In 2019, the first-ever PUBG Nations Cup was held in Seoul, South Korea. That tournament gathered 16 different nations, and 64 of the best players from different regions around the world to compete for a prize pool of $500,000 and the chance to declare their nation as PUBG Champions. This June the PUBG Esports world collides again for the second-ever PNC, this time in Thailand. The PNC is one of PUBG’s premier international tournaments and one of the few times that the top players from different nations get to go head-to-head. The PNC is also the only international tournament in which players represent their respective countries rather than their teams. This tournament promises not only some epic play, but also some pretty passionate fandom. PNC gives fans one of the few chances to support their country, not only in PUBG, but in esports more broadly as well as the rare chance to unequivocally say their nation has the top PUBG players in the world.
The road to PNC.
It’s only been three years since the last PNC, but every nation’s roster has totally changed, both in the players competing, and in the organizations they play for. This year’s PNC athletes landed on their countries’ rosters in a few different ways. Nearly every team has at least one player who was voted to be on their roster by the pro players of that team’s respective country. This is the most common way players are chosen. Other players reached PNC automatically by being named their countries’ MVPs in the recent PCS6 tournament series (or other recent tournaments). These players will act in the role of team captain at PNC and their leadership and strategy will be a major point of focus during the tournament.
A few nations have some unique placement metrics when determining who will represent them at PNC. Chinese Taipei for example, picked three of their players (YanLi, oeL, and MaoRush) via fan vote, a method also utilized by Japan and Indonesia. European teams Turkey, Germany, Finland, and the UK picked two members on each of their teams based on those players’ overall performance statistics in the recent PUBG season. Two of China’s players were picked based on how many championships they’ve taken home, and a couple of other teams in the APAC region allowed coaches to choose one player on their team. These differences in player selection across different regions and countries will certainly become noticeable once PNC begins. Perhaps fans have a better perspective than pro players, maybe coaches have the best eye for team selection, or using player stats could be the best way to put a team together. However these countries chose players, one rule remained the same for all. No more than two players on each roster could come from the same team. This not only fosters fairer player distribution but also forces players who might not have played together previously to very quickly become comfortable with one another. It’s this ability to work together and collaborate that truly sets teams apart at PNC.
Upsets, repeats, and underdogs.
Three years ago, one of the most promising teams heading into PNC 2019, and one of the favorites to win, was Team Finland. They came in 16th place. Will their fortunes change this June, or will they head home disappointed again? We’re going to be paying close attention to the results from the last PNC and how this year’s teams differ. Will teams from the Americas and Europe play more aggressively than they did three years ago? Will South Korea and Canada stay dominant as they did in 2019 or will they fall short? Thailand came in 6th at the last PNC, will home-court advantage give them enough of a boost to reach #1? This is Indonesia’s first PNC which could put them at a slight disadvantage. That being said, PNC 2022 is only the second-ever Nations Cup, so teams have a bit more data to go off of than they did last time, but not much, plus every team has a brand-new roster, so it really is anyone’s game.
The ones to watch.
As we’ve said in previous articles, Australia’s got an impressive team heading into PNC with two MVPs on their roster, one of which is TGLTN who could arguably be the best PUBG player in the world right now. TGLTN’s Soniqs team is also the third-ranked in the world and two more of their players, Shrimzy and hwinn, are playing for the US, another team to watch. The 2nd, and 4th ranked teams in the world, Petrichor Road and New Happy, are Chinese teams. Two players from New Happy (MMing and ZpYan1) as well as one from Petrichor Road (Aixleft) are on the roster for team China who will be looking to place higher than 8th as they did at PNC 2019. One of the top European teams, Heroic, is ranked 6th in the world. Two of their players are on team Finland (curexi and Pag3) and one is on team UK (TeaBone). Hopefully, this spells better outcomes for those teams than their performances three years ago.
Make sure to keep up to date with all PUBG news heading into PNC and tune in to watch the PUBG Nations Cup June 16-19th.
WHERE TO WATCH / FOLLOW
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