The PUBG Global Championship is nearly upon us. 32 teams will convene in East Asia to determine the 2021 Champion. We run down the format, details, and favourites to win it all.
PUBG’s 2021 season has nearly come to a close. 32 teams are convening in East Asia – 27 in Incheon, South Korea, and 5 playing from an arena in China – to determine the best team in the world at PGC 2021. North America’s Soniqs are the defending champions, while Europe and Asia are looking to some new talent to bring themselves back to the top. Let’s rundown the format, details, some last-minute changes that we saw, and the favourites to take home the title.
PGC 2021 Format
PGC 2021 will begin on November 19th, and last exactly a month, running until December 19th. The tournament will open with a Rank Decision stage. This first week of games will split all teams into four groups of 8, and seed them for the first round of play. Every team starts the event on an even footing.
Every week following, 31 teams will be seeded into Weekly Survival. 16 matches will be played, with the winner of each progressing to the Weekly Finals. When a team wins a match, they are removed from play and the next seed in line will play. That means that the 31st ranked team will receive only one shot at advancing.
From there, teams are split. The 16 winners play the Weekly Finals. The winner of every week qualifies for the Grand Finals lobby, and the top 9 teams that earn the highest points without winning a week will also advance to Grand Finals. The 15 losers, and last-placed team from the previous week, play the Bottom 16 stage. This seeds teams for the next week’s Weekly Survival lobby, and the last place team is eliminated from Weekly Survival, going straight to the Bottom 16 of the next week.
There will be one final stage before the Grand Finals, called Grand Survival. Only 12 teams will secure a Grand Finals spot based on Weekly Finals placements – Grand Survival takes the 13-31st placed teams and has them play four games. The four winners will also progess to the Grand Finals. The winner of that Grand Finals lobby will be crowned the 2021 PUBG Champion.
Details and Prize Pool
It was first reported by Christian Wisniewski of TheGameHaus and later confirmed by PUBG that Chinese teams will not be travelling to Korea for the event. Unlike PGI.S, the last international tournament, though, Chinese teams will be playing from an arena, on standardized equipment monitored by referees, as opposed to their homes. While it’s not the same experience, the standardization should help things immensely. Another team, Unicorn Phoenix Da Nang, will not be able to attend the event. The loss of one of APAC’s top teams is a huge blow. They’ve been replaced by GAMEHOME Ha Dong, who themselves have visa issues with several players.
The tournament has a base prize pool of $2,000,000 USD. This will be expanded by the sale of in-game items for the event – 30% of revenue from PGC items will go to the prize pool.
All matches will be played using the SUPER Ruleset, which awards points for placing well in a match as well as kills, unless they require a team to win to advance, i.e. the Weekly Survival and Grand Survival stages. Throughout 2021, teams played using the Most Chickens format, where winning was everything. It’s a drastic shift to take the best MC teams in the world and put them on SUPER, but facing intense criticism over the MC format, PUBG decided to make the change.
The favourites to win PGC 2021
James “TGLTN” Giezen – Hunter “hwinn” Winn – Tristan “Shrimzy” Nowicki – Austin “M1ME” Scherff
The reigning World Champions are back in attendance and ready to reclaim their throne. Soniqs marched to a stunning victory in PGI.S, and having only just lost their first event in months, will look to keep the streak going.
Soniqs struggled in PCS5 after losing hwinn for a day of play. Oath would eventually win the event, but given Soniqs’ history and dominance at the top of North America, they’re rightfully ranked higher by most coming into PGC. Watch out for TGLTN – the Australian fragger routinely leads North American lobbies in kills, and has a geniune claim to being the best player in the world.
Dmytro “Perfect1ks” Dubenyuk – Yaroslav “spyrro” Kuvichko – Kirill “Lu” Lukyanov – Alexander “BatulinS” Batulin
The CIS youngsters at Virtus.pro are looking to finally make their mark on the international stage. VP began tearing up Europe at the end of 2020 already, but were severely hampered at PGI.S by the loss of Perfect1ks, who couldn’t secure a visa. But VP’s entire lineup will be heading to Korea this time, and we’ll finally see what they can do internationally at full strength.
This is a team with clearly defined roles. BatulinS is the In-Game Leader, Lu plays snipers, spyrro takes close-range fights, and Perfect1ks fills in where needed. Can this playstyle take them to the top of the world, though?
Zuo “Aixleft” Zixuan – Ma “Myl” Yunlong – Yang “Mamu” Yang – Hu Xin “mingz1” Shuai
Petrichor Road had a stellar run throughout the latter half of 2021. Winning both PCS4 and PCS5, they’ve proven themselves as the best team in PUBG’s most historically successful region. If a single favourite had to be picked to win the event, PeRo is the choice.
Aixleft brings an absurd level of firepower to the battlefield. The team is structured around what he can provide, and so far, it’s worked wonders. Can PeRo keep it up for just one more event to bring home China’s first – and maybe last – global PUBG championship?
PUBG esports and streaming banned in China
PUBG is facing a comprehensive ban on esports and streaming in China, spelling disaster for the PUBG Global Championship and the esports scene as a whole.
Cha “Pio” Seung-hoon – Na “Inonix” Hee-joo – Go “Esther” Jeong-wan – Jo “Asura” Sang-won
Korean PUBG has had a poor run of things for a while. They haven’t won a single PUBG Continental Series event throughout 2020 or 2021, with Asia taking the crown five times out of five. They also failed to defend their international titles at PGI.S. But in a battle royale, experience and pedigree counts more than usual. And especially after winning PWS to earn themselves Korea’s first seed, you can’t count multi-time World Champions Gen.G out.
Gen.G still retain several members of those championship rosters, and players who could count among the world’s best on a good day. Lately, their good days have come regionally – they won PWS to qualify for PGC, but placed 9th in PCS5. They’ve shown that they can compete with the best, though, and have experience no team can match. Will they rise to the top once again at PGC?