Orena PUBG Tournament Results

Courtesy of Facebook.com/Orenaonline

Orena held its inaugural Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds event on Sunday 17 September 2017. There were multiple maps played, starting with group stages and culminating in a grand final map where players who earned the most points through earlier stages took part. The event was streamed via Orena’s Twitch channel. Players could participate online or at the LAN space Orena provided in Johannesburg.

PUBG and Orena: 200 entries & Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

The event was initially earmarked for 100 players, but due to selling out so quickly Orena made another 100 spots available. Entry was R50 per person and all 200 spots were quickly sold. This means Orena took in R10,000 in entry fees for the event. The prize pool was set at R5,000 to be split between the top 3 placed players, with the player coming first also picking up a R150 meal voucher.

The top 3 placed players were:

  • PwnstarHD (R2,500 + R150 voucher)
  • MrSir_ZA (R1,500)
  • UnKnowNzz (R1,000)

Orena PUBG

I watched the Orena stream on Sunday and I honestly didn’t know what was happening for the large majority of the matches I watched. The obs cam would follow people being shot at, rather than the shooter (so you rarely knew where shots came from – you’re as confused as the poor bloke being riddled with bullets). At another point we watched a player cruising on his boat far from any action for two minutes. Time which I’ll never get back. When observers move from player cam to player cam, buildings take a few crucial seconds to load in. This makes watching PUBG an especially frustrating experience (and one I’ll not be keen on doing again).

It’s also really important the casters are clued up about the game. This is true regardless of the title in question, but even more so in a new title that involves 80 odd players at a time across such a huge area. Adam “Wham” Postepski is a notable CSGO caster who casted this Orena PUBG event over the weekend. In my opinion, he failed to really guide me through the game and its intricacies very well. At times he sounded as lost as I felt. I’m not sure how much PUBG he has under his belt, but his co-casters (which switched match to match) knew significantly more about the title than he did. There was so much time explaining the meta, that we seldom developed stories about the players active on the map. You’re only ever invested in the dramatic final moments (for example in the finals when the last five have an epic battle).

The Orena Twitch stream was also plagued by audio issues during multiple matches, which didn’t exactly help as I struggled to enjoy watching the event. On the plus side, the players seem to have an absolute blast and the game looks really fun/inviting. A few players seemed to experience connection issues (or were dropped for weird reasons). The EU servers were also a talking point amongst players, but there isn’t much Orena has to do with some of these problems. Orena have hinted they’ll be doing more PUBG in the future. If you’re interested, make sure you head over to their website to check it out. I just wouldn’t recommend watching it.

PUBG as an esport

PUBG is developed by Bluehole and as a newcomer to the esports domain has set some pretty strict guidelines for tournament organizers using their custom servers. Any tournament organizer wanting to acquire custom server access from Bluehole must apply, and is expected to generally abide by a broad set of rules. You can read the terms here, but cash entry fees and cash prizes are generally discouraged.

The reason that cash prizes and cash entries are discouraged is probably because Bluehole are still working on the title (it’s still an early access title). As such they’re aware that the game is far from finished, and many aspects to turn the title into a sustainable esport are not yet in place. In the event that tournament organizers start charging entry or throwing out cash prizes, it draws larger crowds and creates expectations, which PUBG can’t meet right now. In this case it makes sense to limit your exposure until the title can better support larger cash-oriented events. For PUBG, this means you don’t want to hype up a title that bores crowds to death.

While most people agree that the game has a huge fan base and is immensely fun, the spectating aspect is miles away from acceptable levels right now. From my own experience, watching the Orena stream was not a pleasant experience. At one point I had my iPad out as I was only keeping track of the stream to write this article. The title can’t live only by appealing to those who play it. As an esport, it needs to be able to be translated to casual viewers as well.

The observer issues are just some of the problems with PUBG as an esport right now. Another issue mentioned by Richard Lewis, in a video we’ve embedded in this article, are issues to do with the scoring format, overall pacing, and general competitive remarks. I don’t know enough about PUBG to really comment on these, so I’m going to redirect you back to his article if you’re interested.

Closing thoughts

We need to be getting this title right for everyone before we try to force it onto the esports stage. It’s just not in a place where it’s ready right now, and subsequently I don’t think we want to be charging people to compete for small cash prizes. However, it’s clear PUBG players do want to watch streams of these tournaments. There are a ton of positives things to build on for PUBG as an esport, but that doesn’t mean we ignore the problems and in its present state it is far from perfect.

I contacted Bluehole for a statement on the dissonance between their custom server access requirements and this Orena event, but we’ve still not heard back from them. Either way, it’s clear PUBG has a few issues that need considerable tweaking, but that isn’t stopping an active community forming around and supporting the title. I’m looking forward to seeing where this goes, although I’d like to see massive changes so it’s an enjoyable esport to watch (like CSGO is). Congratulations to the three winners as well, and I hope the chicken dinner is as good as it is hyped up to be! 🙂

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About Sargon

Christopher House is an ex-DotA2 competitive player who works as an independent esports writer.