Airtel Named ‘Preferred Network’ of PUBG MOBILE Pro League South Asia

Organizers of the PUBG MOBILE Pro League South Asia (PMPL) announced a partnership with Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel.  The partnership will see Airtel serve as the “Preferred Network” for the tournament and the company will also be given the rights to stream the competition on its Airtel Xstream app. In addition, some “exclusive experiences” will also be available for Airtel customers as part of its existing “Airtel Thanks” benefits, the company said in its announcement. 

Airtel Xstream is a digital television service that gives subscribers in India access to Over The Top (OTT) platforms, along with regular TV channels. This will allow Airtel Xstream subscribers in India to watch the tournament on their televisions. 

PUBG MOBILE continues to be the number one esport in the South Asia region, leading other titles by significant margins, both in terms of prize pool and viewership. No other title in the region has prize pools close to what PUBG MOBILE has to offer, and in 2019 it accounted for nearly 50% of the entire esports prize pool in the region. 

The ongoing PMPL South Asia tournament series is the highest tier of competition in the region for the title and sees the best teams from India, Nepal, and Bangladesh compete for a $5M USD prize pool spread across the entire season. 

PMPL South Asia features a $200K prize pool. The PMPL also takes place in other regions such as PMPL Americas, and various other regional PMPLs in South East Asia. The tournament began in March and was forced to take a two-month break due to the COVID-19 and a lockdown in India. It resumed on May 22.

The Airtel partnership will be PMPL South Asia’s second big sponsorship announcement after recently having revealed a platinum tier sponsorship with soft drink brand Mountain Dew. Tencent and PUBG MOBILE’s on-ground partner in India for PMPL is NODWIN Gaming, who recently  announced a partnership with Airtel for a national ranking and award system  called the “Airtel Indian Esports Tour.” 

NODWIN Gaming (who is a client of and a minority investor in AFK Gaming) helped facilitate the deal between Airtel and PUBG MOBILE Pro League South Asia.

 Shounak Sengupta is a staff writer at AFK Gaming.

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