Daybreak Games is partnering with Twin Galaxies to establish a professional league for its survival sandbox shooter H1Z1.
The H1Z1 Pro League promises a "player-first" approach, including a guaranteed minimum player salary of $50,000 (equal to that of Overwatch League players), a governing committee with representation for players and team owners, a Player Bill of Rights, and a well-defined revenue sharing model.
The league is set to launch in early 2018. It will feature 15 teams of five battling it out in 75 player free-for-all matches over a ten-week split. H1Z1 has already made an impact on the esports scene with its first tournament two years ago, and subsequent events including Elite Series at DreamHack and television broadcasts on the CW Network.
"Our goal with the H1Z1 Pro League is to create a world-class experience worthy of our incredibly competitive community," said Anthony Castoro, H1Z1 general manager at Daybreak Games.
Twin Galaxies board member Stratton Sclavos added: "Twin Galaxies' Pro League Division's mission is to create, govern and operate best-in-class esports leagues, tournaments and special events in a true partnership with leading game publishers."
It's a bold proposition given H1Z1's relatively small install base of just over seven million copies sold, compared to the likes of PlayerUnknown Battlegrounds and, more recently, Fortnite.
Having clearly learnt from the mistakes of early esports leagues, such as the problems faced by Riot Games in Europe, the H1Z1 Pro League is starting in a positive place.
With esports becoming increasingly cluttered, it's facing a lot of competition, but has the distinct advantage of being ready to leap into the fray while PUBG is still taking "baby steps."