PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) is a multiplayer online battle royale video game which was the brain child of Brendan “Player Unknown” Greene and was developed and published by PUBG Corp., which was working directly under the famous Korean publisher Bluehole. The game can be played in either first or third person game perspective and is currently available for Windows and XBox.
PUBG is considered as a battle royal because it is inspired by the 2000 film Battle Royale in which 42 teenagers are left on a deserted island and are fitted with an explosive collar. If they break a rule, the collar is activated and they die. In the film the winner is the last survivor. This is the person who kills everyone else and is the last man standing. PUBG has pretty much the same premise.
In PUBG, a maximum of 100 players are dropped on an island via a parachute and start off their survival mission without having anything. This means that they have to look for weapons and equipment while at the same time being careful that they don’t get killed by other players, players who should actually be eliminated.
In the game there are certain high risk zones in which more attractive weapons and equipment can be obtained, but in which players will get into much more trouble in their efforts to do that. The available safe area of the map is reduced as the game wears on and this means that players will find it more likely to face one another. This increase in encounters guarantees that there will be more survival battles as the game progresses and ensures that at the end of the game there will be only one player left standing. In competitive eSports the last player or team standing wins.
The game was first released in March 2017 and Brendan “Player Unknown” Greene guaranteed the people at Bluehole that it would sell a million copies in a month without any problems. The executives at the Korean company were more pessimistic and said that they would be happy with half that number in the first year of the game’s release. Greene turned out to be right however, as the desired target of 1 million copies was reached in only 16 days and in the next 7 months the game sold in over 13 million copies worldwide. It also managed to surpass Valve’s Dota 2 record of most concurrent players with over 2 million players playing the game at the same time. Today PUBG is the most popular and most played game on Steam.
Because PUBG is such a new release, it has only been part of one official tournament on which betting has occurred and that is the Gamescom 2017. This is definitely going to change in the future as the game will soon build a strong competitive base, but for now we will just have to temper our enthusiasm, be patient and wait for the game to go through its natural course of becoming a well established eSport. However, even with so little time elapsing since the game has been first released we have some tangible odds and betting markets from respected eSports betting operators which we can look at and analyze.
The first market which appeared after the announcement of the PUBG 2017 Invitational at Gamescom was the outright winners’ one. The favourites for the main prize in Cologne in the most attractive and lucrative category (Squad Third Person) were entro4, Team SoloMid, Team Liquid and Cloud9. On the other end of the spectrum were the complete underdogs such as ChuckleNuts and The Atlantic Gang. Somewhere in the middle were teams such as Luminosity, Tier 3 Gaming and NobleGG. Interestingly enough, Luminosity, Tier 3 Gaming and NobleGG finished first, second and third, adding weight to the claim that the favourites don’t always win the main prize.
In addition to this market, betting companies also offered punters the chance to choose which team will score the most kills. In this market match-ups between teams were created and each team was given odds reflecting their chances of coming out of the match-up with more kills than their opponents. For example, in the match-up between NobleGG and Mythic Reborn both teams were given equal odds of 1.83 whereas in the match-up between Kung Fu Panda and DeToNator, Kung Fu Panda were considered as favourites and were given odds of 1.66 and DeToNator were regarded as underdogs and subsequently were given odds of 2.10.
Because PUBG is not played as a conventional multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) or a first person shooter (FPS) game, betting on the final outcome of an event is quite different from betting on games such as League of Legends, Dota 2, Counter Strike: Global Offensive or World of Warcraft. This means that betting markets will have to be tailored specifically for PUBG and betting companies will certainly need some time to adapt to this new situation.
When you are betting on PUBG you should definitely look for how experienced the team or player you are backing really is. The best way to do this is to regularly follow PUBG streams on Twitch and to get a general idea of which players you would consider as your favourites to be the last men standing.
In addition to this, it will also be really beneficial for you if you actually start playing the game yourself. This will greatly help you to understand the inner mechanics of different in-game situations and this will be crucial in predicting how players with different playing strategies will fare in the game.
Since PUBG is such a fresh release in the eSports community, there are no traditionally famous tournaments that we can speak of. However, this is only a matter of time as the game has already been included in many high profile events where it has amassed a large number of players. For example, when 2 million copies of the game were sold, Bluehole created the 2017 Charity Invitational in which 128 players fought for a good cause, in an event in which all donations of up to $100 thousand were matched in their entirety by the Korean company. At the end of the tournament around $120 thousand were collected and donated.
In August 2017, PUBG was part of Gamescom in Cologne, Germany, and this was the first large tournament in which the game was contested. The tournament came with a $350 thousand prize pool and was organized in different categories depending on the number of players and the type of perspective. These were the four categories and their respective prize pots:
This event showed all the positive and negative things of playing PUBG as part of a competitive tournament. What was positive was the fact that the idea of the game is perfectly tailored for a highly competitive eSport in which one person or team has to fight against fierce competition to be the last man standing. However, there were still some things which could be improved, especially on how the game is presented to spectators. This is because the eSports industry already has a well devised strategy on presenting a MOBA or a FPS to audiences, whereas for PUBG it’s a little different since it doesn’t fit into these two well established eSports concepts. However, when PUBG reaches full potential on the eSports scene it will be by far the best release the eSports community and the eSports betting enthusiasts have ever seen.
There are currently no odds available