Here's what PUBG needs to be successful in esports
With the rising popularity of PUBG, questions about its future keep cropping up. Does PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have what it takes to be an esports game, or is it destined to be nothing more than a battle royale aimed at the casual masses?
There’s a lot that goes into turning a game into a viable esports franchise. A lot of combined effort from the community of players, tournament organizers, and the developers must be seen before any game can take off as a successful esport.
Here’s a look at the kind of obstacles that PUBG will need to face to have a chance at becoming an esports title capable of competing with the best of them.
Developer Support Is 100% Necessary
For any esports game to continue to be a success, support from the development team needs to be there. The developers are responsible for the evolution of their game, so they’ll be in charge of competitive balancing and lifelong updates.
In the case of games like CS:GO, League Of Legends, and Overwatch, the developers are constantly making tweaks and adjustments to make the game balanced. All updates within these games are often done to inhibit a healthy development of the competitive meta within that specific game.
The PUBG developers will need to pay attention to gameplay at the highest level and be able to respond to community input for PUBG to be successful as an esport.
Thankfully, the PUBG Corp. team, including Playerunknown himself, seem to be very interested in fostering an esports scene for Battlegrounds in the near future.
Community Support Is Even More Important
Besides the developer support, community engagement and growth needs to be there too. To truly make an esport great, grassroots tournaments and online opportunities need to be born across the world. Thankfully, the community support for a competitive PUBG experience seems to be pretty strong already.
PUBGOnline, for example, is dedicated to providing players with a go-to place for competitive gameplay. Teams can visit websites like this to set up their own competitive matches.
From my opinion, everything is already in place for a strong competitive community in PUBG. Now all we need is some more support from the tournament organizers.
The Viewership Needs To Be There, As Do Tournament Organizers
There’s only so much the community can do to get the ball rolling for a new esport. Tournament organizers need to be the ones to make the right deals and partnerships to land themselves arenas and more importantly, cash prizes. So far, many of the existing tournament organizers have been quick to jump in on the PUBG craze. Intel Extreme Masters is a recent example, as is StarLadder’s StarSeries I-League tournament.
Besides the tournament organizers, there needs to be a strong enough viewership. Viewers need to be interested in watching PUBG at a competitive level. This is something that’s unfortunately going to come down to fate. With PUBG primarily being a shooter game, it can be enjoyed by a wider audience, even if most viewers don’t understand the complexities of strategy within individual players or teams.
Shooting games are often quite easy to understand from the outside, as opposed to say, a MOBA, which most people will only understand if they’ve played the MOBA themselves. PUBG certainly has a good chance to gain a decent viewership, but it will take time to grow. It’s not something that can happen overnight. The complexities of how to make a 100 player game enjoyable from a viewer’s perspective is also a concern. There needs to be some careful thought into how a competitive PUBG match is observed through the spectator’s camera.
If the following things can line up, PUBG has a good chance of becoming a successful esports game.
- Continued support from the PUBG developers.
- Growth within the esports community and a grassroots PUBG esports scene.
- Support from tournament organizers and esports organizations.
- Work needs to be done on the observing of a 100-player game to make it an enjoyable viewing experience.