Miramar is Out, But For How Long?

When Miramar was released to the public, players quickly realized that the new map functioned differently than the old one. The Miramar patch did much more than add vaulting. It added newlayers to an already complex game, calling intoquestion many existing strategies. Vast swathes of open land reduced movement options, vehicle nerfs and rougher terrain made circle transitions more dangerous, and looting strategies were changed. No one felt the impact of these changes more deeply than the professionals. Obtaining adequate loot felt harder, getting a good position inside the circle felt harder, and moving quickly to where they needed to go felt harder. For some, this was beyond frustrating. For others, it was a challenge in adaptation, and a test of theirteam’s ability to innovate new strategies.

At the same time that this was happening, players such as Team Liquid's Scoom and Airstation Mike's Miniment were fed up with the way that the circles closed in. There was much to test, tweak, and modify, and a limited amount of time to do it. In the end, their efforts paid off, and tournament organizers began to recognize the benefits of altering circle mechanics based on the extensive testing efforts of the pro community. But all of this resulted in even more changes, and less ways to practice all of them in a competitive environment.

With so many complications, the general sense was that Miramar would not be seeing competitive play quite yet. A movement spearheaded by several European pros was pushing to delay an introduction of Miramar to competitive play. After much discussion between pros and analysts on twitter, and follow-up conversations between the admins and players on Discord, the league held a vote, which resulted in a 37-40 count against Miramar. Interestingly, NA players largely voted for the map, with EU voting largely against. With the vote decided, Auzom released a statement on January 9th, stating the following:

“The 1.0 update introduced us to a new map, Miramar, which led to us asking APL teams which map(s) they would prefer to have in the map pool for Season 2. The majority of APL teams expressed concern that Miramar was not yet ready for the competitive environment, and because of this the map will not be used in APL Season 2.”

The release of this statement led to much discussion, and even some backlash from those who would have rather seen Miramar played in the upcoming APL season. While this forced Auzom to reconsider their decision, ultimately they decided to go ahead with their preconceived rules for now, and reevaluate the consensus of the community later in the season. With this, the debate seemed laid to rest, for a short while. Enter ESL.

A day after Auzom published their last statement, ESL announced the first PUBG major of the year, IEM Katowice, along with the qualifier rounds and rule set for the event. Among those rules was a map selection ruling, stating the following:
“All games are to be played on either the Erangel "Sunny" map setting or the Miramar "Sunny" map setting. The sequence of maps will always be Erangel first, then Miramar second, then Erangel, Miramar and so on. Teams do not pick or ban maps or weather types.”

With this announcement, it seemed for a time that those in favor of playing on Miramar had won. With a major LAN event endorsing the use of Miramar, other tournaments would be forced to follow suit. But just as Auzom had second thoughts about their initial ruling, so did ESL. The difference, however, is that ESL eventually went back on their initial rulings. A tweet from @ESLPUBG stated the following:

“After extensive discussion with all involved parties we have decided that the PUBG Invitational at #IEM Katowice will take place exclusively on Erangel.”

While most North American teams were already prepared to play on the new map, many European teams lack that same confidence, and were the driving force behind Auzom and ESL’s rulingsto keep Miramar out of their events. While the worry that Miramar is not ready for competitive play may be valid in the current day, even that point is still up for contention, and IEM Katowice is still three weeks away.

Waiting at least four months to play Miramar in a professional setting borders on ridiculous. The vehemence with which some teams and players are fighting against playing on the new map calls into question, in a small way at the very least,their reluctance to it. While the most commonly cited reason behind pushing for Miramar’s delay is that the map is that it is not developed enough to be ready for competitive play, one has to wonder whether it’s the map itself that isn’t ready, or the teams pushing for its delay. 

ESL’s removal of Miramar from the map pool begs further questions. When will Miramar be ready for play? What is the metric for this evaluation? When will rulesets be based on more than simply surveying pro players? For now, these questions remain to be answered. But I and many others are eagerly awaiting Miramar’s introduction to the competitive scene, and it will eventually show up. It’s only a matter of when. 

About the author: Xanth is a PUBG analyst and content creator for PUBG.Net. Check him out on Twitter.