ESL have announced that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) will be returning for another Intel Extreme Masters tournament early in 2018.
The massively popular Battle Royale game shot to prominence in 2017, becoming the most played game on Steam and rivaling League of Legends for Twitch viewership.
In fact, statistics show that there are around a staggering 30 million players worldwide across all platforms following the release of the 1.0 version of the game for PC in December of 2017.
PUBG’s first inclusion at an Intel Extreme Masters event was IEM Oakland 2017 in November which featured an impressive $200,000 and was won by the French against All authority roster.
PlayerUnknown himself recently spoke about PUBG as an esports title in the future, saying that he believes the game could be a great competitive title in the future but that it is not ready quite yet.
That hasn’t stopped high profile organizations from investing in PUBG rosters, though, as the likes of TSM, OpTic, FaZe, Team Liquid, and Cloud9 have all picked up teams.
Nor has it deterred tournament and event organizers. On January 12th ESL revealed plans to bring PUBG to IEM Katowice 2018.
— Intel®ExtremeMasters (@IEM) January 12, 2018
The event will take place from February 24th – 25th as part of the IEM Expo and will feature 16 teams from around the world competing for a prize pool of $50,000.
There will be nine invited teams, three each from Europe, North America, and Asia. The remaining seven teams will be decided by qualifying tournaments which will run from January 20th – 21st.
The VP for Pro Gaming at ESL, Michał Blicharz, had this to say about the news:
The IEM World Championship Katowice 2017 was the world’s largest esports event in history, and with PUBG’s competitive debut at IEM Oakland, we are thrilled to feature it again at such a renowned IEM event […] Previously adding PUBG to the agenda brought a lot of excitement to the arena and we feel that it will be a great addition to the IEM Expo.