The PUBG Invitational at Gamescom was a great start for the game, but if it wants to beat the biggest esports out there, we need some tweaks still.
Last week the unthinkable happened. Dota 2 was knocked off the top of the most popular game on Steam chart. But it wasn’t fellow esport CS:GO that managed to do it, and it wasn’t some hot new AAA game release, no, it was PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Dota 2 could only muster up 838,519 people playing at the same time, while PUBG managed to blow it out of the water by securing 877,844 players.
While PUBG managed to beat Dota in the concurrent players metric, its creators were also laying the groundwork to try and steal Valve’s esports crown as well. Some of the best PUBG players in the world were trying their hand in the PUBG Invitational at Gamescom when the lead changed in the concurrent players standings. $350,000 was up for grabs at what was the first real major LAN competition specifically designed for PUBG.
The event, along with impressive viewing numbers and of course the massive player base, proved that there is a lot going for PUBG as an esport. For a first attempt at a specially designed LAN event the Invitational was a solid effort from all involved – but it was far from perfect. The other metrics may be swinging in PUBG’s favour, but it still has a long way to go to beat Dota when it comes to quality of life features that make a game more than just a game, but a spectacle. With just a few tweaks and changes, developers Bluehole could have an esports mega hit on their hands.