PUBG Viewer Guide

PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds Viewer Guide

What is PUBG?

Player Unknown BattleGrounds or PUBG is a Battle Royale game where 100 people enter and one person or team remain. Spectating these giant arena based games can be a little daunting at first but once you understand the majority of what's going on while the game progresses. If you haven't played the game before you should definitely try it out, but if you’re here to learn how to watch, let’s get into it.

How is PUBG played?

It’s important to note that the game is a shooter game whether it be first person or third person, most tournaments host a FPP and a TPP portion, and when a tournament focuses on one there is some other tournament focused on the other. Although most of the time we are spectating over the shoulder or with a birds eye view. When we are following along with the Observer we are usually looking at the bigger picture than just whoever is fighting in that picture. THe players only have their POV while we may get theirs and  a more all knowing POV.

The general idea is to make it more entertaining for people watching, if we know more of what is happening than the people do participating then we get to see the possibilities of what's going to happen and then watch them unfold in front of us. This sets up suspense and when something happens we didn’t account for we react accordingly or when we are proven right about what's happening we still get that feelsgoodman reaction to being right.

Overall just watch and enjoy everything that's going on, you will over time understand the majority of what's happening and be more well adjusted to the spectator point of view. When it comes to actually following along with what we are shown, it always starts out with the drop plane, where all the players begin, and the overhead map showing us where everyone is dropping out and going towards. There is a clutter of nametags and colors representing different teams or players and once its sorted out that everyone is out of the plane we get a lot of fast cuts between players that are in action and ones that are in the thick but not exactly fighting just yet.

There is a lot going on in the first few minutes and luckily for PUBG fans, the amount of given information on the screen is a lot less clutter filled than in other Esports, so let's just focus on the game for now. The Observer mode switches between a bunch of different observers in the game at different parts of the map following different areas and actions. Because of this we may get a little lost in the storylines but after a few rounds it will be easy for even new viewers to follow along.

Sometimes the screen will switch to show where the players end up being on the map with a small screen showing some other part of the map where there is potential action to watch. When this happens there is usually a game wide lull in action, so they want to give us time to look over the current game state and follow along with as many teams as possible. There will be times where a lot of stuff is going on all at once, and times where nothing at all is happening. When we are watching we should be listening to the casters for a better understanding of where to look and what we are looking at as well as why.

Visual Aids in PUBG.

There is always an overlay on the screen that helps the viewer understand what it is they are looking at at any given moment. When we have the birds eye view there isn’t a whole lot going on in the way of visual aids. The top right hosts the Day and Match number on the day, with the bottom right having a minimap with the Storm Phase and timer until next storm movement. The Top right has the elapsed time, teams remaining, and players left in the match. Though when we are spectating a specific player there is a lot more information.

We have all the previously mentioned aids as well as the bottom left showing the total kills for the squad as well as the remaining squad members and their health. The bottom center of the screen shows players’ inventory, personal skills and name.

There aren’t too many more visual aids and for a BR game I think that makes it a lot easier to follow along. There isn’t too much more we need to know as viewer other than Inventory and player positioning in a BR game. Sometimes when tensions rise towards the end of the game we get the POV of multiple players in a split screen style, in this case we get the player information for each one being spectated 

There is some variance between different tournaments but for the most part this is pretty standard. Keep in mind that tournaments with bigger sponsors may flash their sponsors logos in different parts of the screen depending on the tournament and that just isn’t useful to the game.  There isn’t a whole lot of important information in the visual aids, until after each round where we see how many points a team has accrued over the course of the tournament.

Depending on what streaming platform you’re on there can be even more needless visuals on screen so be sure to disable extensions and have ad blocker on, you’ll still get ads embedded in the stream of course but there will be less getting in your field of view distracting you from the game taking place. Whether it be Twitch, YouTube, or Mixr, if a tournament is being streamed you can access it, which is beneficial in the sense that it is easier to find than people would think.

What are Casters and Analysts?

Behind every good Esport is a production crew, the face of that crew manifests in the Casting Crew and Analyst desk. Before and after each round we get feedback from the Analyst desk that helps expand our understanding of what just happened and what should happen moving forward. During the match we hear the shoutcasters breaking down, to the best of their ability, what we are seeing on screen. They know all the ins and outs of the game at every level and we should be listening to their cast and review whenever we have the chance.

There are some terms that are not immediately understandable and are staple slang for either PUBG or the BR genre or even Esports in general. Lets go over some of those terms here so you spend less time asking the internet what the different uses of Frag can mean;

  • Knock- in squad tournaments you don’t immediately die when you’ve taken enough damage to, you are instead knocked down, allowing your teammates a chance to revive you.
  • Rez- rez is short for resurrection, which is a substitute word for revive, and is the act of picking up a fallen squad member.
  • Blue- while most BRs just refer to it as the “storm” PUBG officially calls their storm the “Blue” as a reference to the color of their storm.
  • Gatekeeping- there is a strategy some players use that makes them hug the Blue, which helps them avoid too many fights and gives them more control over what fights they do take, the Gatekeepers are the ones that target those players, fighting them and keeping them from making it to the next safe zone.
  • 3rd party- Most fights are between two people or two teams, the common phrase for a tertiary player or team adding to that fight is known as a 3rd party.
  • Chicken Dinner- Often times in PUBG you’ll hear the phrase Chicken Dinner or Winner Winner Chicken Dinner, this endearing phrase has been borrowed by PUBG to refer to the victory in the Battle Royale.
  • Sightlines- When players can or can’t see something Casters refer to their sightlines, “just outside their sightline” or “team X is in team Y’s sightlines.

Some of these words may have been a little more obvious than others, but these are staples of PUBG at the very least, and of course there are more than this but with time they will become rather obvious.

What should I do next?

PUBG is a very loved game by its community, and if anyone who has an interest in the game wants to watch or play it they should. At the same time if you are more interested in simply watching the game, make sure to pick your favorite to win and cheer them on while you watch. If you are interested in playing the game however make sure to check out all of our other guides!

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Cameron Carr

12 November 2019

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