The backbone of South Africa's PUBG Mobile scene
© PUBG Mobile
Rean “DK” Pelser might not be a name you know, but if you’ve played PUBG Mobile competitively in South Africa you’ll immediately recognise the in-game nick.
DK has spent the last few months working on producing, streaming and casting local PUBG Mobile tournaments for the African community. While other titles rely on a host of hands to make a broadcast possible - DK is responsible for producing, observing, streaming and casting regular tournaments.
He says he stumbled across the South African Gaming Community and their PUBG Mobile streams. At the time he offered to broadcast their games without really realising what he was in for: “I thought to myself, how hard could it be? If only I knew then what I know now!” He quickly realised he has a passion for commentating and production - deciding to turn this into a full time profession. DK entered the space with little to no broadcast experience and said when he was younger he did work on some stage productions and had to rely on his experience gained from DJing. Most would assume broadcasting a PUBG Mobile game is relatively easy and all you need is your phone. DK mentions that when he started all he used was his headset and an iPad but he has evolved his broadcast set up somewhat:
“The level of complication on a broadcast is completely dependent on how entrict you want it to be. I currently make use of 3 PCs, 3 smartphones, my iPad, 6 monitors, a switcher, capture cards, broadcast mic, camera, green screen, Stream Deck and a wide variety of cables and adaptors!”
Streaming, observing and shoutcasting are usually three separate jobs on an esports broadcast but DK points out that it isn’t always easy, when doing community shows, to have a team to work with:
“It has taken me some time to get everything streamlined but it has become second nature for me to handle the observing, production and shoutcasting simultaneously. As the saying goes: practice makes perfect.”
Two years ago DK was playing ARK Mobile and making content for his YouTube channel. A friend of his suggested he give PUBG Mobile a go and he was instantly hooked. Despite trying his hand at the PC version of the title, he always returns to mobile and has been playing since Season 3 of the game. He also appreciates the accessibility that mobile gaming brings - because more people own smartphones than gaming rigs, so the option to grow the player base is there. He also says the South African PUBG Mobile community is a special one that is tight knit and constantly expanding - with neighbouring countries also now joining and playing.
DK’s involvement in the local scene means he has a lot of insight into the top performing teams and players. He believes the region has around 16 to 20 teams more than capable of competing on the international stage. One of those teams, and his pick for the strongest team in South Africa currently, is EFX. EFX will be representing South African in the Red Bull MEO Finals in Turkey in early 2021, after winning the local qualifier:
“In the several tournaments I’ve casted recently this team has shown amazing skill and I’ve been really impressed by their performance. During a recent tournament I broadcast, they made a huge 8 position jump from 10th to 2nd on the final day. That requires a level of big match temperament only seen in some of the best competitors!”
DK’s passion to promote South African PUBG Mobile has led to more live broadcasts with opportunities for players to be seen and noticed. He believes the scene will be more competitive in a year’s time with stronger competition and hopefully more events that can propel the scene forward. When it comes to his own career? DK hopes to see himself on bigger stages sharing the stories of the players he follows week in and week out:
“I’ve gone from casting on my bed to casting on DSTV and audiences all over Africa in just 18 months. If these past few months are anything to go on, then I’m super excited to see what is in store in 2021.”