Star-Studded Tournament Can’t Transcend PUBG’s Esports Problem

Illustration for article titled Star-Studded Tournament Can’t Transcendi PUBG/i’s Esports Problemem/emem/em

The relative entertainment value of all sports can, believe it or not, be boiled down to a single question: are competitors playing to win, or are they only playing to not lose? PUBG’s tournament rule set, unfortunately, leaves a lot of room for the latter, which put a damper on a recent tournament full of Twitch stars.

It’s a problem that’s cropped up in a handful of big PUBG tournaments. Because teams score points based on their performances in multiple matches, they don’t necessarily have to win any chicken dinners to take the big prize. Some teams opt to play cautiously or tread water when they feel like their spot on the winner’s podium is secure. That’s basically what happened during yesterday’s $100,000 Twitch Rivals PUBG Invitational, which featured a star-studded line-up of teams led by names like Dr Disrespect, Shroud, Annemunition, and GassyMexican. There were certainly some fireworks—but as usual, it all ended with a whimper, not a bang.


Team Speshimen, led by notorious edgelord shepherd Forsen, took first place by playing relatively passively—scoring just two or three kills in three of five matches—and consistently surviving until most other teams were eliminated. They did this against a backdrop of former Counter-Strike pro Shroud ruthlessly stomping Dr Disrespect and some clever boat strategies from Annemunition’s team, among other things.

In the end, despite the fact that Shroud’s team won three matches and far outpaced everybody else in terms of kills, Forsen’s team did just enough to technically win. That said, both Shroud and Annemunition’s teams took home more money than Forsen and friends due to performance bonuses and other technicalities. Despite that, some viewers are still salty, even going so far as to accuse Forsen of cheating or somehow rigging the tournament in his favor. At that suggestion, Forsen could only laugh.

“No one complained about the rules before the end result,” he said during a stream after the tournament wrapped up, “because the favorites did not win. They were spamming ‘rigged,’ but why would a company that fucking hates me rig the tournament in my favor instead of fucking Shroud? It doesn’t make any sense.”


As is, however, competitive PUBG doesn’t make a ton of sense either, with anti-climaxes and confusion marring some good action.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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I don’t follow esports, why does Foresen think “the company” hates him?