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Tencent and PUBG Corp hosting $600,000 mobile tournament

Kicks off in Kiev this week, finals to be held in Dubai at the end of the year

Efforts to fortify PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds as an esport have ramped up with the announcement of a new international tournament.

The PUBG Mobile Star Challenge will be run by Tencent Games and PUBG Corporation, and will pit teams from Europe, Asia, North America, South America, Japan, Korea and China against each other.

Bringing the 'Star' to this Star Challenge will be squads made up of celebrities, internet personalities and professional gamers, according to Esports Observer. They will be grouped into teams of four, where at least one member needs to have more 1,000 fans or followers on social media and streaming platforms to qualify.

Players will be competing for a share of the prize pool, which has been reported as a total of $600,000.

The first stage of the tournament will be held in Ukranian capital city Kiev later this week, with the European region final running from September 29th to 30th. Finals will be held in each region over the coming months, with the grand final being hosted in Dubai at the end of the year.

While it's only earning a fifth of the revenue generated by rival Fortnite, PUBG has fared relatively well on mobile. It outpaces Epic Games' battle royale title in terms of downloads, passing the 100 million mark back in August.

A successful international tournament should help bolster Tencent, which has been suffering in recent months. It has lost more than $160 billion in market value since January, partly due to the ongoing restructure of China's State Administration of Radio and Television, the government body responsible for approving new game releases.

With no new releases approved since March and limits on how it monetises certain titles, Tencent's growth has been hindered, prompting more effort in overseas markets.