Battle royale video game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile is making its debut at the upcoming Asian Games, one of eight eSports titles with a medal event.
The 19th Asian Games – which will be held in Hangzhou, China from Sept 10-25 next year – will mark the first time that eSports is recognised as an official medal event, and the first time that PUBG Mobile has been included in the official eSports programme at the multi-sport event.
The seven other eSports titles listed include Arena Of Valor, Defense Of The Ancients 2 (Dota 2), Dream Three Kingdoms 2, EA Sports Fifa, Hearthstone, League Of Legends and Street Fighter V.
While most titles are making their debut in the 2022 Asian Games, League Of Legends, Arena Of Valor and Hearthstone had been played in the previous edition of the Games, albeit without a medal for the category.
Esports was a demonstration sport at the 18th Asian Games held in Jakarta, Indonesia back in 2018.
There were six titles played during the demonstration, including League Of Legends, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, Arena Of Valor, Clash Royale, StarCraft II and Hearthstone.
Malaysia participated in one title, Pro Evolution Soccer 2018, where the country was represented by Mohamad NorHaikal Mohamad Noh and Muhamad Khairul Abdul Aziz.
Tencent Games global eSports director James Yang said it is an honour to have their video game included in the upcoming Asian Games.
“We’re incredibly lucky to have a number of extremely talented players from several countries including Malaysia... fans of the game can look forward to exciting competition between the region’s best PUBG Mobile players as they’re celebrated alongside the best athletes in Asia,” he said, in a press release.
The statement further added that PUBG Mobile is currently one of the most popular competitive eSports titles in the world, with 14 new leagues in 2021 and a record total prize pool of US$15mil (RM62.27mil) for the year.
Locally, the PUBG Mobile Pro League (PMPL MY/SG), which pits the top players in Malaysia and Singapore against each other, was now in its fourth season.