The 2022 PUBG Global Championship is potentially heading to Dubai according to multiple sources familiar with The Game Haus. This would be the first major PUBG LAN in the Middle East in PUBG Esports’ almost five-year life.
While it is not definitive yet, multiple sources indicate that Dubai is the leading candidate to host the 2022 PUBG Global Championship. The capital city of the United Arab Emirates has never hosted a major esports event in its history. That being said, the city is set to host the Global Esports Federation’s Global Esports Games in 2025.
While the exact reason behind the decision is unclear, multiple factors may have contributed to the decision. With the Russo-Ukraine War still raging, the no-fly zone that is implemented over Russia continues to complicate travel for teams That is compounded by the visa issues and lockdowns that have plagued esports in the wake of the last two COVID years,
While Dubai may be the favorite to house the 2022 PUBG Global Championship, the decision does not seem final. Sources suggest that Stockholm or Berlin could still play host to the event, given their history with the game, but they are not the most likely options at this time.
The moral dilemma
If UAE does host PGC, it will not be without controversy. The country, like many other countries in the region, is not a friendly LGBTQ+ country with penalties such as death or life in prison as potential punishments. This has previously caused controversy in the esports space. Earlier this year, Ubisoft promptly scrapped plans to host their August Rainbow Six: Siege Major in the UAE following immense community backlash.
If the rumored plans hold, the status of fan-favorite caster Cameron Davis working the event is very much in question. Davis worked the first-ever major PUBG Esports at the Gamescom 2017 in addition to every Global Championship or Global Invitational. The stick up though is that Davis is an openly gay man. The question of if he will work an event in a country that persecutes people like him, and thus end his streak, remains unknown if the plans go through.
Why Is PUBG Potentially Doing This?
The two major untapped regions for esports across the world currently are the Middle East and Africa. The Middle East possessing both wealth and global power makes them the ideal target for esports expansion. In recent months, PUBG has taken steps towards more Middle Eastern inclusion, primarily with their NextPro initiative. Aside from having a leaderboard for just Europe, they also have a leaderboard for MEA players. This event would be another way to tap into that market and potentially expand the game further. The question becomes whether expansion going to hurt and drive away portions of the pre-existing community.
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