The PUBG Mobile Japan League (PMJL) will become a franchised league from 2021 with 16 teams competing, PUBG Corp. announced today. The league will have a prize pool of 300 million yen (approximately $2.8 million).
The league’s schedule has already been planned out from 2021 to 2023. It will be held in two phases each year. The first phase will be played from February to April while the second will happen from July to September. Japanese mobile phone operator, NTT DoCoMo will be organizing the event. Matches will likely be played offline.
Recruitment for the 16 team owners is ongoing. Organizations can submit their applications for competing in the league by Nov. 27. The teams will be confirmed on Dec. 17.
Each team can have a maximum of seven players. Two of these can be foreign nationals. Every team has to pay a salary of at least 3.5 million yen (about $33,000) to all players, not counting the prize money. There is no upper limit on players’ salaries.
With this announcement, Japan has become the first region to announce a franchise-based structure for PUBG Mobile esports moving into 2021. It remains to be seen if other regions do the same as well.
The first season of the PMJL was held earlier this year. The PUBG Mobile Japan League season zero ran from Aug. 29 to Oct. 18. It had a total prize pool of about $94,000. The winner, BLUE BEES, qualified for the PUBG Mobile Global Championship (PMGC) season zero which will begin later this month.