This weekend, scores of gamers in Busan, South Korea, will compete in a LAN pulled from Ready, Player One’s wildest goals. Stacked up in double-decker pc hubs, 100 rivals at a time will drop onto the deserted island of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and scrap, shoot, and crawl till just one individual is left standing on the heart of the blue circle.
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been a breakout recreation this yr, and its esports potential has been famous again and again. Organizations like TSM and Cloud9 have already began to swoop in to choose up groups, and competitions are forming the beginning of an actual circuit. Between solo occasions, charity tournaments, and arranged workforce competitions with brackets and jerseys, there’s a wealth of various methods PUBG is being performed. Despite being an Early Access recreation, it appears each gamers and spectators are keen to look at high-quality PUBG.
But what ought to aggressive PUBG appear to be? With no guiding hand from on-high or perhaps a designated “competitive” mode in-game, tournaments have been left to their very own units. Across a number of occasions, there have been a number of totally different iterations of what PUBG and different battle royale video games might appear to be in a public LAN house. PUBG shines when it takes the spectacle above and past the cut-and-paste esports setup, when the precise stage displays the quantity of chaos within the recreation itself.
Besides Busan, different tournaments have experimented with the 100-player LAN setup. At Gamescom, the PUBG invitational hosted all of the gamers in mock ruins, with numbers and dividers separating the play areas.
It was a novel look, very totally different from the two-booth esports setup that has turn into dominant in most competitions. As competitions have scaled up and turn into extra prevalent, the “esports tournament” look has turn into very easy. Most occasions function modern participant cubicles, one on either side of the stage, with a display separating them. It works for many, however it’s additionally very comparable. The scale and spectacle is rather less each time. Most attempt to amp this up with distinctive stage gimmicks, thematic cosplay or perhaps a dragon, however sooner or later, two groups will sit down of their cubicles and begin taking part in.
At Gamescom and Busan, this PUBG competitors isn’t only one aspect versus one other, however 100 gamers dropped into the identical area and informed that just one will win. Looking on the set immediately provides viewers a way of the dimensions of the competitors, the chaos that may culminate from so many hungry fighters left to fend for themselves on an island full of high-powered weaponry.
The nature of the sport, particularly in solo play, requires gamers to be bodily separated from one another however nonetheless in the identical area, and this creates the potential for brand new codecs to develop. Architecturally, PUBG is usually a totally different bademble totally, constructing double-decker LAN hubs and big setups with 100 computer systems. A panopticon of PUBG simply has a pleasant ring to it, and it permits manufacturing to get inventive as properly. Maybe every participant’s sales space may very well be lit up, and after they fall in recreation, their station goes darkish. As gamers fall one-by-one, the stage might dim darker and darker, till just a few blips of sunshine stay, remoted, with each motion seen to the viewers. This type of setup might naturally convey the rising pressure of an actual match of PUBG for the viewers.
In movies like Battle Royale and its Western counterpart, The Hunger Games, there are actually parts of technique and ways. But there’s additionally an inherent mayhem and randomness that comes from people all vying for their very own survival. PUBG is a contest of talent, however it blurs the road between sport and actuality competitors. It’s one step faraway from having a gaudy host saying the following batch of tributes, and that’s refreshing for somebody like me, who spends most waking hours watching hours of esports with variations on the identical theme.
If Steam metrics, LAN cafe numbers, and Twitch viewers are something to go by, PUBG can be right here to remain for some time. As aggressive PUBG continues to develop, it has an opportunity to seize one other viewers totally: esports followers who’re in search of a contemporary take, a contest that’s new and thrilling. Whether groups or solo, displaying the corporeal scale of a aggressive PUBG match isn’t only a quaint spectacle, it’s a brand new frontier for tournaments. As PUBG grows in prominence, I hope tournaments proceed arising with even grander methods to host the chaos.