Patt’s Thoughts — PGC Edition
Hello, and welcome to the Patt’s Thoughts — a irregular concept, where I am going through what have happened recently, and provide my analysis and comments on those. This time I’ll be going through a detailed announcement about the 2019 PUBG Global Championship, so let’s get straight through it.
Tournament Format - ...more questions than answers ?
After a initial announcement of PGC at the final day of Nations Cup in August, the only things we knew about the tournament format were that it’ll feature a Group Stage, Semi-Finals and Finals Round, and the amount of days that each round will be played through. After today’s release we finally know that the Global Championship will be played out as follows :
- 32 teams will compete in the Group Stage in two pre-drawn groups of 16 over the first two days ( November 8-9 ). The top halves of each group will directly advance to the Semi-Finals, while the bottom halves will face each other in a Elimination Group on November 10th.
- 24 teams ( top halves of Group Stage + Top 8 of Elimination Group ) will be split into three groups with eight teams each, with each group facing each other throughout round-robin Semi-Finals.
- The top 16 teams from Semis will move to the Grand Finals, which’ll be played out in the Oakland Arena ( ex- Oracle Arena ) on November 23-24.
Personally, while I would like to see the Grand Finals being played over more than two days to minimize the chance of a fluke champion, overall format looks intense and challenging for the teams - with only a handful matches being played in each round, each clutch play and mistake can make a huge impact on the final standings. That being said, there are a few questions about the format that haven’t been answered or I think should be asked after today’s announcement :
How many games will each Group play through ? - It haven’t been mentioned whether opening groups will play on both November 8th and 9th, or will Group A play their matches only on Friday, while Group B plays theirs only on Saturday.
What is the tournament map order ? - It’s been confirmed that Erangel, Miramar and Sanhok will be all played on the PGC stage, but map order will be interesting to know, as some teams have been better on some maps than another ( ex. DeToNator doing well on Miramar through their mediocre PKL Phase 3 ) and map order can improve or hurt their chances.
Will scored points be carried over Tournament Rounds ? - Carrying over points from previous stages of PGC can make a huge difference with no more than 12 games being played in each round of the tournament. While the announcement haven’t mentioned that at any point, there’ve been questions rising about it and a clear answer would definitely clarify that situation.
Tournament skins - The devil is not so black as he is painted
The other big thing announced today was the much awaited PGC in-game skin - or to be precise, no less than eleven skins and a emote ( and possibly more coming for attending PGC Finals and/or PGC Pick’Ems ). However, as sometimes in life, one thing have happened at a cost of another one - as it turned out, there will be no team-branded PGC skins that have been announced as late as in January.
That information have been indirectly mentioned less than a day before the official announcement, and it's been a hot topic around the competitive proscene since then.
First things first, there are few reasons why the cancellation of team-branded skins are a bad thing :
Like I've mentioned it earlier, they have been announced to happen nine months ago. Even if the decision was made “due to the development process and the inability to ensure a high enough quality skin to represent your organization in PUBG.”, it feels odd that PUBG Corp. couldn't at least prepare a template skin and change logos and colors to represent the participant teams, similar to the PGI 2018 team hoodies.
There have been a ton of feedback about team skins happening over the months, from the director of PUBG Esports, Jake Sin himself asking for fan-made concept of those, to orgs and staff talking about a need of those in order to help teams make much-needed revenue and potentially bring new orgs to the proscene. Because of that, timing of the announcement couldn't be worse.
Lastly, teams participating at the PGC were planned to receive 25% of their skin revenue, so cutting them off may lower their profit from the competitive proscene ( more on that in a bit ).
However I think there are some things that may end up minimizing the downside of team skins cancellation - PUBG Corp. have announced that, on top of previously announced 25% of PGC skins revenue being added to the base prizepool of 2,000,000 USD, another 25% would forge a money pool of the Pick'Em Challenge, with each team getting a share of the pool based on amount of votes they'll receive ( possibly similar to how UEFA shares the coefficient ranking part of Champions League revenue with participant teams ).
This may not be a perfect solution to the situation, but thanks to a Pick'Em money pool the fan-favourite teams should still earn a decent buck due to their fanbase support, while smaller teams won't be shorthanded. Also, I believe that players may be more eager to buy the PGC skins when given no other option to support the teams in this situation, which will build up both the prizepool and Pick'Ems pool and cover the loss of team-skins revenue.
Lastly, I want to take this opportunity and send a message from myself to :
Players, staff, orgs, TOs and fans of Competitive PUBG - I understand that some of you may have been disappointed by the decisions made by PUBG Corp. throughout the 2019 season and I want you to be clear about it - Send your message to the PUBG Esports team, either through DM or ( if there’s no other option ) through social media and post your feedback and ideas on how to improve the proscene.
To PUBG Esports / PUBG Corp. - Over the past year there've been times that the proscene felt that you haven't heard / ignored their feedback or they weren't able to make one directly to the company in the first place. You probably have your ideas and plans on how to grow the competitive scene, and you may be finalizing your concept of a 2020 season at this point, but please take our feedback into the account and/or improve the communications between all parties involved in the scene, as I believe that the proscene will become bigger only when all parties co-operate on making it a better place to be involved at.