Three years ago, we saw the first-ever PUBG Nations Cup. 16 countries and 64 of the best players in the battlegrounds came from four different regions around the world to compete for a prize pool of $500,000 and the chance to declare their nation as the #1 PUBG nation in the world. While not the first premier global tournament PUBG has had, it was the first in which players represented their own countries rather than their teams in an Olympic-style competition. Although they won’t be competing this year, Russia came home with the top prize followed by South Korea, Canada, and Vietnam. While eastern teams had more success at PNC 2019, heading into PNC 2022 this year, there is no clear favorite to win. Any nation and any team could take home the top prize. Today, we’ll be looking at the 2019 performances from our Americas/Australia teams, where they succeeded, where they fell short, and their chances heading into PNC 2022.
The Great White North.
Canada struck bronze three years ago, taking home 3rd place at PNC 2019. While their roster was full of heavy hitters (Kaymind, Drassel, Meluke, and Moody) there was some concern that none of these players had been on any of the same teams in quite a while. When you looked at the rosters coming out of most other nations, at least two players had come directly from the same team onto their nation’s roster and many rosters were made up of players from only two teams. The Canadian team, on the other hand, was made up of players from four different teams. If Canada was able to get over that hurdle and play harmoniously, there was a very high chance of them over delivering at PNC. Well, they most certainly did. Gaining momentum over the three days of the tournament they secured themselves three 1st place wins across 15 matches and left with one of the highest kill counts of any team.
The number one element Canada had going for them was having a clear In-Game Leader (IGL) in Meluke, which, at a tournament with this caliber of player, isn’t always a given. Not only that, but Meluke was known as one of the smartest PUBG players out there at the time and he displayed that by managing his players in ways that brought out their strengths. Whether it was knowing when to flank or who to use as fragger, he truly tied Canada’s team together. Canada’s situation looks surprisingly similar heading into PNC 2022. The Canadian MVP Shinboi will no doubt be looked at for leadership at PNC. He has a pretty solid roster heading into the tournament, but none of his players are playing, or have played, for any of the same teams recently. Hopefully, he can pull his team together just as Meluke did three years ago.
Other than Canada, the Americas and Australia teams put up fairly lackluster performances at PNC 2019 with Argentina taking 9th, USA 10th, Brazil 13th, and Australia 14th. A major aspect hindering these countries was the lack of a clear IGL. Despite many players on these rosters coming from the same teams, true cooperation and unity comes from having a definitive leader. To be fair, many teams across PNC, not just in the Americas, had trouble finding and committing to an IGL, and it is something we will certainly be looking at when PNC 2022 comes around. The other key component of these teams’ disappointing play was how timid they were. Western teams in general, both in the Americas and in Europe, were not decisive in fights. They weren’t as aggressive in how they claimed land, and they weren’t playing for kills in the way Eastern teams were. Eastern teams were more kill-focused, playing very center, and playing confidently even after they had lost teammates. Western teams on the other hand (with exception of Canada and Germany) played very edge and simply weren’t able to control and manage other teams.
It’s only been three years since the last PNC, yet every roster looks completely different, not only in the players competing, but in the teams those players are coming from. It just goes to show how fast the turnaround is for esports athletes. 3 out of 4 of the USA’s players from PNC 2019 are now retired, and the teams they played for, Tempo Storm and Spacestation Gaming, were quite dominant at the time. Yet today, it’s all about teams like Soniqs and eUnited. The exciting thing about this development is it makes the rankings heading into PNC 2022 totally unpredictable. Hopefully, western teams will study the matches from three years ago and learn from those performances to combat their eastern counterparts more effectively, but beyond that, it’s anyone’s game. Teams from the Americas aren’t always the most successful at international events but maybe some of these impressive rosters can change that this year. PNC is a particularly short tournament with only 15 matches across 3 days, so there isn’t much time for a team to warm up and find their groove. The most successful rosters will be the ones that have a clearly defined IGL from the get-go and have spent the time prior to PNC getting comfortable with each other’s play. It will be easy to tell who’s done that, and who hasn’t, once the tournament begins.
PNC 2022, the second-ever PUBG Nations Cup, will be held from June 16th to June 19th in Bangkok Thailand.
WHERE TO WATCH / FOLLOW
Check out our PUBG Esports content channels for VODs and streams:
Be sure to follow PUBG Esports on social media to stay up to date on all the action.