The Shotcaller sat down with RaptorDaRaptor, one of the most active competitive PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS players to talk about his expectations towards the competitive scene of the game and his personal plans.
What fascinates you about PLAYERUNKNOWN’s BATTLEGROUNDS?
My fascination with PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS actually starts with being able to grow together alongside a game. Not just a random small game but a game where developers seem passionate about turning the game into something big and something that could potentially become an established esport. The game has a lot of depth and with recent announcements such as vaulting, climbing and new maps, I feel like this game is going to be able to offer a lot more than just some basic strategies. What keeps the game interesting to me is that although the basic strategy is the same every game, every game plays out differently because of the randomness of the circles. The style of realism in this game is what makes the game attractive to me as well. All in all, a game with a big learning curve and with the chance to make esport dreams come true.
With over 1000 hours recorded on Steam, you are one of the players with the most experience in PUBG. How do you feel about the development of the game so far?
I’ve been able to follow up the development of this game up close. When I initially bought the game, there was desync, game crashes, glitches, exploits, bugs and more. Despite all these issues I was playing the game for over 10 hours a day during that time. It really sucked but because of the transparency of PLAYERUNKNOWN about his plans, future updates, and his vision, I had hope and I didn’t feel like I was wasting my time on another Early Access game without future. Coming from CS:GO, with over 5.000 hours played, where the developers don’t seem to care too much anymore, this game feels honestly like a birthday cake on Christmas. Currently, I’m putting all my eggs in one basket, hoping that this game becomes an esport. But if it wasn’t for their transparency and actually doing what they’re promising they would do, I wouldn’t be doing this.
Do you think the developers are actively listening to what the community has to say? As we speak, you are ranked #7 in Solos, #1 in Duos and #87 in Squads. What game mode do you think will be the most successful as an esport and why will it be that game mode specifically?
As far as ranking, I’ve been able to hit every single top 10 and been doing tournaments in every single game mode and still this is a tough question but I strongly believe that in the CURRENT state of the game. Duos will be most viable for eSports because of the ease of spectating, the ease of understanding who plays with who and how non-chaotic the fights look for spectators. This is the main reason why I’ve shifted my focus from squads to duos is that in duos I feel like the fights are fairer, engagements are more possible and the end of the game doesn’t feel like a cluster of random killing where you hope for the best with the circle. The only reason why I’d see a squad eSports arise is that everybody thinks it’s going to be a squad scene. If that would be the case, I’d be joining in of course BUT I personally don’t see how squads would be a beautiful esport to watch for people who don’t understand the scene that well. When talking about eSports most people forgot about the spectator but without spectators, there will be no eSport.
You took part in many small tournaments recently. Do you think that players are taking these tournaments seriously, despite PUBG not being an established esport?
Players are taking tournaments very serious. I’ve been in contact with almost every single known player in the scene and been able to hear their view on the game. Most players who you see in tournaments over and over again are literally counting on this game becoming the next big thing. It’s a big gamble but the way I would put it is like this: “If a game like H1Z1 can have 250.000$+ prize pools, so can PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS.” We have high beliefs in the developers. And yes, winning tournaments or performing well gives you status among other players. Even though Team Kinguin might currently not be the most popular team on Twitch, within the competitive players, they have a lot of status because of their victories in current tournaments. Just as an example.
Bluehole, the developer of PUBG, recently partnered up with the ESL to further develop the game as an esport title. What tournament format would you like to see?
My personal preference has to be duos. It’s the perfect combination of skill and action. But what matters for me is the importance of kills towards the final score. In a game of RNG, people have to step away from the idea that only survival should count. There should be a point distribution between survival and kills. But 100% for my side, duos all the way.
If you could change one gameplay element in PUBG right now, what would it be?
If there’s one thing I would change about the game, it would definitely be the durability of cars. Cars should gradually become stronger depending on the game mode you’re playing. It should require skill to kill somebody in a driving vehicle, not just some random-ass shooting. It just doesn’t help towards the beauty of the game. As a squad, end-game, you just spray cars which are engaging and there is no chance for them to even do something against you. Cars are currently the only reason why it could be possible to have nice team fights, hiding behind them, but because of the ease of blowing them up, that gets taken away.
Any words you would like to address towards the community?
Keep supporting the developers for their amazing effort, stay hungry for some chicken dinner and keep driving by my shacks.