A Brief History of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League

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Moonton

What is MPL? A Brief History of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League

John Dave Rossel
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Highlights
The Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL) is the official regional league of Mobile Legends and serves as qualifiers for both the MSC and the World Championship.
The MPL currently holds seven regions - Indonesia (ID), Philippines (PH), Malaysia (MY), Singapore (SG). Cambodia (KH), Brazil (BR), and Myanmar (MM).
The MPL leagues in Indonesia and the Philippines follow a franchise-based model while the rest of the MPL regions have their own qualifier stages before heading to its regular season.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) is the mobile game’s official regional league and serves as qualifiers for both the Mobile Legends Southeast Asia (SEA) Championship and the World Championship. The MPL currently holds seven regions - Indonesia (ID), Philippines (PH), Malaysia (MY), Singapore (SG). Cambodia (KH), Brazil (BR), and Myanmar (MM). Myanmar's MPL league has been postponed due to the region’s political conflict. The MPL leagues in Indonesia and the Philippines follow a franchise-based model which eliminates the need for a qualifier stage. The rest of the MPL regions have their own qualifier stages before heading to its regular season.

When was MPL first established?

Since Mobile Legends’ official release back in July 2016, Moonton has been promoting its competitive scene through various small-scaled esports tournaments. It is not until the year 2018 where the first MPL regions were established. The regions that received the first official MPL season were Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, and Myanmar. However, Malaysia and Singapore shared the same league at that time until Singapore officially received its own league season in 2021.

The top-tier teams from the first MPL Seasons for each region became the representatives for the MSC 2018, the second official Southeast Asian championship for Mobile Legends. It was at that time that the Filipino team and MPL PH Season 1 defending champion, Aether Main won the championship title for the MSC 2018.

Aether Main are the MSC 2018 Champions

In 2019, Moonton officially announced that MPL Indonesia will be implementing a franchise-based model. This provides a ton of perks for both organizations and their pro players such as shared revenue, financial security, and commercialization opportunities.

The MPL League in 2021

A lot has transpired in the MPL esports scene since it was first established. In 2021, MPL Myanmar had to postpone its sixth season due to the region’s political conflict. This forced its Mobile Legends powerhouse team, Burmese Ghouls to release its team roster, as announced on the organization’s official Facebook page back in July 2021.

Singapore also received its first MPL season during this year, separating it from MPL Malaysia. MPL MY continued its 8th Season while MPL Singapore is on its second season, at the time of writing.

MPL Philippines switched to a franchise-based model for the MPL PH Season 8, similar to MPL Indonesia, giving organizations and pro players in the region a much more sustainable esports ecosystem.

In August 2021, Moonton officially announced MPL Brazil, the first MPL league outside the SEA region. Cambodia will also be hopping on the train with its own MPL league, in partnership with Smart Axiata, the leading telecommunications operator in the region.

Looking at the events that transpired in the year 2021, it would seem that Mobile Legends is slowly extending its reach outside the SEA region. For now, Brazil is the only region outside SEA that has an official MPL League. The crowned champions for each MPL Region will earn a slot in the upcoming M3 World Championships.

Regions without an official MPL league will have their own qualifier tournaments such as the M3 Arabia Major for the Middle-East and the M3 World Championship North American (NA) Qualifier 2021 for the North America region.

It will be interesting to see which regions will be receiving their own MPL league in the future, given how successful the esports scene of Mobile Legends has been in the year 2021.

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John is a mobile esports writer for AFK Gaming that specializes in Wild Rift and Mobile Legends, whilst also maintaining an overview of the Free Fire, COD Mobile and PUBG Mobile esports scenes.