Last weekend, the penultimate stage of the 2019 PUBG Global Championship (PGC) took place in Los Angeles, California.
Here, Jamie Wootton recaps all the action, including how UK players got on. He also looks ahead to the grand finals in Oakland from November 23rd to 24th, where a $3m prize pool is up for grabs.
The PGC is the absolute pinnacle of PUBG esports and to reach it teams had to first qualify through their regional leagues, then the group stage, eliminations and the semi-finals.
With 24 high-profile organisations competing to fill the 16 spots in the finals, the stage was set for some fierce competition.
The 24 teams were split into three groups – each of which played one another. After each team had played a total of 12 matches, placements were drawn and those teams in the lower third were relegated.
Which UK PUBG talent is on show?
In-terms of UK representation, there are only two teams with any sort of link to the UK.
TSM, the prominent North-American organisation, have two British players on their roster (Rory ‘Rawryy’ Logue and Michael ‘MykLe’ Wake), alongside a Dane and a player from Turkey.
Tempo Storm, on the other hand, have a British coach on their side: Ben ‘Microstar’ Kyle.
And that’s not to mention some great British casters involved with the tournament: Lauren ‘Pansy’ Scott, Richard ‘TheSimms’ Simms and James ‘Kaelaris’ Carrol.
Ahead of the semi finals, TSM player Rory ‘Rawryy’ Logue suggested his side would ‘study the teams more’ before matches.
When the games began, the fact that TSM had prepared was clear: the team got off to a great start.
Not only were TSM the first team to get a kill in the semi-finals, but they kept the momentum rolling and won their first game.
Tempo Storm, led by British coach Ben ‘Microstar’ Kyle, also played well on the big stage and secured themselves a chicken dinner in their third match.
The first day of the semi-final matches, which saw Group A take on Group B, finished in a similar fashion to how it started – with TSM dominating.
TSM rounded off the day at the top of the leaderboard with a total of 54 points, a healthy seven point lead from their nearest competition. The Rumblers finished second and OGN Entus Force came third with Tempo Storm in a respectable fifth place.
Infantry Clan, a team who had to play with three of the four members of their roster at one point, finished in 15th place.
The second day of the semi-finals saw Group B compete against Group C, and the opening game didn’t disappoint.
Four Angry Men Esports won the first match-up with an impressive 15 kills and, thanks to their player returning from a “minor medical issue”, Infantry Clan started their road to redemption by securing a chicken dinner in the second match of the day.
Despite Infantry Clan’s resurgence, Four Angry Men Esports continued their winning form and won the third game. Three more games followed and the final scores on the doors for the day saw the top five teams comprised of Korean and Chinese talent. Both TSM and Tempo Storm were still in the running for qualification.
In the third and final day of the semi-finals, Group A and Group C battled it out to secure last minute points to try and guarantee Grand Final qualification.
Whilst TSM managed to win valuable points through a second place finish in one match and Tempo Storm were able to accomplish a chicken dinner in the fourth match of the day, all eyes were on QM Gaming. The Chinese side played out of their minds in the latter stages of the tournament and got back-to-back chicken dinners across games two and three.
After beating TSM and getting their first chicken dinner of the day in their first match, Lazarus found form again and secured themselves another chicken dinner. In doing so, the North-American organisation elevated their position in the overall leaderboard from seventh to first – far, far away from the danger of relegation.
The last match of the evening saw FaZe mount a comeback and get their first chicken dinner of the semi-finals. Thanks to their last-minute win, FaZe narrowly edged past AHQ Esports Club for the 16th and final spot which qualified FaZe for the Grand Finals.
FaZe’s struggle to perform at the PGC semi-finals came as a surprise to many, as they are widely regarded as one of the best PUBG teams in the world and have recently finished first in the third phase of the PEL – PUBG’s premier European league.
With the results drawn, Lazarus, QM Gaming and Four Angry Men Esports secured the top three places. Although they didn’t finish top three, both squads with ties to the UK placed very well. Out of 24 teams, TSM finished in a comfortable fourth place and Tempo Storm found themselves in ninth place – both good enough placings to qualify for the final stage of the tournament later this week.
All eyes on the finals
With the final 16 teams decided, all eyes are now focused on the PGC’s Grand Finals this weekend.
Hosted in the Oakland Arena, the stage is now set for one of the teams to be crowned the best in the world and receive over $1,000,000 in the process.
On top of the monetary prize and the reputation, a special in-game item will be created to celebrate the winning team.
Thankfully for PUBG fans there are multiple narratives and storylines to keep track of during the PGC Grand Finals including the following:
- With the sheer number of Asian teams left in the tournament, will Asian PUBG prevail?
- Will FaZe continue to under-perform or prove themselves to be the favourites that many predicted?
- Can WClick prosper as the only team from the South-American region?
- Will we see some UK champions?!
Check back on Esports News UK for more content on the finals!
Jamie has been following competitive Counter-Strike for roughly four years and has fallen in love with esports ever since, slowly branching out into other titles and learning more about the industry. He has recently started an esports degree in London.
“I started playing CSGO when I first got my own PC and haven’t really stopped ever since," he said. "After playing more competitively I opened my eyes to esports and have been doing my best to learn as much as possible about both the competitive side within CSGO and the business side across the industry as a whole.
"Much of my work so far has consisted of interviews, however I hope to branch out in the future and write more content about Counter-Strike."