As anyone who watched the PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds Invitational at Gamescom can tell you, it was a bit of a mixed bag. In addition to a confusing scoreboard malfunction that showed a team had placed second when they had actually come in third, there are the challenges inherent in presenting a tournament that contains 100 scattered competitors on a large map in real time.
At times during the tournament, viewers would see the camera pointed at a player crouching behind a wall or lying down in a building while the real drama was happening elsewhere on the map. There's also the issue that a good strategy for winning in PUBG is to avoid fighting for as long as possible, leading to long minutes where top players were simply hiding and waiting. Sound strategy, but not always exciting to watch.
At PAX West, Evan spoke with Chang-Han Kim, VP and producer at PUBG developer Bluehole, about the challenges of presenting a tournament for a game like PUBG and what lessons were learned from the Invitational at Gamescom.
"We know that there's been some hiccups here and there," said Kim through translator and Bluehole business lead Hyowon Yoo. "There were some issues, but the bigger thing was all of the existing esports or the competitive games are structured on the 1v1 type of format, and we're not placed like that."
Kim spoke about the idea of capturing the most dramatic moments of a tournament and presenting them in an edited replay if the live cameras didn't happen to catch them. "For example, if it's a solo mode, it could be 100 moments of drama that we could put together," he said. "If it's 25 teams of fours, it could be 25 moments of drama that we could put together and present in a way that's very enjoyable to watch."
Kim also mentioned the possibility of a four-way split-screen, which would allow several players to be viewed at the same time, thus giving viewers the choice of who to watch and improve the chances of the most dramatic moments being seen.
Watch the entire interview in the video above, and follow the rest of our continuing coverage of PAX West 2017 here.