Most young Indians are no stranger to PUBG Mobile, the battle royale game everybody is playing. India is obsessed with PUBG to a degree where it’s even banned in certain states.
That’s right, some kids even got arrested for playing PUBG, and yet getting that chicken dinner does pay good money in a competition.
Last week, the final leg of the biggest PUBG Mobile tournament in India took place in Hyderabad, with some of the best mobile gamers facing off for the winner’s crown.
With over 570,000 online registrations from across the country, the tournament had to spread out a whopping 40,000 games across the qualifiers. Team S0UL, led by Naman “MortaL” Mathur, emerged the victors in the grand finale. They beat out 20 other top teams to take home the grand prize, a pot of Rs 30,00,000.
It wasn’t just an online tournament either, with fans turning to pack the venue. Additionally, the livestream gained 35 million views on YouTube, and hit 2,60,000 concurrent viewers at its peak.
This particular event builds on the success of the PUBG MOBILE Campus Championship held last year. It’s just another sign of how the esports industry in India is growing, particularly with regards to more affordable avenues of gaming offered by smartphones. Even some top-tire game casting showed up, including Humanist, Ilustrado, and Asurai doing the English cast, while Hindi was taken over by TheRawknee, Paritosh Plays, and K18 Gaming. Not to mention host Abish Matthew.
Of course, this is possible while PUBG is still so popular. Will professional mobile gaming continue to draw crowds in the same way once the battle royale genre has faded from priority? One can only hope.