League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, Hearthstone and DOTA 2 may be the focus of the community when it comes to eSports, but there is still plenty of space, and opportunity, for other games to make their mark.
PUBG Already Very Popular
Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds, also known as PUBG, has risen to become one of the most popular games in the world over the last several months. PUBG is an online battle royale game in which players descend onto the map and then must scavenge for supplies such as weapons, armour, ammunition and healing, in the form of medication, amongst other helpful items.
Players are then continually forced towards a smaller and smaller combat area due to gas, which deals more and more damage to players not in a safe area as the game progresses. The last man standing wins, with three different player modes: Solos, Duos, and Squads (3-4 players per squad) available as a preference.
H1Z1 was one of the more popular battle royale games before the creation of PUBG, but it never came close to reaching the height that PUBG is currently experiencing. One highlight of PUBG is the balance of the guns, as there are a wide variety of weapons to choose from depending on the situation.
Developers’ Willingness to Listen is Key
The other benefit that PUBG has had thus far over other games has been their willingness to listen to community feedback on a slew of issues. Similar to League of Legends a few years back, the consistent transparency of the developers has allowed players to feel as though their opinions and ideas can help shape the game for the better.
One downside of PUBG as an eSports title is the various bugs that are in the game, which the players have come to accept over time. Whether it is bikes slamming into walls without taking damage, grenades flipping cars back right-side up so they can be used again, or other minor issues, these are some of the points that outsiders might be perplexed by if they view the game.
Bugs Remain an Issue
While work has been put in to address major bugs such as seeing through the floor or walls at times, or the various hackers that play the game, the amount of time in between the problem being realised and the resolution of the problem has been too long at times.
However, PUBG is a very easy eSports game for the casual fan to enjoy, as the basics of moving to one singular location and wanting to defeat the other team are incredibly straightforward. PUBG has hosted one major event thus far, the Dreamhack PUBG Invitational, which was met with rave reviews across the gaming community.
Investors and teams are continually putting their efforts towards the PUBG market, as the numbers continue to grow for the most popular game on Twitch for the past few months. Some concern for long-term staying power does exist, given the rapid rise and fall of H1Z1 amongst other similar titles. Yet the continual willingness to change the game, for example, a patch just went live a couple of days ago that added in a dense fog to the map at times, as well as a new weapon to the wide variety that exists already, has players believing that PUBG is here to stay.
Professional Talent has Embraced PUBG
Talent has thus far also been willing to make the swap to PUBG from other popular shooter titles such as CS:GO, Overwatch, and H1Z1, among others. Players are continually joining in on the action-packed game, adding to the already high amount of talent within the scene. Pro players such as Shroud, a former Cloud9 CS:GO player, have thrived in the new environment, allowing old faces to once again make a name for themselves.
One underrated aspect of PUBG is the commentary, which can be difficult given that over 100 players can be in a game at a time. CS:GO caster Pansy, however, did a fabulous job demonstrating how to commentate such a hectic game while at the Dreamhack PUBG Invitational.
Talent in and outside the game should allow PUBG the staying power it needs to be a competitive eSports title for years to come. Issues will need to be addressed, but the community is currently very open to the level of interaction that they have had with the developers and should this continue, PUBG seems likely to become another high-profile title in the world of competitive gaming.