The upcoming PUBG Mobile Super League esports tournament has revealed its first round of teams with 15 teams announced including such major names as FaZe Clan.
First rumoured back in January, after a swiftly deleted Facebook post mistakenly announced it, the PUBG Mobile Super League is the successor to the PMPL (PUBG Mobile Pro-League) SEA Championship and is an entirely new franchise. In a press-conference, director of PUBG Mobile global esports, James Yang, emphasised the importance of the South-East Asia region when it came to establishing the first-of-its-kind Super League in the area. “We always try to do something new in South-east Asia first,” he explained, going on to say that SEA was the perfect place to trial new esports concepts due to the already strong competitive scene in the area.
As we noted in our previous coverage, the difference between other major esports tournaments such as the Overwatch League and PMSL is that the latter is not necessarily a franchise. Participant teams are not charged and are instead selected from fan-favourites and a variety of skill-levels to ensure that there is a diversity of teams and abilities at every level.
The fact that South-East Asia is the new league's testbed is key. The region has the perfect mix of volatility and stability, with hundreds of teams to choose from, and a passionate and dedicated fan base that - it's planned - with ensure viewership - a factor that other esports leagues have struggled with when a game becomes less popular.
With Tencent making a major investment with the PMSL it’s increasingly clear how important the region is becoming to esports, and with other major indicators such as the top-five Japanese esports teams all playing mobile titles, the creation and regional focus of the PMSL is another major step in pushing the gaming profile of the region.