PUBG Mobile is sponsoring the Lahore Qalandars cricket franchise, which competes in the Pakistan Super League (PSL), according to an official tweet from yesterday.
As a part of this sponsorship, fans of the cricket franchise will get a chance to receive some “exclusive” in-game items. It hasn’t been revealed what these are exactly.
A Lahore Qalandars spokesperson described the sponsorship as a “strategic long-term partnership” in a press conference. He added it will be used to promote PUBG Mobile and add significantly to its existing playerbase of about 15 million in the country. It will also focus on promoting healthy competition in esports.
The PSL is a franchised cricket league run by the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). Lahore Qalandars is one of six teams in the league. The 2022 season will take place from Jan. 27 to Feb. 27.
Cricket is an immensely popular sport in Pakistan, and sponsoring a franchise in the PSL will allow PUBG Mobile to connect with a large audience directly. Additionally, the PSL features several foreign players as well, attracting fans from around the world.
Pakistan has its own Club Open and National Championship in PUBG Mobile esports. These competitions seed into the top-tier PUBG Mobile Pro League (PMPL) South Asia. The fall split of the PMCO Pakistan 2021 achieved a peak viewership of 19,779, per Esports Charts.
PUBG Mobile hasn’t had the smoothest run in Pakistan, though, and was briefly banned in July 2020 by the country’s telecommunication authority. The entity alleged the game was a “waste of time” and posed a “serious negative impact” on the psychological and physical health of children. The game was later unbanned after the authority met with officials who run the game in the country.