PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds‘ first large-scale LAN event of 2018 is just around the corner, as ESL and IEM have announced a $50,000 PUBG Invitational at IEM Katowice.
Sixteen teams will compete at the event on Feb. 24 and 25 at IEM Expo in Katowice, Poland. Nine of the sixteen teams will be invited, with three teams each from NA, EU, and Asia. The final seven teams will face off in qualifiers, with three teams from NA and EU and one team for South America making it through.
“The IEM World Championship Katowice 2017 was the world’s largest esports event in history, and with PUBG’s competitive debut at IEM Oakland, we are thrilled to feature it again at such a renowned IEM event,” ESL’s VP of Pro Gaming, Michal Blicharz, said. “Previously adding PUBG to the agenda brought a lot of excitement to the arena and we feel that it will be a great addition to the IEM Expo.”
This will be the third PUBG event by ESL, with the first being the gamescom Invitational last August. While the event was rough around the edges, it proved there was an audience and a want for PUBG esports, so the game was brought back for IEM Oakland, which offered a much more refined viewing experience—particularly in regards to the spectating.
Both of those events featured 20 teams facing off in Squads play, but this event will feature just 16, which should make for a less hectic spectator experience, and hopefully offer a change of pace as well.
The online qualifiers for IEM Katowice will begin Jan. 20 and 21, with 512 teams fighting for the seven remaining slots. No invited teams have been announced yet, but news should be coming in the next few weeks.