NewHappy are the champions of the PUBG Global Championship 2021 cover image

NewHappy are the champions of the PUBG Global Championship 2021

After a neck-and-neck fight with Heroic in the grand finals, the Chinese regional champion has claimed victory at PUBG’s biggest event of the year.

After a stellar tournament and 15 matches in the grand finals, Chinese team NewHappy have been crowned the champions of PUBG Esports in 2021.

NewHappy had a great tournament run, with their consistency at the top landing them at number one. They fought neck-and-neck with a surging Heroic in the grand finals, but staved them off to secure the nearly $1.4 million grand prize.

NewHappy and Heroic dogfight makes for an exciting grand finals

After just the first day of play in the grand finals lobby, Heroic and NewHappy established themselves as the two teams in the running for the Championship. By the end of the grand finals, they had a 50-point gap on third place. Heroic have been a streaky team throughout the year, and found their form for grand finals. They were fragging out in a big way - Paavo "PaG3" Voutilainen would win the most kills award for the tournament, and Luke "TeaBone" Crafer would also make the All-PGC team. However, NewHappy netted more placement points. With four chicken dinners, they topped the grand finals lobby more times than anyone else.

Despite mostly being a two-horse race, it was exciting to see two teams giving their all against each other. The top five teams of the event all ended up being from different regions, showing the parity that PUBG Esports has right now and another reason why it's exciting to watch. After NewHappy and Heroic, Europe's came third, North America's TSM was fourth, and Korea's Danawa came fifth.

Pros raise format concerns

One of the major controversies around the event centered around Soniqs. The champions of PUBG's last international event, they had a poor start to PGC 2021. As the event went on, though, they got better. They were placed into Grand Survival, a series of four games where the winners qualified to Grand Finals. Despite good performances, teams like Soniqs and FaZe couldn't close out a win and found themselves eliminated. Even the best PUBG organization of all time, Gen.G, secured the very last spot.

With increased calls to keep the format rewarding both kills and placement, rather than just wins, we'll see if Krafton decide to change things for PUBG Esports in 2022.

Viewership figures

The PUBG Global Championship 2021 peaked at 189,000 viewers, midway through Week 1, and averaged 105,000, according to Esports Charts. This is a huge increase from the regional PCS5 events that qualified teams for PGC, but it's a somewhat significant decrease from the last PUBG international event, PGI.S earlier this year. That event peaked at 222,000 and averaged 119,000. PGI.S' viewership numbers set records for PUBG viewership, though, so while the game is trending downwards from those highs, it's still equal or better than viewership of past major events.

Unsurprisingly, the language that contributed the most to views was Korean. The top four teams at the event - NewHappy, Heroic,, and TSM - were also the top viewed teams overall.

Stay tuned to for the latest PUBG news and updates.