The developer behind PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds hopes interest in the battle royale game will enable professional competitions until at least 2023.
During a press conference ahead of the 2018 PUBG Global Invitational, PUBG Corp shared its esports ambitions for the next five years, The Esports Observer reports. These will be adapted based on learnings from the Invitational and kick off properly in 2019.
The firm plans to launch regional professional PUBG Leagues, with Europe, North America, China and Korea planned for next year. Additional regions may be added in 2020, with a world championship bringing the winners together at the end of each year.
These leagues will reportedly have a more traditional format using a relegation system - as opposed to the franchise system used by other esports like Overwatch - but further details won't be shared until closer to the end of this year.
There are also plans to help finance teams through revenue sharing, an initiative that will be tested with the 2018 Invitational. For this competition, PUBG Corp has added in-game cosmetics themed on the 20 finalists. These are available to all players, and teams will receive a share of the sales for items bearing their brand.
Despite being the title that kicked off the current wave of battle royale games, PUBG has had its spotlight stolen by the ongoing success of Fortnite - a rival that is generating far more revenue than the Korea-developed title.
However, Fortnite's struggles in starting its own esports initiative, the Summer Skirmish, means there is still an opportunity for PUBG to outperform Epic's title in the competitive gaming space.