By: Zachary Lange
A spot in the inaugural National PUBG League (NPL) will be up for grabs starting Monday during the 2019 NPL Preseason.
32 teams will be divided into four groups of eight and will play each other in a round robin setting throughout the week. By the end, the top-16 will face off for a $100,000 prize pool and a secured spot into the first season of the NPL.
Regular season play in the NPL will be split across three stages, each with a prize pool of $200,000. Should eUnited not place in the top-16, they would be placed into the NPL Contenders division with several opportunities to promote into the NPL throughout the year.
For Taylor “TaylorJay” Johnson, being able to play in LAN-style league would be a highlight of his career.
“Making pro league would be a huge accomplishment for me and the team,” TaylorJay said. “It’s been our goal and dream to play in this and move to Los Angeles.”
TaylorJay mentioned preparation for the event has been time consuming, with the team participating in online scrimmages as a four-man squad as well as playing duo matches amongst themselves to build team chemistry. Staying in shape, both mentally and physically, by eating well and going to the gym has also been key leading into the preseason.
Each player on the team brings a unique ability to the table according to Andrew “GICE” Geisinger. Newcomer Dylan "Dylhero" Bolduc has taken over marksman sniping duties, while TaylorJay is an offensive firepower that has brought more kills to the table. Tom “PistolaTime” Banel has transitioned to an in-game leader role due to his knowledge and decision making abilities.
After placing seventh at the Global Loot League finals in Sweden back in December and finishing in the top-5 across multiple online leagues, the team has all the confidence they need to qualify for the NPL.
“To be honest I don't except anything out of the ordinary at this event,” GICE said. “We have full confidence in qualifying for the pro league as the North American scene is very top heavy in skill, with ourselves included in that class.”
Top competition at the event includes the aforementioned North American powerhouses of Cloud9, Ghost Gaming and Team Envy.
“I believe we just need to play confident and relaxed like we have been for the past few months and that will result in us qualifying,” GICE said.
Coverage of the 2019 NPL Preseason, which will be held at the OGN Studios in Manhattan Beach, Calif., will take place each night at 6 p.m. Pacific time.