PUBG Mobile esports saw a sharp increase in viewership and registrations with more tournaments in 2021

The game continues to solidify itself as a leading mobile esports title.

Image via Tencent

Most of the competitions in PUBG Mobile esports’ 2021 calendar have wrapped up. And the game saw staggering growth this year, according to data shared by Tencent in a press release.

In late 2020, Tencent announced that it was significantly expanding PUBG Mobile esports by announcing a $15 million prize pool, more Club Opens (PMCOs), and Pro Leagues (PMPLs). James Yang, the director of PUBG Mobile global esports, said in a keynote that the company would also be focusing on increasing Western viewership. The popularity of the game in the West is much lower when compared to markets in Asia.

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Seven new PMCOs and PMPLs were conducted this year, with most of these in the West. As a result, the PUBG Mobile World Invitational (PMWI) West, which happened in July, peaked at 409,000 viewers, eight times higher than the World League (PMWL) in 2020, according to data shared by Tencent.

Tencent also revealed that the first half of 2021 accumulated over 75 million hours watched. This is about 56 percent more than the second half of 2020. This isn’t surprising, though, since the esports calendar for 2021 featured a lot more events. Aside from the new PMCOs and PMPLs, several National Championships (PMNCs) were also held in different countries around the world.

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The PMCOs and PMNCs are the most grassroots-level competition in PUBG Mobile esports. The top professional teams don’t compete in these open-for-all tournaments, giving some underdogs a chance to rise up the ranks. With the increase in competitions, the PMCOs and PMNCs witnessed 126,000 teams registering for a shot at glory. This is an 82-percent increase when compared to 2020, according to Tencent.

Tencent also announced today that the PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2021 will begin on Nov. 23. It has a $6 million prize pool, the highest for a single event in the mobile game’s history.