Twas the night before Sunday and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…because the missus had gone away for the weekend. I settled in for a long evening of uninterrupted PUBG goodness. Little did I know that it was on this very Saturday night that my life would change forever.
So anyway, last Saturday night I finally achieved my first solo win in Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. It has been my goal for months. While I have done well and regularly appear in the final 10 I could never get over the line. Finishing 2nd in PUBG is a pain that I cannot describe, one I hope you never experience. I have a grand total of seven 2nd place finishes. As a Mayo GAA fan it seems appropriate really. I have managed to keep my rage under control, mainly due to the sheer torture that is the top 5. The panic you experience at every sound you hear is only comparable to a dentist visit. “WHAT WAS THAT?! WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT???!” and so on. Sometimes the sweet release of death is welcome.
That’s where our story begins. I had been playing around with the settings on my TV and Soundbar to maximise its output that night. I have a beast-like Soundbar, it was needlessly expensive. It’s so powerful that I can’t really let it loose with others in the same building. I call her ‘Brock’. She takes her name from the former UFC World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar, such is the ferocity of her Multi-Channel Spacial Audio.
Brock the Soundbar must be caged while others infest my house with their presence. She yearns to be unleashed, she longs for freedom. This Saturday evening I decided to loosen the shackles and play some loud music to test out the new settings I had applied. After my windows stopped shaking it was time to test Brock out in a game where sound can be so crucial, PUBG.
When I logged in I noticed a friend of mine was already playing. Like two dogs passing in the street we were immediately drawn to one another and teamed up online…for glory!
Our Duos runs have been somewhat successful. We have often featured in the late game skirmishes but much like my solo runs we have never been able to be the last ones standing. On our second game we had done well and made it to the last 6 teams alive. We had overwatch position on the roof of a narrow three storey building. Sean was watching for competitors on the ground, I had a good view of the stairs through a window. If anybody came up I could blast them with my shotgun.
Life was pretty good. We had already claimed victory in our heads. However, as Sean spotted incoming folks on the ground I noticed a foe creeping up the steps. I was prone on the ground to get the jump on anybody coming through the door but he quickly spotted me. He made some sort of move so my shot only landed a glancing blow. I was a sitting duck and he took me out. Sean picked the bones and ended his misery quickly afterwards.
This left Sean frightened and alone, without his bestest friend. He soon succumbed to the odds after that. It was my mistake that cost us, it was a heavy cross.
I was down. Bruised, beaten but not at all broken. A few hours later I decided to hop back in.
When I dove out of the plane at the start of the game with 99 other men and women I didn’t realise that this would be the last time I would do so as a mortal being. There was nothing special about me and this dive. Any one of the others out there are the would-be winner. It’s a trope I have become used to on my quest for glory. I was the also-ran, the journeyman PUBG player up until this point. When my feet touched the ground and I hastily scurried to the nearest house in search for anything to defend myself with how was I to know I was basically the next Jesus Christ?
I acquired my favourite loadout quite quickly. I had a 5 round shotgun for my close quarters combat as well as a SCAR equipped with a 4x scope. Moments later I found a Level 2 helmet and some Level 2 armour. Things were pretty sweet. There was a pep in my step, a song in my heart and if anybody crossed my path I was armed to the balls. A wonderful start, but that’s only half the battle.
I tend watch the circle closely in PUBG. The key to long term survival is circle management. The last thing you want is to be charging towards the safety of the later circles. You will draw the attention of clever clogs like myself who have been in the centre of the circle for possibly a third of the game. You are easily picked off. I had my preferred weapons and tonnes of ammo. I had no need to hang around so I made my trip to the centre of the circle.
TOP TIP – The white circle is the safe zone but watch for the blue one on the map. Watch as it moves. The centre of the blue circle is where the white one will be – Steve, Jesus Christ II
On my way to the centre of the circle I barely encountered other competitors. I think overall I saw two players on my trip. While this is not uncommon it was a little unusual to not see players in vehicles. Either way, happy days. The two players I saw were just slightly too far away from me to pick off. I was in a wide open field, my shots would alert others to my position…and I’m not about that life. Decades of Metal Gear Solid games have trained me well. I kept to my own devices as the player count ticked down.
I found myself in the third to final circle alone and fearing for my life, as usual. There were 9 people still alive as I hugged the perimeter of the circle with only a tree for cover. I was hiding in some long grass on a hill above a coastal beach area. The tree was covering me from the players in the circle as I monitored any movement from outside. I saw a guy creeping up the hill trying to get into the “safety” of the final circle. I took him out as he crawled defencelessly towards me. Eight players remained and I had just given away my position. “Balls!” I exclaimed.
People clearly heard the shots but could not get a safe shot off on me without giving themselves up. I stayed in cover until it was down to just three players alive. I crawled my way a little further into the next circle until I could see the other two players.
At my 12 I had one player and the other was at my 5, not ideal but I could see both clearly. My Solid Snake approach of crawling in the long grass had paid off wonderfully. I was getting closer to them and they didn’t even notice. One player spotted the other and a firefight started…at this point I felt for the first time ever that I was certain to win. One would take the other out, all I had to do was wait for the player count to tick down to two and then pop the survivor when he reloads or heals up. That’s almost what happened.
Both had level 2 helmets and armour. One guy was clearly taking more shots so I switched my focus to the guy dealing the damage and waited for him to win. About 30 seconds later both were still alive. I turned to the guy who was taking heavy fire and one-shotted him. It was a mercy kill that put me in the top two for the eighth time.
A familiar scene. The top two, the final hurdle I could never get over. I could see my enemy but he couldn’t see me, I was watching him like a hawk waiting for a reload or for him to heal up after the previous skirmish. I waited for what felt like an eternity for any flinch but it never came. It was now or never. I could stay there, waiting for him to find me and win OR I could take matters into my own hands and become the hero this game needs me to be. I stood up, John Rambo rushed the bastard and took him down before he knew what even happened. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner. Fuck, what a sight!
I actually punched the air in delight. That first PUBG win is everything people say it is but after seven previous second place finishes it was like seeing the face of God before realising it’s your own reflection. It took balls to just stand up and make a play for it but it all worked wonderfully. PUBG-esus was born and it’s ya boy.
Celebrations ran into the wee small hours. There was Pizza, Beer and Match of the Day. My new life as PUBG-esus started but it came with some changes. I don’t remember how these happened, they just did.
I wear sunglasses indoors now. My scarf is ambiguous in length. Its flimsy style-over-substance design, while fabulous, is often derided for the lack of protection it offers against the harsh West of Ireland winter. People think I’m a dickhead now. I don’t mean to come across that way but I don’t have the financial muscle to hire somebody to carry my “I’m better than you, wanker” sign for me as I stroll nonshalontly around town, I have to do it myself. I’m just like you, only better.
My actual birthday is Christmas Eve so I’ve always had that in common with Jesus Christ. Little did I know that it was I who was the almighty lord all along. #PUBG-esus