PUBG Mobile has announced the PUBG Mobile Partnership Program for its esports scene.
The new format will first be introduced in Southeast Asia. The programme guarantees slots in the PUBG Mobile Pro League (PMPL) and PUBG Mobile Super League (PMSL) for the partner organisations’ respective regions.
Southeast Asia will be the first region to test the new structure, as an evolution of the PMPL Regional Championship, with PMSL SEA. The Spring Season will kick off in March, while the Fall Season begins in August.
It has yet to be announced which teams have been made partners of the programme.
The PUBG Mobile Super League SEA will substitute the PMPL SEA championship, becoming the title’s new top tier for the region. The top teams of PMPL will be promoted to PMSL, and will play in both PMPL and PMSL.
All teams in the partnership programme will have a fixed slot in PMSL, regardless of PMPL placement.
There will be two seasons of the PMSL each year: Spring and Fall. The top teams will be promoted to the PUBG Mobile Global Championship (PMGC) based on performance in PMPL and PMSL.
“We’re incredibly excited to kick off this new chapter in PUBG Esports by launching the PUBG MOBILE Partnership Program,” said James Yang, Director of PUBG MOBILE Global Esports.
“We have so many amazing teams across the world that have been a huge part of what makes PUBG MOBILE successful, and we now have the opportunity to work even closer with them,” he added. “Through the Partnership Program and the respective PMSL, teams, players and fans will have a greatly improved experience as the opportunities pro teams can provide continue to grow.”
PUBG Mobile is exceedingly popular in Southeast Asia. The Global Championship Season 0, which concluded in early 2021, is one of the most-watched esports events ever according to Esports Charts, reaching a peak viewership of 3.8m. A large portion of the viewers were based in SEA.
Still, PUBG Mobile (or Battlegrounds Mobile India) remains banned in India, one of the title’s most popular regions. Its initial ban in 2020, amid soured China–India relations, has led to a precarious situation for the game in the South Asian country.
Game publishers now appear to be favouring the partnership model for their esports scenes. In November last year, KRAFTON announced a similar partnership programme for PUBG Esports.
Riot Games’ VALORANT Champions Tour (VCT) launched a similar initiative to start from the 2023 season, which does not require a hefty buy-in from teams as has been the case in the past with franchised leagues such as the Call of Duty League (CDL) and League of Legends European Championship (LEC).