PUBG Esports will make its return to the battlegrounds on June 10th to kick off the PCS4 Americas Grand Finals. Sixteen of the best teams from North and South America have fought their way to this stage of the series with hopes of claiming the lion’s share of a $250,000 USD prize pool and PGC Points that count towards PUBG’s grand finale later this season, the 2021 PUBG Global Championship.
Before diving into the upcoming PCS4 Americas Grand Finals, it’s best that we take a look back at how we arrived here. For some of the best in the world, the season began in Korea at the PUBG Global Invitational.S as thirty-two squads returned to LAN for an event that would span three months. Over $7 million dollars in prize money was awarded throughout, landing PGI.S inside the top ten of any esports prize pool to date.
The tournament produced some of the esports’ most memorable moments on LAN and quickly showcased the talent and skill of North American teams, who were historically laughed off on the international stage. The event’s format would crown the team that earned the most prize money as champion, ultimately ending with NA’s very own Soniqs claiming the title. The team secured the region’s first major LAN title and returned home with more than $1.3 million dollars in prize money.
PGI.S was the first international LAN event this season, however, each team has its eyes set on PUBG’s biggest event towards the end of this season. The PUBG Global Championship is shaping up to be the biggest event in the game’s history and draws the best teams from around the world to compete for a truly impressive prize pool. Qualifying for PGC is every team’s goal and it starts during events like our upcoming PCS4 Americas Grand Finals. PGC points are awarded based on final placement in this event, as well as, the third-party tournaments like ESL PUBG Masters. As we continue to follow teams through their season, the race to collect enough PGC Points to earn an invite to the big stage becomes most important.
In the Americas, the first event to serve out PGC points was the ESL PUBG Masters. Following an international LAN event that hosted only the top-four teams from NA, the ESL Masters would be the first official event of the season for many teams. Two Group Stages were held in the regions that make up the Americas, NA and LATAM. Following a two-day best-of-twelve, the top eight teams from both groups would merge to play for the $50,000 USD prize pool and the most important award, PGC points.
ESL PUBG MASTERS: AMERICAS
During the ESL PUBG Masters Finals, a handful of teams rose to the occasion and made names for themselves. But in the end, TSM, who were competing under Shoot To Kill at the time, would dominate the Grand Finals and run away with the first-place position. They secured the majority of the prize pool and took the team’s first stride towards PGC with 200 qualification points. Behind them, a group of familiar North American powerhouses such as the Soniqs, Oath Gaming, and Spacestation Gaming (Spicy Fish) collected their fair share as well.
Teams that placed inside the top sixteen during the ESL Masters Group Stage had already punched their ticket to the Group Stage for PCS4 Americas. Those outside the top sixteen would have to fight their way through open qualifiers just to reach groups. Only one of the sixteen teams in the Grand Finals battled their way from Open Qualifiers, and that’s the recently signed roster of eUnited. Their roster is loaded with talent and experience, playing a massive role in their journey to this point of the series.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Our sixteen-team PCS4 Americas Grand Final lobby consists of the top six teams from both regional Group Stages, as well as, four squads from the Last Chance Qualifier. Designed to provide teams with one final shot at making it to the Grand Finals, the Last Chance Qualifier brought together teams placed between 7th and 14th from both regions and had them play for the final four spots in the finals. Ultimately, four additional North American teams kept their PCS4 hopes alive and will drop into the Grand Final lobby on June 10th.
As we approached the Grand Finals, a swell of returning orgs has caught the attention of fans worldwide as the region continues to strengthen its competitive scene. TSM, Spacestation Gaming, eUnited, Wildcard Gaming, and Dignitas have all returned or relocated their PUBG operations to the Americas in recent months and hope to find success in their first event. Considering everything at stake for each team, the PCS4 Americas Grand Finals should deliver some of the most exciting moments we’ve seen this season.
The format for the PCS4 Americas Grand Finals has remained a topic of conversation leading up to this event. For the Open Qualifiers, Group Stage, and Last Chance Qualifiers, teams have continued to play traditional ‘SUPER’ settings (Standard Universal PUBG Esports Ruleset). However, at the beginning of this season at PGI.S, a new ‘WWCD’ format was tested and adopted for the PCS4 Grand Finals. The ‘Winner Winner Chicken Dinner’ format, also referred to as the ‘Most Chickens’ format, eliminates the points collected for each kill and focuses solely on the team that wins the match. Instead of points for placement supplemented by kill points, the only deciding factor now is which team is the last one alive. So, during the PCS4 Americas Grand Finals, teams will be competing to win the most number of matches, with tiebreakers being decided by kills and other deciding factors if necessary.
Similar to the format we saw in Korea earlier this season, teams will be competing across three weekends to win the most number of matches under the new ‘Most Chickens’ format. Each week there will be $70,000 USD up for grabs and awarded to teams based on their placement over twelve matches and two days. By the end of Week Three, the team that has accumulated the most prize money will be crowned PCS4 Americas Champions. We’ll also see which teams receive the most PGC Points, the primary goal for many of the teams competing in this event. First place in PCS4 carries a 400 PGC Point award, practically double what TSM earned for their first-place victory in the ESL PUBG Masters Americas Final.
PCS4 AMERICAS FRONT-RUNNERS
If you’re looking for something special to keep an eye on this weekend, look no further than the Soniqs. The team claimed first place in PCS2, PCS3, and PGI.S to begin this season. In ESL PUBG Masters they played without one of the team’s starting four members and still managed to finish third in the finals. This team has consistently showcased their ability to remain towards the top of the leaderboard, regionally or internationally, and I don’t expect anything less during the PCS4 Grand Finals. North America’s “big-five” includes Soniqs, TSM, Oath, Dignitas, and Spacestation Gaming.
These five squads have proven themselves against the best and enter the PCS4 Grand Finals as favorites in my book. Each of these teams has its own playstyle but we’re not quite sure how the format change will affect their approach. Day One will say a lot about each team’s level of preparation in practice and scrimmage. It’s fair to say that the teams with the most experience, especially those that played this format while at PGI.S, enter the PCS4 Grand Finals slightly ahead of the others experiencing this format for the first time.
PCS4 PICK’EM CHALLENGE
The Pick Em’ Challenge has returned in-game for PCS4, allowing fans to predict the champion of each regional tournament for a chance to win exclusive gear. Players acquire Voting Coupons by purchasing PCS4-themed items in the store, each coupon can be cast for the team you believe will win their PCS4 title. Not familiar with the teams or players? The Esports Tab located on the main menu will provide you with the rosters, their recent placements, and how many fellow players have selected them in the Pick Em’.
Fans can also get involved with Team Faceoff. These sixteen matchups are free to enter and payout varying amounts of EP (esports points) which go towards claiming exclusive PCS4 items. Friendly tip for those entering the Pick Em’ for the first time, hold off on casting those voting coupons and predicting your Team Faceoffs. The deadline to select isn’t until later in the event, allowing you to get a better look at how teams are performing before making your decision.
PCS4 Americas Grand Finals kick off on June 10th on PUBG Esports’ official social channels. As the region’s top teams face off Week One, keep in mind the new format and what’s at stake. Each week we’ll see the leaderboard reset, giving teams a new opportunity to take first place. Despite their performance in the week prior, each team will have a fresh start. Ultimately, it’s the team’s final prize money that will determine the PCS4 Americas Champion. For that, we’ll have to keep a close eye on the series as it unfolds.