James Yang- PUBG Mobile

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PUBG Mobile Shares Its Vision for Esports in 2022 and Beyond

Abhimannu Das
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Highlights
James Yang, Director of PUBG Mobile Global Esports shared the team's vision for the game in 2022 and beyond.
Africa is a region that is promising and the PUBG Mobile team will be working on building up the esports ecosystem in the region this year.
PUBG Mobile may go back to LAN events in 2022 but only if the COVID situation improves globally.

Director of PUBG Mobile Global Esports James Yang shared his vision for the esport in 2022 and beyond, in an official press conference. Yang talked about why PUBG Mobile Global Championship (PMGC) 2021 was an online only event, the future of PUBG Mobile as an esport, and more. Here is a recap of everything AFK Gaming learnt from the recent press conference.

On Hosting PMGC in an online-only environment

The PMGC was meant to be an offline event featuring teams from across the world on stage in a LAN setting, but the global restrictions put a halt to the plans for the organizers. The rise of Omicron forced the event to be hosted in a “semi-LAN” event with some teams traveling to Singapore and Dubai to compete. It was not possible for all 16 teams to be under one roof and the organizers had to prioritize player and staff safety.

In 2022, if the COVID situation improves, fans might be treated to an offline event. Tencent Games is trying its best to make it happen but it will depend on the global travel regulations and other factors which are beyond Tencent’s control.

Maintaining game integrity was important for the PMGC. Online events can make it difficult for all teams to have a fair ping for all players. The organizers used technology to balance the ping for all players to ensure teams are all within the same ping range, without feeling a noticeable advantage or disadvantage.

PMGC 2021 Finals might experience a dip in viewership

The PMGC finals will feature teams from all over the world, but it may experience a dip in viewership compared to last year. Yang expects this to happen as YouTube Gaming is the sole streaming partner while there were no exclusive streaming rights involved in 2020’s championship.

Even if the viewership does take a hit, the publisher is happy with how it was able to bring together teams from all over the world including India via Battlegrounds Mobile India. Global participation is important to Tencent Games as PUBG Mobile is popular worldwide. Registrations for its esports events come from over 150 countries and building a global ecosystem is important.

PUBG Mobile Esports in 2022 and beyond

Creating semi-pro scenes for every region where PUBG Mobile has a presence is important for Tencent Games. Any region that shows promise will be given opportunities to compete in future international events.

If the COVID situation does not improve, Tencent Games will not be risking player safety just for the sake of hosting LAN events. The rise of third-party events in 2021 was an eye-opener for Tencent Games. It now recognizes more regions than ever before, where fans and tournament organizers are passionate about the esport. The game will continue to add third-party events under its ecosystem to promote local esports across the globe.

Yang said, “watching is fun but playing is ‘extreme.’ I hope more players join our ecosystem. We want to give every player an opportunity in 2022 and beyond to compete in our events". Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam have developed strong national ecosystems and this is why Tencent wants to create regional events for countries that do not have such impressive ecosystems just yet. Players who do not have access to national championships like the above mentioned countries can take part in regional events instead.

Africa is one of the regions that Tencent has identified potential in. There will be PMCO and PMPL events in the region and the publisher is excited to see the talent of the region compete in its events. PUBG Mobile is also working on a mid-season event and if possible, it will be hosted in a LAN setting.

2022 will be a year of experimentation and the PUBG Mobile team is looking forward to trying out new ideas that are still under wraps. Yang hinted at new events in the horizon and fans need to stay tuned to find out what’s in store later this year.


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Abhimannu is a part of the content team at AFK Gaming and a lifelong obsessive gamer. He currently covers esports titles like VALORANT, CS: GO, Call of Duty, Fortnite, PUBG and more.


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