PUBG Corp. has partnered with esports network OGN to launch the first official North American PUBG league, the National PUBG League (NPL).
OGN was the broadcaster for the League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK) competition for a number of years, but it is being replaced by Riot Games itself. This move marks the company’s entrance into the North American esports industry.
The NPL is part of a global league structure that PUBG Corp. is building in an attempt to develop and push PUBG esports into mainstream popularity. 16 teams will compete at the OGN Studio in Los Angeles in 2019, with $1 million (£758,165) up for grabs over the course of the season.
DJ Lee, CEO and President of CJ E&M America discussed OGN’s move stateside: “The moment is right to bring our experience in esports to North America and present a business model that we see as win-win for everyone – from game publishers to brands. Bringing the OGN playbook to this rapidly growing esports market will provide a robust opportunity to connect and engage with the next generations of gamers and fans.”
OGN will also launch the OGL Super League, a league that’s played each week on a rotation of different games. The OGN Super Match, a recurring large-scale invitational event, will be ran too.
Earlier today, it was announced that PUBG Corp. and StarLadder were joining forces to launch the PUBG Europe League (PEL). Much like the National PUBG League, it’s part of a global structure that aims to better officiate the esport.
In July, PUBG Corp. announced a five year esports-plan just a day before the PUBG Global Invitational 2018 kicked off. Launching regional pro leagues was part of the scheme devised to boost PUBG into popularity in the competitive realm. Other regions that were said to be receiving its own league at the time of the announcement included Korea and China, though those haven’t been revealed as of writing.
Esports Insider says: PUBG has proven that it can be a compelling watch for those who enjoy the game, so PUBG Corp. is doing right by bringing in the some of the best broadcasters and organisers around to give the game a real competitive push. While the global structure hasn’t been outlined publicly yet, there’s a real buzz around announcements such as this from the growing community. The proof is in the pudding however, and there’s a lot of money riding on the success of this five-year plan.