PlayerUnkown’s Battlegrounds is coming to PlayStation Plus in September, which is great news for subscribers to the service, but the other winner from the promotion could be the PUBG esports scene, which really needs a boost like this.
The PUBG esports scene got off to a flying start where it seemed tournaments could not keep up with interest, with a hunger for bigger events and larger prize pools pushing things forward at a rapid pace. But as fans discovered that scaling up tournaments was difficult and resulted in some disappointing events, the scene started to slow down a lot.
Fast forward a few years and the PUBG scene, at least on PC and console, is one of the lower-tiered esports in the world, with decent but not amazing viewership. Compared to the potential it had a few years ago it is certainly underwhelming to see where it is now. But with the game about to get a lot of new players with PS+, that could change.
As we have seen with other PlayStation Plus titles, even as recently as Fall Guys, and previously with the likes of Rocket League, being free on PS+ brings in a lot of new players to a game, especially multiplayer titles. These titles always see a bump in interest on Twitch when they go live on PS+, and this could be the key factor that increases the viewership of PUBG esports.
In a move that is certainly not coincidental, a number of the biggest PUBG competitions take place or come to an end in September, with the main tournaments being the PUBG Continental Series 2 events. These four competitions, one for Europe, North America, Asia and APAC, feature massive $200,000 prize pools, big-name teams and big-name casters. In the online world we live in now due to the pandemic, they are about as big an event as you can produce.
Clearly, the hope is that players who pick up PUBG on PlayStation Plus will hop over to Twitch to take a look at some gameplay during their downtime, and hopefully, the most popular streams will be those of the PUBG Continental Series 2. After turning into these massive tournaments there is a good chance these players will want to watch more and become fans of the PUBG esports scene.
There is, of course, no guarantee this will actually happen, but there is a good chance that PUBG being on PS+ in September will give the esports scene a nice boost, and hopefully bring in some new long term fans.
I am a top esports journalist who has written for a number of large publications. I specialize in the business of esports, as well as Valve’s titles. I have previously
I am a top esports journalist who has written for a number of large publications. I specialize in the business of esports, as well as Valve’s titles. I have previously been a finalist for Reporter of the Year at the GMBL Awards, and have written a book, Esports: The Ultimate Gamer’s Guide, covering all of the major esports.
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