ESPORTS: Mobile?

On the 22nd March, developers of PUBG Mobile revealed its PUBG Mobile Club Open 2019 and the huge prize pool of $2.5 million.

Over a year after PUBG Mobile came out, Tencent Games and PUBG Corporation have combined forces with Vivo to recreate an esports-style mobile league. PUBG mobile is the world’s most popular mobile game, based on the preexisting PlayerUnknown’s BattleGrounds for console and PC and also has its own successful esports league. However, it was a big surprise to all who attended the PUBG Mobile 1st Anniversary party when it was revealed a mobile version would launch too, known as the PMCO 2019.

The PUBG Mobile Club Open 2019 has hit the ground running with more than 35,000 teams worldwide hoping to compete in the first online qualifiers, the Spring Split. The Spring Split qualification period ends on the 30th March and seems to be on track. If all goes well, 16 teams from 10 different regions will compete in Germany this July for The Spring Split Global Finals. However, many who don’t qualify this Spring Split will also have the same opportunity when the Fall Split comes around. Both events have a separate prize pool with a total of $25 million.

This isn’t the first time PUBG Mobile has been played in a tournament style, nor the first time large amounts of money have been in play. It is no big leap to suggest the success of their PUBG Mobile Star Challenge 2018 has fuelled the introduction of the league. The Star Challenge Global Finals in Dubai was viewed by 230 million worldwide and saw the winning team RRQ Athena take home the title and a hefty $200,000.

The PUBG Star Challenge was a good way of testing the waters for Tencent and PUBG Corporation. Now with the sponsorship of Vivo, a smartphone company, to supply players and fans with smartphones during both splits there is no denying the events should be a success.

PMCO 2019 has the opportunity, and definitely the funds, to pave the way for a more inclusive esport, but only time will tell if mobile games will gain as much traction as the PC and console leagues.

Download: PUBG Mobile (Google Play Store), (Apple App Store)

Sarah Fox

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