In the end, the chicken dinner at the 2022 PUBG MOBILE Global Championship (PMGC) went to Turkey – or, more specifically – the country’s S2G Esports team.
It didn’t look that way at the start of the three-day tournament at Indonesia’s Jakarta International Expo. Early on, Brazilian teams dominated the ranks of the world’s 16 top PUBG MOBILE esports teams. When the dust had settled, though, it was S2G Esports, with 190 points and 93 eliminations, who bagged the gold and top prize money in the $4 million pool.
“We have been preparing for more than six months consistently and have always targeted the win as our objective. We are constantly competing against ourselves, not other teams, and trying to be the best for the coming years,” said S2G Esports. The clinching of the championship came after the team’s fourth-place finish in 2021 and was a catalyst for their victory this time around.
Mongolian player, Burenbayar “TOP” Altangerel, of Stalwart eSports was the Finals MVP, with 31 eliminations and racking up 10,074 damage.
Overall, the Jan. 6-8 2022 PUBG MOBILE Global Championship signaled the growing global importance of mobile esports, with representation at the finals comprising teams from eight countries, including local favorites Alter Ego, Malaysian stars Geek Fam, as well as Chinese teams Nova and Four Angry Men. Competition levels are also on the rise.
“The biggest difference from last year is that we had changed some of the team as well as the coach, and with the team complete, our consistent work, practice, and belief brought us to the top,” S2G Esports said.
Outside of the heated competition, fans partook in a variety of activities surrounding the 2022 PMGC. All three days saw various cosplayers and the chicken mascot grace the event, while a martial arts showcase was onstage on the second day in celebration of new Bruce Lee content in PUBG MOBILE. The highlight of the non-esports segment came on the final day, which saw performances from musicians Mahalini Raharja and Alvin Jonathan.
There were also shooting ranges with merchandise up for grabs and supporters of local PUBG MOBILE teams could show their love at the store, which carried everything from themed t-shirts and keychains to player cards.
“I’m very excited because this is the first physical event since three years ago. It has been a tough time, and COVID isn’t fully over yet, but we are excited to be here,” said James Yang, director of PUBG MOBILE esports. “We still want to push further for mobile esports as a mobility, accessibility and lifestyle tool, and also, we want to hold more offline events and to provide more chances for amateur and semi-pro players.”
The Grand Finals were broadcasted in 19 languages and live-streamed on various platforms, including YouTube, Twitch, Facebook, Tik Tok, Trovo, VK, Snack Video, and Kwai. Viewership numbers peaked at over 850,000 (Esports Charts), with more than 27 million hours watched throughout the entire 2022 PMGC tournament. The showcase event outperformed the numbers of the 2021 PMGC, signaling an increased interest in the esports title.
“So, this year, there’ll be new leagues in Southeast Asia that will make the PUBG MOBILE ecosystem be even more expansive for the next step,” Yang said, which bodes well for teams trying to make it big. “Some community teams are really strong, but the pros are playing at an exceptional level. It is not impossible, and we are hoping to facilitate that with how high-level competitions are structured.”
The PUBG MOBILE Pro League (PMPL) will see the creation of a dedicated league for Malaysia, while the new PMPL SEA Wild Card will cover the Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia and Singapore regions.
Following the finals, the competitive PUBG MOBILE scene will kick off in 2023 with the PUBG MOBILE World Invitational, which will take place in July in Riyadh, KSA. Fans can look forward to the fourth season of the Global Championship in the new year, which will be taking place in Turkey in November. Having won it this year, S2G says it already believes it will be “the champions again next year.”
With PUBG MOBILE set to be included in the Asian Games 2023, having previously been part of the Southeast Asian Games, Yang and the team are more than happy to help the scene grow.
“We are really happy to see this trend of sporting bodies recognizing esports as medal events, because players who represent their country stand to be rewarded and recognized. I really saw the very strong passion in last year’s SEA Games in Vietnam; players doing their best because they were representing their whole country and people. The support will hopefully transfer to the leagues, and make our esports bigger and more impactful, like the World Cup,” Yang said.