At one point, PUBG seemed like the biggest competitive game in the world. With millions of active players, it looked like almost everyone was chasing that chicken dinner. The addition of PUBG mobile was also a success and the path of the game towards esports stardom seemed assured. However, more recently, the game’s popularity has hit a rough patch. Its main competitor, Fortnite, has been able to steal a lot of the global battle royale thunder. Now, Tencent, the game’s publisher, is trying to change that downward trajectory with the PUBG Mobile Star Challenge Competition.
The competition will be, at first, broken down into geographical regions. PUBG mobile squads from Asia, Europe, North and South America, Japan and Korea, and finally China will go head-to-head this fall. The competition will be sponsored by Samsung and their Galaxy Note 9 model. The prize pool will be set at $600,000, a relatively modest sum compared to the top-tier esports tournaments.
The public side of the competition will start with the two-day European finale taking place in Kiev on September 29. The competition will finish with a big event in Dubai near the end of the year.
The Motley Player Selection
The Star Challenge will feature teams of pro players, but also celebrities and internet personalities. Not only that, but in each team of four, at least one person has to have over 1,000 fans on one or more game streaming platforms like Twitch. Each region will have 20 teams and they will slowly eliminate each other out until a handful reach the global finale.
The PUBG Star Challenge Competition is clearly designed to awaken the interest of the esports audience for PUBG mobile. $600,000 will surely attract most of the pro players and many others active in the game, but it still seems that Fortnite has the inside track even here. In comparison, their Fall Skirmish esports tournament features a prize pool worth $10 million.