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PUBG: Interview with eSports boss

Published by

July 17, 2019 4:41 pm

PUBG: Interview with eSports boss

PUBG is trying to establish itself in mainstream eSports this year. SPORT1 interviewed Jake Sin, the PUBG Director of eSports.

To announce the PUBG Nations Cup, SPORT1 has interviewed Jake Sin, Director of eSports at the PUBG Corporation.

Among other things, SPORT1 asked him how he sees the future of PUBG in eSports, what makes PUBG so special, and what changes are currently being worked on.

Why did you decide to start the Nations Cup? Where did the idea come from?

“Since the tournament will be one of two global PUBG events in 2019, we wanted to move away from the usual club team-based competition to build a unique global event with country-based teams. In this respect, the event should also be based on traditional international sports competitions. By using the national identity as an incentive, we want to create exciting content and an exciting experience for a wide audience, as many fans will find it easier to identify with their respective national team, of course”.

In the western mainstream media, PUBG has been rather quiet in recent months – is the hype really over?

“Since PUBG is constantly evolving, the hype is never really over for us. We’ve had many excellent highs since our game has existed, but anything that’s below those highs can quickly seem mistakenly like our game is descending. I think the best time to play PUBG is right now. We have a healthy player base, the game looks good and runs well. We’ve had a lot of great updates this year, and more will come in the future. It goes very well with my own goals as I now have a big fan base to talk to about PUBG eSports. This year is the first year we’ve really started global eSports initiatives, and we’re focused on building a long-lasting foundation that can blossom fully in the coming years. So we hope to gain more momentum now.”

What is PUBG’s position in the market compared to other Battle Royal games?

“Battle Royal is a robust genre that offers a home to many different games, each with a different twist. We’re not really focused on our competition, but we’re absolutely motivated to create the best PUBG Battle Royal game possible. We describe it as a harmony of combat mechanics and survival elements. Similarly, at PUBG eSports, we’re not focused on competing with other leagues because we don’t believe that the fanbase and spectators have to be brought in by other games to grow their title. We’re focusing on challenging ourselves to improve the content for our fans constantly.”

Do you see Fortnite as a direct competitor, or do you think it will appeal to a different audience?

“As I mentioned earlier, I think the Battle Royal genre has room for many different games. We are a rough and realistic Battle Royal. To be good at PUBG, you need a unique combination of mechanical skills, stamina and situational experience. We sometimes see PUBG as a game that doesn’t forgive players for making mistakes. We want to incorporate the special features and experiences that our game brings with it into our eSports content, which would, of course, set us apart from other titles.”

For three years you led the Korean League of Legends league for Riot Games. How will the experience you gained there now help you in the Nations Cup?

“At Riot Games, I was part of the core team that designed and built one of today’s most successful leagues – League of Legends Champions Korea. Also, I have been able to participate in many smaller eSports events, both locally and globally. My experience has taught me many invaluable lessons about how to successfully build a league, develop a competitive structure and maintain a young system. I have been able to apply all this knowledge in building the global PUBG eSports program. The knowledge and skills I have accumulated in the past through my involvement in major international events have been incredibly helpful in planning and building the PUBG Nation Cup and other global events”.

What are your plans to make PUBG more appealing to viewers?

“Since Battle Royals are still relatively new as a game and eSports genre, it has proven to be a challenge to discuss the best ways to make PUBG eSports as enjoyable as possible for viewers. We’ve already experimented with almost every game setting, such as the Blue Zone or Item Drops, to find the optimal settings for PUBG eSports. For us, it was especially important to create exciting matches that depend more on skill than luck. We’ve also worked hard to improve the interface of our viewer client to make it easier to understand, clearer and more audience-friendly in general.

One of our recent efforts has been to focus on producing segmented broadcasts that focus specifically on one team or small group of teams rather than all 16 teams in a match at once. This style has received very good feedback from fans and viewers alike, as it allows them to choose whose perspective they want to look at”.

What are your plans for the PUBG eSports future? What things should change?

“One of our biggest long-term goals is to create a sustainable and profitable ecosystem for all parties involved in PUBG – the teams, the players, the tournament organizers, and ultimately PUBG itself. An eSports ecosystem can’t exist without a strong fanbase, so our top priority at the moment is to build a league structure that provides interesting content to attract such a strong fanbase.

In this first phase, we are mainly focused on improving the quality of our content, as this is the most important factor in winning the hearts and minds of the fans for us. Sooner or later, we will also focus on more developed monetization strategies to generate enough profit for the shareholders. Only in this way can we ensure that we can deliver our best PUBG to our fans on a long-term and sustainable basis”.

Next up at PUBG eSports will be the GLL Grand Slam from 19 to 21 July in Stockholm, closely followed by the MET Asia Series from 26 to 28 July in Bangkok.

The PUBG Nations Cup in Seoul will be held from 9 to 11 August.

Only a few days ago, the game became the focus of the media when it was banned in another country due to the violence in the game.

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