Team Secret CEO Explains Why It is Yet to Venture Into Mobile Legends Esports
John Yao, CEO of Team Secret revealed that the organization is planning to expand to the Philippines (PH). In an interview from Yao stated that he wants to establish a gaming house in the region for Team Secret’s current and upcoming Philippines teams for various esports titles. He added that he will be present in the country as he wants to be very hands on and personally supervise this venture, similar to what he did in other regions. Team Secret's CEO also revealed why the organization is yet to field its own Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) roster.
Team Secret has no plans on venturing into the MLBB esports scene, for now
Last year, one of the biggest esports organizations in the world, Natus Vincere (NAVI), announced its entry into Mobile Legends esports. While the mobile MOBA title is currently one of the most viewed esports titles in Southeast Asia, Yao explained that Mobile Legends is simply not a global game unlike Tencent or Riot's offerings.
“We look for global games, so for PUBG with Tencent's backing and everything, the world championship has been in Dubai, it has been in Southeast Asia. Like they move tournaments across different regions in the world. There are teams from all over that are participating,” said John Yao. "We like that. So a lot of the Tencent games and a lot of the Riot games, we're very high on. And that's one of the reasons that why we have not chosen MLBB to get into. Yet."
John Yao is known for vocalizing his thoughts regarding the esports scene and that may have led to some fans thinking he has an issue with MLBB. One such example is when he called out Moonton for its alleged with its MLBB franchise teams. However, he did clarify that he has nothing against Moonton or Mobile Legends.
“A lot of people think that I have something against MLBB which is not true," stated the Team Secret CEO. "I mean I made a statement before and I think it’s actually a fair statement, right? Which is if you are an organization that is focused on Southeast Asia and in particular in the Philippines and Indonesia, then you need to have an MLBB team. There’s just no way around it, it’s like the biggest esport in those two countries, biggest viewership and everything.”
"But if you're in other countries or if you are a more global brand then it may not make sense for you at this point of time, given the MLBB demographics," he added and explained that it doesn't make sense for Team Secret at this point of time.
Will Team Secret never sign an MLBB organization?
Yao clarified that this doesn't mean that Team Secret will never get into Mobile Legends. "Right now it is not a good fit for what we want to do," he added.
He complimented Mobile Legends' viewership but pointed out that it was primarily from just two countries. "It is a very strong peak viewership but it is a very narrow base. It is focused in specific countries, where 80% of the viewership comes in from these two countries (Philippines and Indonesia). But we're okay with lower peak viewership but with a wider base," he said.
Yao stated that Team Secret's decision on entering MLBB will ultimately come down to the viewership numbers from outside the Philippines and Indonesia. "I follow it (Mobile Legends). I am always looking for new opportunities for Team Secret, whatever makes sense for our brand. If viewership in other regions start to increase, it might make sense one day. I don't think we're quite there yet but having a team outside of Indonesia and Philippines being competitive (referring to Blood Thirsty Kings from NA) is actually a good sign," he added.
Team Secret will have its own gaming house in the Philippines soon
Team Secret currently has Filipino teams for VALORANT, and League of Legends: Wild Rift. Its VALORANT team impressed the world with a solid performance in the Valorant Champions 2021, giving it the title of underdogs.
Team Secret’s Wild Rift roster is currently one of the strongest Wild Rift teams in the world. The team finished 2nd place in the Wild Rift SEA Championships 2021. The team dominated the local esports scene separately from the comfort of their homes as the team is yet to have a boot camp. The team finally had their meetup at the Wild Rift Horizon Cup 2021 where it secured 3rd-4th place in the tournament after being defeated by the Chinese team, Da Kun Gaming.
According to John Yao, Team Secret will be signing more Filipino teams for various esports titles in the future. Fans can look forward to more Team Secret squads from the Philippines soon enough.