season competing for the lion’s share of $34,000 dollars.

The event starts at 14:00 CEST and you can watch it live on the OMEN Twitch channel.

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OMG xiaorong: “PUBG is like a different game every time you play”

OMG xiaorong: “PUBG is like a different game every time you play”

Coming out victorious in the PUBG’s first-ever Major, the Chinese OMG are feeling more confident than ever in their game.

Before their arrival in Berlin, the Chinese players were confident in the third-person mode. That’s the mode that they practiced the most back in China. As an added bonus, the European teams barely played TPP these days anymore. It was a golden opportunity. If a Chinese team could bring back the trophy, it would be from the TPP tournament.

But it did not go as well as they expected. Even though OMG managed to pick up the chicken dinner on the first day of the competition, the inconsistent performance cost them a lot of points. At the end of the event, the Chinese representatives found themselves in the fourth place, just behind the Korean and two European teams.

What no one saw coming, was what would happen next. On the first day of the FPP tournament OMG completely exploded. They took home three of the four games on the first day. And even on the fourth game, they finished second.

Not even a lackluster second day was enough to stop the Chinese team. OMG gathered enough points to cement their lead and became the first ever PUBG World Champions. In FPP, nonetheless.

To talk about their success in the tournament, we grabbed the whole team, as well as their coach TouTou for an interview.

Vie: How do you feel about winning the PUBG Global Invitational 2018 in the first-person mode tournament?

TouTou: Very happy. We played the game our way and we will continue to lead the team in OMG style. I want to show OMG’s ambition to all the teams around the world.

silentBT: I felt very bad about performing poorly in the third person mode. I still don’t know how we managed to play so well in the FPP mode, but it happened and it was amazing.

Vie: You guys played very aggressively in the FPP tournament.

xiaohaixxxx: When we play in China, we are representing only one club. But when we’re playing in the World Championship, we are representing China. So we played more aggressively.

Vie: So that was your key to victory?

xiaorong: There is no one special strategy to winning because it’s like a different game every time, map and round you play.

Vie: OMG is pouring insane resources into their teams. That must be helpful as well?

TouTou: Yes. There are four other people working towards the success of this team behind the scenes. One external contact person, one manager, and two analysts. OMG is ahead of any Western team in terms of infrastructure.

Vie: Do you know what you’ll be doing with the prize money already?

lionkk: I got the personal prize money for the most kills as well as the longest survival, and for now I want to give a good gift to my girlfriend for supporting me.

Vie: You guys also played in the Charity Showdown with the popular streamers. Some of them are just really good and experienced players. What do you think separates pro players from skilled amateurs?

TouTou: Professional players and amateurs are really different. One of them are professional athletes, they do this for a living, and amateurs play games for fun and entertainment of others. I think there is a big difference there. There are many talented and practiced players like lionkk in China. In order for the Chinese esports system to develop further, I think more players should be able to stand on this stage like lionkk.

xiaohaixxxx: I think the biggest difference is in patience. Playing a game for a job is very different from simply playing a game every day. There comes a lot of strategy, patience, and so on with it.

Vie: Before I let you go, is there anything you’d like to tell your fans?

TouTou: In a regular FPS game, the Chinese teams lose to the European teams. Even in PUBG we have lost against the European teams before. But I think this PGI proved that the Chinese team can beat other European teams. We will do our best to come to the top of Battlegrounds’ esports in the future.

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JoelSophie: “It won’t be very long before Korea fully shifts to FPP”

JoelSophie: “It won’t be very long before Korea fully shifts to FPP”

Taking a closer look at the Korean PUBG scene, we sat down with OGN’s and SPOTV’s caster and analyst, Seungmin “Joel Sophie” Lee.

Those following the Korean PUBG scene are well familiar with Joel Sophie and his work. He quickly became known for his deep knowledge of the game and established himself as one of the most insightful casters in the scene. Earlier this year, he was invited to cast at StarSeries i-League Season 1, alongside some of the best PUBG casters and analysts in the world.

Korean teams had a lot of success at PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS’ first major tournament ever. Gen.G Gold took the first place in the TPP tournament and their sister team Gen.G Black, while dominated on the first day of the competition, finished in respectable sixth position. But while Gen.G players had seen some success in the Charity Showdown, it did not go for them quite as planned in the FPP event. Although the Korean players had shown some promise, they still couldn’t compete on the less familiar FPP grounds, as both teams finished outside of the Top 8.

Joel Sophie talked about his career as an esports caster, gave us an insight into the Korean representatives at PUBG Global Invitational 2018, and discussed the further impact FPP will have on the Korean PUBG community.

Vie: Tell us a bit about how you ended up where you are now. How does one become an English caster for a Korean league?

JoelSophie: I got my first job in esports when I applied and was selected as a translator for OGN, working on the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) program, starting June 2016. During my journey, I formed aspirations to become a caster, so I let OGN know of my ambitions, and just a year after my translating debut, a position opened up for their Blade & Soul tournament, and that became my debut as an English caster.

Photo via Twitter

Vie: Why PUBG? What was it about it that made you go “I must get in on that”?

JoelSophie: Doing well for myself and gaining respect within the industry, my ambitions grew in wanting to get involved in a major title. However, I knew that established scenes, such as LoL, Overwatch, and CS:GO, already had their own established talents. That would make it difficult for me to break in past them.

I wanted a scene that was going to grow at the same pace as I was going to grow as a caster. When I was thinking that in late 2017, the game that fit that bill was PUBG. I had confidence in my skills, that it would be recognized, and that I could grow with PUBG in their own esports endeavor. It was also intriguing that its developer, PUBG Corp., is a Korean-based company, so I was excited for an opportunity to be directly involved in communication and to maintain a close connection. I let OGN know that I wanted to be considered as a candidate for their first PUBG tournament, PSS Beta. The competition was definitely fierce, but in the end, I was selected for the position, casting with @proxywolf. Now, I am providing full coverage for two of the three PUBG Korea League Pro Tours with OGN’s PSS and SPOTV’s PWM.

Vie: Let’s go a few weeks back, before the PGI. What were your expectations for the Korean teams there?

JoelSophie: I had the pleasure of being invited to cast for StarLadder’s StarSeries i-League PUBG back in March, where I had the privilege of witnessing the competition between the best from the West and the two invited Korean teams. Needless to say, the Korean teams were underwhelming when compared to the likes of FaZe Clan and Team Liquid. I wasn’t necessarily disappointed, but simply in acceptance of the fact that this is Korea’s current competitive state. I always kept a close eye on the European competition, whether it was GLL, Auzom, etc., knowing these teams were the best in the world of PUBG esports.

Simultaneously, I was casting the Korean tournaments while keeping track of their progress when compared to their previous February through March performances, when they showed that StarLadder, IEM Katowice, and PGL Bucharest weren’t the stage that Korea would come up to shine. I definitely saw a huge improvement from our teams, especially in FPP, to a point where I wasn’t afraid this time of them facing up against the best in the world. I expected at least a Top 5 Korean finish for TPP and a similar result for them in FPP. Admittedly, it was pleasantly surprising to seer Gen.G Gold finish at the top of TPP and just simply disappointing to see them finish their FPP run the way they did. I believe they could have done much better.

Vie: It’s no secret that TPP is huge in Korea. What is the general consensus there in terms of FPP? 

JoelSophie: Even today, the general player base in Korea isn’t heavily exposed to the FPP playing environment, being unaware of its benefits. Since PUBG was the first shooting game for many at the time, the initially introduced TPP mode quickly settled as the norm. When so many people had already invested hundreds of hours in the TPP mode before FPP was ever introduced, it became difficult to find reasons sufficient enough for them to change. However, it is a completely different story for the professional scene. After disappointing finishes from top representatives at international tournaments hosted in FPP, the truth started to creep in that doing well in FPP was going to be the only way to truly find global success.

Vie: Do you see Korea switching to FPP for good anytime soon?

JoelSophie: Even the domestic tournaments shifted heavily towards FPP in their most recent formats, and my assumption is that it won’t be very long before even Korea fully shifts to an all-FPP format.

Vie: So the TPP event at the Global Invitational went pretty much as you expected?

JoelSophie: I expected Team Liquid to closely rival the top position for TPP with their past success with unconventional competition modes. This happened when Miramar and TPP were first played in tournaments, and Liquid excelled in them. Those guys thrive under pressure and do amazing things in unexpected situations.

All in all, I think placing second was a good result for Liquid, and while OMG did well to place 4th, I was a bit disappointed in 4 Angry Men. I thought they would do just as well as OMG, and for Japan, the pure player base is just simply not enough to be competitive with Korea and China at the moment, and the infrastructure needs to be improved for them to find more success, so their result at PGI wasn’t too much of a surprise. With all that said, I would never consider ‘being the best’ being ‘bare minimum,’ but general success in TPP for Korea was definitely ‘more than expected.’

Photo via Starladder

Vie: The FPP tournament did not go quite so well for Korea, though. 

JoelSophie: I honestly believed that Gen.G Gold theoretically could’ve fought it out for that top FPP position. They were absolutely prepared enough to take it home. I can only speculate that just as with any other team, their most recent accomplishments relished over TPP and the Charity Event did lead to at least some amount of complacency. I know EscA and his experience with consecutive success in the past when he played Overwatch for Lunatic Hai, so I kept my trust in him to lead his team to a proper mindset, but the moment you lean towards ‘expecting to win’ is when teams will fall hard, even more so in PUBG.

Vie: So you think Gen. G Gold could’ve done better in the FPP event?

JoelSophie: Gen.G Gold did fall hard in FPP. They ‘expected’ to do well, and I’m confident that EscA and his team have learned a valuable lesson from all this. I might be overly critical to a team that won two-thirds of a major tournament, but it’s the manner in how Gen.G Gold fell in FPP that leaves me wanting more. I don’t think their performance on the last two days was a fair reflection of their true potential. Give them another chance, and I believe they will pull off a more convincing result.

Vie: There’s an idea floating around, that once China and Korea switch to FPP they will become the new overlords of the PUBG scene. Do you agree with that sentiment?

JoelSophie: Yes.

Follow Joel Sophie on Twitter @JoelSophie_.

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Scoom: “EU obviously has the best track record in the Western scene”

Scoom: “EU obviously has the best track record in the Western scene”

Taking second place in the PUBG Global Invitational 2018 TPP event, Team Liquid have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with before the FPP competition.

Even before the start of the $2 million dollar tournament Team Liquid were considered to be the favorites by many. They plowed through the European qualifier, topping the list and eliminating one of the best teams in the world, FaZe Clan, on their way there. And all that considering they almost skipped the qualifier entirely.

Team Liquid had to bounce back after the not-so-great first games of the tournament. Keiron “Scoom” Prescott and his team finished sixth and eight in the first two games respectively, for a pretty subpar result. And even though they managed to secure back to back chicken dinners in games three and four, consistency allowed the Korean Gen.G Black (14th/2nd/2nd/2nd) to overtake them in the overall ranking.

Even though they couldn’t find any more chicken dinners on the second day of the competition, they showed just enough consistency to secure $160,000 and the second place finish in the overall rankings. The Korean Gen.G Gold, however, exploded and delivered the performance of their lifetime. They convincingly delivered two chicken dinners and climbed from the sixth position to take $400,000 and the title of the World Champions in PGI 2018 TPP event.

We sat down with Scoom to talk about their misfortunes in the online qualifier, their journey through the PUBG’s biggest tournament of the year, and preparation for the TPP event.

Vie: Walk me through how PGI qualifiers went for you guys. You made a lot of mistakes in the online part, you even failed to qualify, but in Leicester you were like a completely different team. What happened there? 

Scoom: Yeah, we didn’t really play our own game during the qualifiers. I don’t really know why, but we were playing new spots and doing things we normally wouldn’t. We came 6th (while Top 5 were to qualify). It wasn’t like we played bad per se, but we were meant to qualify 1st in our group I’d say. You can never be sure with the online matches and low amount of games.

Vie: So what changed?

Scoom: During the LAN/offline event we just felt like ourselves again. We felt confident. With LAN experience, playing against teams for whom it was their first LAN, it was much easier for us.

Vie: The “new” Liquid is somewhat of a PUBG superteam — four star players of their own respective teams on a single squad. Was that your goal or is it something that happened organically?

Scoom: Yeah, this team basically happened randomly. I mean when I first joined Liquid and started playing PUBG competitively my only goal was to be one of the best, if not the best team in the world. I’d work as hard as possible to achieve that.

When we started making roster changes a few months back I was super fortunate to get this team together. As I thought and of course still think, these are the best players in the scene.

Vie: With some of the biggest contenders not here, who do you think will be your biggest competitiors in the FPP event? 

Scoom: I don’t think we have any rivals per se, we are never worried about anyone else. We just focus on our game. I think NaVi and Gen.G teams are probably gonna perform the best.

Vie: So you are pretty confident?

Scoom: We are feeling really confident about PGI. We have a really good track record and feel like it’s our time. But we will treat each game as new and not let it go to our heads. We are confident in our own game and we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.

Vie: How do you feel about the perceived rivalry between EU and NA teams? Is it at all important for your team? 

Scoom: I don’t really care about regions too much, to be honest. There is always banter about EU>NA etc, but EU obviously has the best track record in the Western scene and even internationally.

Vie: What did you think of the TPP tournament?

Scoom: Including TPP is understandable because it’s pretty popular casually and especially in the Asian scene. As they even compete in it, it is what it is, even though I don’t think it’s really competitive, we gave it our all.

Vie: Did you prepare for it at all?

Scoom: We have just been playing public games to get used to it a little.

Follow Team Liquid’s Scoom on Twiiter @LiquidScoom. PUBG Global Invitational 2018 continues on Saturday, watch it live on Twitch.

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