Booming life for PUBG death-match game

Scores of virtual warriors faced off in a Hunger Games-style death match in a massive, real-world eSports matchup of upstart shooter game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG).

The computer game’s rise has been epic, with some industry trackers branding this the year of PUBG even though it is technically still in trial mode with a final version yet to be released.

In a colossal two-day event that ended Sunday, 80 players hunched over computers in a warren of cubicles set up in an arena where the champion Golden State Warriors usually plays home basketball games.

Shooter games played as spectator sports typically pit one team against another, and such was the scene nearby in the Oracle Arena in Oakland where a “Counter-Strike Global Offensive” tournament was taking place as part of the overall Intel Extreme Masters event.

Brendan Greene of Ireland, the creator of PUBG, released an early-access version of the game online at Steam in March, referring to it as a “very special day” in a blog post. That was more than 20 million copies ago, according to data service Steamspy.

A Steam chart showed PUBG was the most played PC game on Monday, with nearly 2.7 million people simultaneously taking part at a peak point.