With the PUBG Nation’s Cup a few weeks away we’re going to be looking at what each of the four regions is bringing to the table at PNC. 16 nations have selected their best players to represent them at this tournament, and while those players can and do play for PUBG organizations around the world, most players tend to play for clubs within their region (Americas, Asia, Europe, and APAC). PNC will not only give us an idea of the esports talent coming out of individual nations, but also a sense of the talent coming out of each region, how they differ, how they’re alike, and which has the best chance of winning big at PNC. First off, the Americas.
Each of the four regions has a slightly different methodology when it comes to choosing their rosters for PNC. For example, Europe uses player statistics to pick certain players, and APAC and Asian countries allow team coaches a say in the vote. In the Americas, the MVPs of each nation that played in the PCS6: Americas tournament (USA, Canada, Brazil, and Argentina) automatically landed a spot at PNC. The other three seats on each team are chosen by vote. The professional players of each country cast ballots for the three players they think should fill those seats. There is certainly a degree of popularity in this contest but at the end of the day, these pros are competitive. They want their countries to win at PNC and will pick the right players for the job. There is also a rule allowing only two players from a single esports organization to be on their nation’s PNC team which limits a certain amount of favoritism. That being said, the USA’s team, Brazil’s team, and Argentina’s team all have two players from the same team on their roster.
This is not unique to the Americas and is a common sight across all regions. It makes sense. If you’re allowed two players from the same squad why not take the opportunity? It means that at least two players have history together which can lead to quicker collaboration and comfort, which is crucial in this tournament. PNC only provides a few weeks for players to get acquainted with people they might never have played with before, so nations look for any edge they can get when it comes to team harmony. For example, Japan’s four players this year come from only two teams. You’d think this strategy works, but looking back at PNC 2019, Japan, the US, Brazil, and Argentina didn’t do all that well. Canada, on the other hand, had four different players from four different teams and they placed third. Their lineup this year similarly comes from four different squads. We’ll see if that helps them the way it did three years ago, or if the “more traditional” team selection strategy pays off.
For the Americas region, the MVP will tell us a lot about a team’s potential performance. While some teams in other regions guarantee tournament MVPs a spot on their PNC team, the Americas is the only region where every country follows this rule and saves a spot on their roster for an MVP. The MVP also holds a slightly more elevated or distinguished position on Americas teams as it is the only roster slot decided in this way. In other regions, PNC players are chosen using a larger variety of methods. Some teams, like Thailand, choose every individual seat on their roster in a completely different way. This dynamic on Americas teams could give them a leg up, as it creates a clear hierarchy of players, with the MVP usually becoming In-Game Leader (IGL). Looking at their results from 2019, it’s equally as likely this dynamic could backfire as it puts pressure on the team to pick the MVP as their IGL even if the other members don’t want to. It really will all depend on the MVP of each team and their approach to leadership. These MVPs were chosen for the impressive skill they displayed at PCS6, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re best utilized in a leadership role. These players, having some of the most experience of anyone on their team, should know where their strengths lie and should use that to inform their strategy at PNC.
A Small World.
The MVPs of the USA, Brazil, and Canada (Sharpshot4k, Shinboi, Sparkingg respectively) have all played PUBG professionally for years now, but experience isn’t their only gift. They’re also familiar with their PUBG peers. Shrimzy and hwinn have been playing together for years on Soniqs, and have seen lots of success. Sparkingg and two of his Brazilian teammates have playing history with each other, and even though Shinboi hasn’t crossed paths with his teammates before, all of his teammates (Adam, Keenan, and f1nna) have played with each other previously. As PUBG tournaments grow larger and larger we forget the pro PUBG arena is still tight knit. Players cross paths all the time. Hopefully, this familiarity and experience with one another will give these teams a leg up in their preparation heading into PNC.
Keep up with the teams from the other three regions week, as they prepare to battle it out at PNC 2022, June 16th to 19th in Thailand.
WHERE TO WATCH / FOLLOW
Check out our PCS6 Americas content channels for VODs and streams:
Be sure to follow PUBG Esports on social media to stay up to date on all the action.