The Americas PUBG MOBILE Pro League (PMPL) is set to move online for its first season that was initially scheduled to begin in May as an in-person competition. The reason for the move was because of the initial delay due to the concerns regarding the spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic. The online PUBG MOBILE Pro League is now set to run from 6th to 28th of June, 2020.
There are a lot of esports leagues that have been moved online due to the pandemic. However, the PMPL Americas stands out because it features teams from both North and South America, as they are usually considered as separate regions.
The separation in the esports ecosystem is due to competitive integrity issues with playing pro-level matches online across long distances. Therefore, in an effort to combat this, PUBG MOBILE has dedicated two separate servers in the two continents to take care of both regions.
Additionally, to be able to test the dedicated servers in a competition to establish its readiness for official matches, PUBG MOBILE is allowing Teams to broadcast practice matches, or “scrims,” with each other beginning May 7. This is not a common practice as teams are allowed to develop strategies in private.
However, other than using the broadcasted scrims as means to test the server, it was discovered that fans responded strongly to the scrims. This was discovered in the company’s broadcasting of scrims in its South Asia PMPL earlier this year.
These scrims competitions will be broadcast every week until the end of May. Plus, there will be a daily prize pool for participating teams.
PUBG MOBILE would be taking competitive integrity seriously as they shift to online competition. One of the common practices across PUBG MOBILE leagues with the inclusion of PMPL South Asia is to send administrators or a camera crew to each team’s facilities in an attempt to prevent outside interference during matches.
Additionally, they require the players to run mandatory programs that check if the players are using approved devices. These programs also make use of the front camera of the players’ mobile devices to ensure that they are not using someone else to play in their place.
With the significant restructuring of their ecosystem this year, PUBG MOBILE will be increasing its PMPL prize pool to $5M from $2.5M. This increase in prize pool was a reflection of the company’s more significant shift for 2020 as they introduce the pro leagues.
PUBG MOBILE’s new structure serves as a blueprint for players to move from amateur competitions to semi-pro events such as the PUBG Mobile Club Open, and finally to the regional PMPLs.
The majority of the $5M prize pool will be distributed among the top PMPL teams in the World Championship by December.
Studio Plans Put on Hold
Tencent, PUBG MOBILE’s publisher, announced ESL as PMPL commercial partner back in March. ESL will be supporting its new esports structure in various ways, including the construction of a dedicated studio in Katowice, Poland. The dedicated studio was supposed to serve as the home for live matches, but its debut has been delayed due to the pandemic.