By: Zachary Lange

It’s a new beginning for competitive PUBG.

After a rigorous qualification process, eUnited will kick off Phase 1 of the National PUBG League (NPL) starting today, Feb. 1, with four games split between Erangel and Miramar.

Each Friday and Saturday for the next six weekends, a combined eight games will take place at OGN Studios in Manhattan Beach, Calif., with Phase 1 ending in March. Each “phase” is a season, with a relegation system in place to promote teams up from the minor leagues known as the NPL Contenders division. In all, 16 teams will compete in each division.

One weekend, split in the middle of each phase to act as a break in the action, is reserved for a special event that features all teams in across both leagues for an additional prize pool that does not affect the point standings for relegation from the NPL.

The team, comprised of Andrew “GICE” Geisinger, Taylor “TaylorJay” Johnson, Tom “PistolaTime” Banel and Dylan “Dylhero” Bolduc have all relocated to live together in a home near the studios. Projects around the house, including building computers for the team to practice on, have started the roommate bonding process for an already tight-knit group of teammates.

Now that the squad is always within arm’s-length of one another, hitting the reset button after a bad day of competition will be easier, as opposed to being spread across the east coast of the U.S. and Canada.

“It is much more efficient going over VOD (video on demand) in person which will allow us to focus on improving our mistakes and work to improve them better,” GICE said. “Our personalities are all positive so when we are together we want to stop any negativity right away and look forward to the future naturally.”

The strategy that eUnited uses in game is equal parts high risk and high reward. In-game leader PistolaTime explained that by looting and rotating towards the first circle shift earlier than others, it allows the squad to take positioning inside buildings that they otherwise wouldn’t have had they played passively.

An even more appealing reason to be aggressive is the new point structure for the NPL, which will award one point per kill, but only 10 points for a first place finish. TaylorJay, who finished the NPL preseason qualifier ranked inside the top-5 in kills, is confident in his team’s abilities to take advantage of the new point system.

“I go into every fight thinking in my head, ‘I’m gonna headshot this guy, I’m gonna out aim this guy and I’m going to wipe this whole squad,’” TaylorJay said. “It’s all a mental game. We’re going to be fighting a lot more and maybe early on, but I expect us to be winning every fight.”

Dylhero, who participated in his first event on LAN in his career during the preseason, mentioned that one area the team hopes to improve on is holding defensively when the roles are reserved and another team is looking for kills. GICE agreed, adding that the team will look to stay alive early by avoiding the slipups that has hindered the team previously.

In all, building upon the successes that the preseason had to offer, while eliminating the mistakes that caused inconsistent placements is a central theme for the squad to contend for the $100,000 prize for first place in each phase.

The start of a whopping 40 game regular season will take place live at 5 p.m. Pacific time. Live updates will be posted on all of eUnited’s social media platforms.