PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds tournament could be deadly

Talk about a potential case of art imitating real life. Since making its debut in 2017, PUBG has established itself as a game where the weak don’t last long. Which is why, after those rare times where we make it out of the parking lot, we’re killed two seconds after parachuting to Earth. Now PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is doing something that has the potential to be truly deadly. And not just within the game.

PUBG has announced that it will be holding a physical tournament in South Korea next spring. The in-person battling will take place from February 2 to March 28, and 32 teams will participate.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds players unite

It should be noted that those PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds squads won’t just be based in South Korea. Instead, they will make the plane trip from North America, China, Japan, Latin America, Europe, Chinese Tapei, and, perhaps, the North Pole.

The potential fly in the ointment here? As you might have seen on the news, there’s a global COVID-19 Pandemic scorching its way across the world at the moment. And while there’s talk of a vaccine somewhere on the near horizon, at the moment health officials have suggested that the best way to not make things worse is to stay at home.

That means avoid taking public transit, avoid airplanes, avoid airplanes travelling across multiple time zones, and don’t hold big public gatherings. Especially gatherings with people from all parts of the world, many of those parts currently being in COVID-19 lockdown.

By virtue of its name alone—PUBG Global Invitational—next spring’s competition is one such public gathering with invitees from across the planet.

PUBG players have to quarantine

In announcing the in-person tournament, PUBG has promised that all members from all teams will have to “fully adhere to government guidelines” to make sure they aren’t unleashing the plague on the people of South Korea. That will include a mandatory two-week self-quarantine period before commencing battle.

At stake, besides the health of all involved, will be a US$3.5 million prize pool.

In announcing the event, PUBG spokesman CH Kim said, “We’re holding PGI.S thanks to fan support and we’re confident that we’ll be able to take the momentum from this year to create our best esports event yet. With full safety measures built-in to the event, we’re committed to hosting a safe global esports tournament that can be enjoyed by our players in attendance and fans watching online.”

Game on. Watch for the weak to be rooted out early. After which, it might very well be a frantic game of survival.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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