Bluehole has announced Gamescom Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Invitational – the first Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds e-sport offline competition, organized together with ESL Gaming Network. The tournament will be taking place at this year’s gamescom (Cologne, Germany), and run through August 23–26.
80 participants will be selected for the competition from among the best players, fan-content creators and gamescom visitors (the latter will have to prove themselves in daily eliminations), and take part in four game modes: Solo, Duo, Duo FPP and Squad. The person with the highest score after three sessions is the winner. Fans will be able to follow the event from homes via official streaming media, including Twitch, Facebook, YouTube, Mixer and Twitter channels.
The total prize pool for Gamescom Invitational is $350,000. However, the way of collecting the money is a bit controversial, as it is going to come from the sales of cosmetic items for Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. Starting on August 3 through August 27 players will be able to get three types of crates with exclusive character skins. While Wanderer Crate and Survivor Crate can be opened for free, unlocking Gamescom Invitational Crates will take a special key sold for $2.5. The money will be used to cover the prize pool for the tournament winners and charities.
This has obviously sparkled some negative reactions from fans, who consider it breaking the promise that Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds would not feature microtransactions until it’s out of Early Access, which isn’t happening for at least several months.