PUBG Corp. and tournament organiser StarLadder have partnered to launch the PUBG Europe League (PEL) in January 2019. Despite being named the PUBG Europe League, teams from the Middle East and Africa will also have the chance to compete.
The PUBG Europe League will be a component in a global competitive system, where top teams from the league will have the ability to qualify for an international event towards the end of the season. The annual combined prize pool for the PEL and the Contenders League will be €1,000,000 (£874,000).
16 teams will compete in a specially-designed LAN studio in an unannounced European capital – it’s worth noting that the PUBG Global Invitational 2018 was hosted in Berlin, Germany and was the first official tournament from PUBG Corp. The developer will provide housing and travel support to those competing in the PEL – as well as providing a share of revenue earned.
Alex Nam, Head of EMEA Business, VP at PUBG Corp said the following in a statement: “Taking the next step in our five-year plan, the PUBG Europe League brings more consistency with regular matches from professional teams, bringing an increase in competitive matches for the fans and players of PUBG to get excited for and watch. The more matches on offer from the league will ensure teams are enhancing their skills and strategy over the course of the season, to result in matches with even more grandeur. We are also very glad to have joined forces with StarLadder on this remarkable project. StarLadder has proven themselves as a reliable, innovative and highly motivated partner. We are expecting a great many exciting things coming out for this partnership.”
Qualifications for the league will open in October and run through to mid-December, culminating in a deciding LAN with 32 teams in attendance. It will not adopt a franchise model for the foreseeable future, instead opting to utilise a promotion and relegation system.
Roman Romantsov, CEO & Founder of StarLadder discussed the league: “PUBG is a great game with millions of loyal followers, even though it’s a young esports title. Having extensive experience in running and managing hundreds of tournaments over the years, StarLadder is proud to be an integral part of the PUBG development as a full-fledged sport with a real professional League. Broadcasting PUBG is a challenge, but we are ready for it. We are constantly striving to improve the viewer experience. We promise, you will be awed by our live production yet again. We are very pleased by an opportunity to partner up with PUBG Corp. on their professional league in Europe. We are looking forward to great many years together as partners.”
In July, just before PGI 2018 kicked off, PUBG Corp. announced it was incorporating a five-year esports plan – regional leagues were part of this. The initial plan was to introduce Pro Leagues in North America, Europe, Korea, and China. Only Europe has been announced thus far.
In August, StarLadder announced a series of three tournaments for different levels of competitors. Launched in both Europe and CIS regions, the competitions are: the Amateur Series, the SemiPro series, and the Ultimate Series. The aim is to help amateur players progress through a system that could help them become professionals in the future.
Esports Insider says: The H1Z1 Pro League’s inaugural season wasn’t a success but that game doesn’t have the popularity that PUBG has. PGI 2018 proved there’s viewership for the game in a competitive capacity, having official regional leagues could well turn some heads and convince people that Battle Royale esports can indeed work. It’s all down to execution however, and PUBG Corp. hasn’t always been great on that front.