Team Liquid co-CEO: PUBG could have "a big place" in esports
All of the successes of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds have been well-documented. The game has reached 600,000 concurrent players on Steam, and it's a booming success on Twitch. But it's still untested as an esports title.
This weekend marks PUBG's first ever LAN event, the gamescom PUBG Invitational. Team Liquid will be one of the esports organizations to be the first to compete in the game. Liquid co-CEO Steve Arhancet believes in PUBG as an esport, and thinks that it has a ton of potential.
"I'm confident PUBG has the right components to have a big place in the future of esports, including a large player base and a dedicated developer to improve the game," Arhancet said. "I believe the POV streams are entertaining and from a spectator perspective, the game has a novel concept that should do well."
Arhancet knows a thing or two about esports. He competed in League of Legends and was a team manager and owner before stepping into his leadership role with Liquid, the organization that just won Dota 2's The International 7—and took home a cool $10.5 million in the process.
When Liquid announced that it was picking up a PUBG team a couple weeks ago, the esports community took notice. Liquid has joined the ranks of TSM, Cloud9, Luminosity, and Tempo Storm as esports organizations diving into the battlegrounds. All of these teams will compete at gamescom's event, which runs from Aug. 23 to 26.
Liquid's PUBG roster features Keiron "Scoom" Prescott, Oliver "Ollywood" Tell, Björn "Molnman" Jansson, and Daniel "Hayz" Heaysman. Arhancet thinks that this squad is the perfect team for Liquid's first foray into the scene.
"With Scoom, Molnman, Hayz and Ollywood, we've got four extremely talented and cohesive players to make a mark on the esports scene with Team Liquid," he said.
Scoom is also quite excited for the future, and he understands the gravity of being picked up by an organization like Liquid.
"Team Liquid is one of the most respected esports organizations out there, so playing for a [Liquid] PUBG team was a no brainer," said Scoom. "We've got a four-man team I think we can dominate with and with the knowledge and support of Team Liquid behind us, we hope to make a big impact on the scene. It's early days for PUBG as an esport, but I think it's got a big future ahead with its intense entertainment factor and I'm psyched to compete at Gamescom with Molnman, Hayz and Ollywood as Team Liquid."
It remains to be seen how PUBG will function as a competitive esports title, but gamescom will be everyone's first taste of how things will go. Both Arhancet and Scoom will be hoping for the best.