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‘PUBG’ to Get First North American Esports League in January

Popular battle royale game “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” is getting its first professional league in North America this January, developer and publisher PUBG Corp. announced on Wednesday.

The National PUBG League (NPL) will start its inaugural season with a $1 million prize pool. The 2019 League will have three phases of 16 four-player squads competing on the Erangel and Miramar maps. More specific information about NPL, including qualification requirements, will be released in the coming months, PUBG Corp. said.

The NPL is a part of PUBG Corp.’s five-year plan to develop a sustainable global esports infrastructure. It hosted its first official esports tournament, the PUBG Global Invitational 2018, in Berlin earlier this year.

The NPL will be produced in partnership with Korean esports network OGN. OGN is launching a new arena and studio in Manhattan Beach, Calif., it announced Wednesday. There, it will produce live events and other esports content for the new OGN Super League (OSL), OGN Super Match (OSM) invitational competitions, and the NPL. The studio will reportedly be the largest on the West Coast. At 35,000 square feet, it will host up to 500 audience members and 100 players. It will also be the only arena in the U.S. with a specialized stage for battle royale competitions, OGN said.

“The moment is right to bring our experience in esports to North America and present a business model that we see as win-win for everyone – from game publishers to brands. Bringing the OGN playbook to this rapidly growing esports market will provide a robust opportunity to connect and engage with the next generations of gamers and fans,” said DJ Lee, CEO, CJ ENM America.

OGN is the exclusive partner for 2019 National PUBG League events in North America and it will stream the tournament on its Twitch channel.

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