Like every year since its release, PUBG has seen a lot of action this year. After tweaking their competitive system for almost two years, PUBG Esports settled on an event based “road show” for 2020. PGS was supposed to be the way forward, but due to Covid-19, things didn’t work out as planned. With the PUBG Global Series on hiatus, the PUBG Continental Series (PCS) dominated the scene for most of the year.
With the 2020 season now officially over, we dedicate this week’s PUBG Weekly to PCS 3, the brand new PUBG Global Invitational happening in 2021, and the upcoming roster shuffle across all regions.
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PUBG Continental Series 3 Recap
PCS 3 concluded across all four regions this weekend. Only the North America champions managed to defend their trophy, as we crown three new PCS champions in Asia, Europe and APAC. Compared to the previous two iterations of the PUBG Continental Series, we witnessed an elevated level of gameplay and tactics across the board.
Throughout all four regions, teams were largely focused on survival and positional play. This reflected in most matches taking at least three circles before the action picked up. Additionally, time between matches has not improved yet, making the average PCS stream at least 4 hours for just four 30 minute matches. Boredom aside, let’s recap how each region ultimately played out.
PCS 3 Winners and Losers
North America was among the first regions to conclude their PCS journey. The Soniqs are once again crowned champions on the back of some dominating plays by PUBG prodigy James “TGLTN” Giezen. Tig managed to dominate both the kills, assist and damage categories while absolutely flexing on his entire region. It was no surprise that by the end of it all the Soniqs were over 60 points ahead of the 2nd placed team in their lobby.
Traditional NA leaders Shoot To Kill had an abysmal performance in the finals and barely managed to get 5th in the final standings. We might witness a large roster reshuffling in the NA scene in the following weeks, especially with PGI.S 2012 only awarding 4 slots for NA teams.
2 WINS IN A ROW! Soniqs is the #PCS3 NA Champions! They brought the heat from day 1 of PCS2 and it carried over here tonight! Congrats to all the teams for giving us one crazy ride in PCS3 NA! 🍗🏆🍗 pic.twitter.com/NtLKqiE35O
— PUBG Esports (@PUBGEsports) November 21, 2020
MultiCircle Gaming destroyed 95% of the Pick’em choices after stunning established top Korean and Chinese teams to their first PCS Asia trophy. Everyone considered teams Tianba and OGN Entus as the main favorites for the trophy, but a last day surprise performance by MCG earned them the PCS trophy and $80,000 USD in prize money. Furthermore, Afreeca Freecs, 4AM and Infantry will need to make tough decisions in the off-season if they want to remain relevant in 2021.
Finally, Buriram United and Northern Lights end the season on a high note in APAC and EU respectively. Both teams shared a similar season filled with amazing performances in each of their PCS showings, but ultimately falling short at the finish line. Both teams started their 2020 season on a high note and stumbled through the year until finally coming full circle at the end of the year event. Parallels can further be drawn in their PCS 3 finals performances as well. Both teams had solid performances from start to finish, consistently earning at least one win every competitive week.
Next season is set to further limit the competitive PUBG ecosystem, likely resulting in more teams disbanding in the off-season or after the PGI.S qualifiers. We are likely looking at huge roster shuffles in the next three months.
PUBG PGI.S 2021
With in-person competitions all but impossible at the moment, the event coordinators set up very specific conditions to keep their participants safe. The first 2021 event will be called the PGI.S – where the S stands for, among other things, Safety.
The 8 week long event will feature 32 teams and special safety protections to make the event a reality. Similar to the LoL Worlds 2020 and NBA bubbles; 2-week quarantines are planned into the trips and schedules for players, and an unnamed list of ‘services’ has also been announced to keep them comfortable during their isolation.
That, coupled with South Korea’s comparatively successful handling of the situation and low Covid-19 numbers, makes for a good setup for a potentially successful tournament.
Participants & Tournament Format
The invited teams have yet to be announced formally, but the split across continents has already been announced. Europe will be fielding 7 teams, China 6, Southeast Asia 5, NA 4, South Korea alone 4, Latin America, Japan and Taipei will field two teams each.
These teams will compete in a two-tiered tournament series – first, the weekly survival, then the weekly final. In the first week, all teams will be ranked in order to determine their placements and the top 16 will play in the first weekly survival.
Weekly survival matches will happen a total of 16 times, to determine 16 Chicken Dinner winners. The 16 teams with these wins will earn both prize money and a spot in the weekly finals. When a team qualifies for the finals, the next-ranked team in the list takes their spot in the weekly survival list – until the 16 final spots are filled. The weekly finals will have a total of 10 matches.
We are going to see this format in action for the first time at the PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2020.
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In a unique twist, the overall winner of the PGI.S won’t be the team with the most wins, but rather, the team with the most prize money accrued! And there is plenty of that to go around – a total of $3.5 million dollars make up the basic pool – it will be expanded by 30% of the profit made from the gear packs and pick’em challenge coupon sales.
The full info on PGI.S is likely a week or two away, and we will update you with fresh info as it comes along.
Read next: PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2020 Tournament Overview & Expectations