James Yang, the director of PUBG Mobile global esports at Tencent Games, revealed PUBG Mobile’s esports plans for 2021 during a keynote at the Esports Awards Expo today.
PUBG Mobile’s esports events have accumulated over a billion views so far in 2020, according to Yang. The biggest PUBG Mobile event of the year is yet to happen. The Global Championship (PMGC) season zero will begin on Nov. 24 and has a $2 million prize pool.
Ahead of it, Yang revealed some key details about PUBG Mobile’s esports circuit in 2021.
The basic structure of PUBG Mobile esports next year will be similar to 2020. This involves:
- PUBG Mobile Club Opens (PMCO) for amateur and semi-pro teams.
- PUBG Mobile Pro Leagues (PMPL) for pro teams.
- PUBG Mobile Global Championship (PMGC): Grand event at the end of the year.
There will be two seasons of PMCOs and PMPLs held throughout the year. Top teams from the PMCOs will advance to the PMPLs. From here, the best teams will compete in the Global Championship at the end of 2021.
A major change in PUBG Mobile’s esports structure in 2021 is the removal of the World League (PMWL). The PMWL is being replaced by an invitational in the summer of 2021. Yang said the invitational will be a “super event” next year.
The prize pool for 2021 will be “huge,” Yang said. The exact figure will be announced during the beginning of the PMGC season zero on Nov. 24.
Yang said the prize pool for PUBG Mobile esports has become twice as big every year for the past three years. Considering that PUBG Mobile esports had a total prize pool of $5 million in 2020, next year’s prize pool could be higher than $10 million.
Yang revealed that Tencent will be constructing two new studios for PUBG Mobile esports in 2021. The locations for these studios weren’t revealed, though.
PUBG Mobile already has a studio in Katowice, Poland. It was constructed in a partnership with esports company ESL. No PUBG Mobile tournament has been played in this studio, however, due to health concerns and travel restrictions during the coronavirus pandemic.
Yang said the company hopes to have the two new studios functional for PUBG Mobile competitions by the second half of 2021. He added that these studios will be “really advanced” and could be bigger than the one in Katowice.
The PUBG Mobile Club Opens (PMCO) will be conducted for seven more regions in 2021. These will be:
- PMCO Africa
- PMCO Bangladesh
- PMCO France
- PMCO Mexico
- PMCO Nepal
- PMCO United Arab Emirates
- PMCO United Kingdom
These seven PMCOs will add to the ones already conducted in Brazil, CIS, Egypt, Europe WC, Germany, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, LATAM WC, MENA WC, North America, Pakistan, South Asia, Turkey, and Wildcard regions.
There will be seven new Pro Leagues (PMPL) in 2021. These are:
- PMPL CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States)
- PMPL Turkey
- PMPL Western Europe
- PMPL Arabia
- PMPL North America
- PMPL Latin America
- PMPL Brazil
Enhance Western engagement
Even as PUBG Mobile continues to grow in Asia, esports engagement in the West remains low. The second season of the PMPL Americas, which concluded last October, had an average viewership of just 10,903 people, according to Esports Charts.
Yang said the company will be hosting more grassroots level competitions to increase engagement with the Western audience. Additionally, most of the new PMCOs and PMPLs have been added for the Western regions.