League of Legends and PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS (PUBG) comprised almost 50 percent of Korean PC bang play rates last week, while Overwatch hit an all-time low since the game’s release.
According to a weekly report of PC bang play rates by Daily eSports, League of Legends and PUBG made up 25.85 percent and 23.69 percent of play, respectively, from Oct. 16-23. PUBG continues to reach record numbers, as it had a weekly average play rate of 18.74 percent two weeks ago, and rose another percent over the previous week.
Overwatch, meanwhile, has dwindled. Once a formidable challenger for League of Legends (that even briefly overtook the world’s No. 1 game), Overwatch has has dropped and recorded only 13.68 percent in play rates in the past week — the lowest it’s ever been since being released in May 2016.
Multiple factors go into PUBG’s rise in Korea. First is the game’s popularity among streamers, as the game creates a uniquely engrossing streaming experience for both streamers and viewers. The second is PUBG’s inherently high demand in computer specifications, which makes playing in PC bangs (that have top-of-the-line hardware) more desirable. The third is frustration from Overwatch’s Korean player base, as competitive poor match making, balance issues, and the lack of frequent updates could be pushing players to find an alternative.
It’s important to note that PUBG isn’t without its own issues, as the game is still technically in Steam’s early access program and thus unfinished. Earlier this month, players pelted the game with negative reviews on steam following server issues that made the game near unplayable for many, while ads were visible in the main menu. The game’s developer, Bluehole, acknowledged the issues in a blog post, saying servers have been at capacity due to the game’s exponential growth, and promising players that a solution was in the works.