PUBG Corp’s Michael Sung Talks What They Learned Ahead of PCS3
The PUBG esports scene rolls on despite COVID-19 threatening to grind everything down. Recently, PCS3 (PUBG Continental Series 3) was announced by PUBG Corporation, and with that means way more exciting esports action! We recently had a sit-down with the Esports Project Manager at PUBG Corp, Michael Sung, to discuss the wins and losses of the ongoing PCS2, what they’ve learned so far, and where the scene can grow heading into PCS3. The Grand Finals of PCS2 are still to come, so there’s still plenty of esports action waiting in PUBG.
This is the first of two PUBG interviews as well! We have another one coming very soon, so keep your eyes here for more!
Michael Sung Shares His Thoughts on PCS3
Jason: Now that PCS3 (PUBG Continental Series 3) has been revealed, I’d like to focus first on the current series, PCS2. Are there any hard lessons that the esports team had to learn from PCS2 so far that will influence decisions in PCS3? What are some of the positives that have come out PCS2?
Michael: We are always trying to improve after each major esports event. In the case of PCS2, we were focused on making improvements to our broadcast technology and our esports ruleset. For rules, we are constantly updating settings to ensure we are creating the most competitive environment for an online competition. For our broadcast, a new event allows us to improve upon PCS1 through the typical means (e.g. better observer camera, broadcast package, etc.), but it also gives us an opportunity to try new things and make the experience more engaging for our fans.
For PCS2, these evolutions include enabling Twitch Drops and live quizzes, which gives our fans a chance to receive PUBG Esports Points, which can be redeemed for in-game items. Additionally, player/team information and stats are now being shared through our in-game esports tab, helping give more insight to each of our rosters.
Jason: On that note, have any of the balance/updates that have hit been a result of competitive play?
Michael: Esports data is a valuable indicator to determine how PUBG players interpret our game and how quickly they adapt to the meta changes. Because of that, our development and operations teams regularly analyze the play data and use them as reference to help determine any changes. Like most things in development though, that’s only one part in a much larger formula. The easiest way to say it is that everything is taken into account, from data to sentiment, to ensure we are getting the whole picture.
Jason: What makes PUBG stand out in the esports scene? What does it bring that nobody else does?
Michael: PUBG is a game with multiple variables. In addition to many teams playing against each other, there are many factors happening in parallel with the team battles, from the Blue Zone to the geographic features. Despite the variables, the best teams remain at the top of the rankings, proving that teams overcome all challenges with their skill. To me, this represents the strengths unique to us. They allow each match to tell a unique and exciting narrative in its own right. From taking control of hot drops to looting, to competing for the best locations in the Blue Zone, and the struggle of being the last team standing…that tension builds up until the very last moment, which makes the ending a cathartic experience.
Jason: Have any of the regions participating stood out among the rest in terms of skill level and success in PUBG?
Michael: This is 100% the “which one of your children is your favorite” question. It’s a little corny, but I have to say that I love them all equally! To me, every player who competes for victory deserves applause, so it’s difficult to say that some regional teams are better than the others. What I can say is that it’s been amazing to see some amateur teams turn pro and compete against the region’s best. Everyone loves a Cinderella story!
Jason: Has there been any discussion of keeping the PUBG events online, or is there some timeframe to transition back to real-life competition, once the world goes back to normal?
Michael: First, I have to say that our fans are amazing. They’ve shown a lot of support and love for PCS despite the difficulty of the current environment. PCS was originally a solution to ensure the continued evolution and sustainability of our esports in an online environment. Since then, it’s evolved to be much more than that and we’ve grown in many ways. Despite all the positives though, we still do have an appetite for real-world global events that allow us to bring fans, players, and teams together from all over the world.
That said, appetite and willingness alone will not bring back in-person events. As we stated in our PCS announcement, the health of our fans, players, and staff remains our highest priority. We’ll continue to monitor the situation and if we get to a point where it makes sense and things are safe, we’ll still ensure the proper preventive measures are in place.
Jason: How does the team feel about franchising? It’s a pretty hot topic for other esports leagues (OWL, CDL). Is that something that has been discussed?
Michael: In my opinion, franchising is a topic that is more appropriate for leagues that hold a long history and have had the time to grow and mature. It’s only been two years since PUBG esports officially launched. At the moment, our priority is to develop it into a more robust and interesting product.
Jason: Last, but certainly not least, are there any major surprises coming in the PCS3 season for PUBG that our readers might want to know about?
Michael: While there is nothing major I can share at this moment, I can say that we will continue to organize fun and exciting events that bring PUBG fans around the world together. Thank you for your continued support!