So, there’s this first-person shooter style video game that has invaded my home over the last year via my roommate’s insane laughter and cursing from across the hall. The game is called Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds. What does this have to do with Hallyu, you might ask? Well, K-rock band Drug Restaurant‘s member Jung Joon Young is apparently a fan. So much so that he has signed on with the professional eSports team, Kongdoo Reddot, as a player. As intense as the game sounds (and looks, from the few times I have peeked at the matches my roommate plays with his friends) I can only imagine how dedicated and skilled a person would have to be in order to play on a professional level.
PUBG, as the game is commonly referred to by players, is set in an abandoned, apocalypse style setting. Players drop out of an airplane wherever they want on the map and battle it out in empty buildings and fields for weapons and supplies Hunger Games style, scavenging what they can find and hoping for the best. You can play solo, or as a team. It takes strategy, fast reactions, and the ability to listen and observe surroundings well in order to be a good player. Since I’ve seen people playing this game in action, my imagination can only run wild thinking of Joon Young crushing the competition and having some fun while he’s at it. The Kongdoo gaming team has a Twitter account where they post about upcoming events and matches, including links to stream as they play.
Online gaming is a big deal in Korea, and Korean teams have been wiping the floor with the rest of the world in competitions for years. At the end of 2017 alone, Korean teams won the Overwatch World Cup, the League of Legends World Cup, the Starcraft 2 World Championship, and more. Not only that, but a lot of Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games (MMORPGs) are developed and launched in Korea as well. These games are more laid back and play similarly to Final Fantasy or Zelda rather than Call of Duty or Overwatch. It may not seem like a big deal if gaming isn’t your thing, but online gaming competitions are becoming more and more popular worldwide. With Korean teams dominating the genre left and right, maybe online gaming will become one more factor to the Hallyu wave.
The Kongdoo esports teams have some matches this week! Be sure to cheer them on if gaming is up your alley! What do you think of these intense online gaming competitions? Do you play any games? Tell us which ones are your favorites in the comments below!