Central Pa.-based esports team wins global title, $1.3M

Harrisburg’s professional esports team, the Susquehanna Soniqs, on Wednesday won the PUBG Global Invitational.S.

They beat out 31 other teams during a six-week tournament at Studio Paradise in Incheon, South Korea, which marked the beginning of the 2021 season organized by PUBG Corporation. It was a profitable start, with the Soniqs winning almost $1.3 million.

The team won for Player Unknown Battle Ground (PUBG).

“This event was the ninth-biggest esport tournament in history and the biggest first-person shoot tournament with a prize pool over $7 million,” said Luke Goodling, communications manager for the team.

On top of being one of the biggest events in esports history, PGI.S was a hybrid LAN event. With health and safety being a top priority, the majority of teams competed offline at Studio Paradise while teams from China, Japan and Chinese Taipei competed online from their respective areas.

The competition itself was unique in the fact that it was also the first PUBG survival-style competition. The format of the competition was broken into three parts:

  • Rank Decision Matches: During the first week, all teams participated in the preliminary ‘Rank Decision’ matches to decide their placement, with the top 16 teams participating in the first Weekly Survival match.
  • Weekly Survival Matches: For six weeks, the Weekly Survival matches were held and consisted of a total of 16 matches during the week to select 16 ‘Chicken Dinner winners.’ Chicken Dinner winners were guaranteed to earn prize money and a spot in the Weekly Finals
  • Weekly Finals: The Weekly Finals had a total of 10 matches and featured the 16 winners from the Weekly Survival. The prize money each team won was based on the leaderboard placement of the team. Every week the prize pool went up and the team with the highest accumulated prize amount by the end of the tournament was crowned PGI.S champions.

Entering the final day of the tournament the Soniqs held a six-point lead, but then slipped to third ahead of the final match. After combining for 12 kills and picking up five placement points, the Soniqs reclaimed first place and won the tournament.

The competition itself was unique in the fact that it was also the first PUBG survival-style competition.

The Soniqs entered the competition as previous back-to-back North American PCS champions. Team members include Hunter “hwinn” Winn, Tristan “Shrimzy” Nowicki, Austin “M1me” Scherff and James “TGLTN” Giezen.

This title follows on the heels of consecutive collegiate esports titles by Harrisburg University.

Darren Moore is the team’s general manager. Dr. Eric Darr of Harrisburg University provides strategic direction to the Soniqs and Charles Palmer, who leads the bachelor’s of science degree in esports Management, Production and Performance, provides content.

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