Shanghai-based writer Moonton is about to kick off the third iteration of Cellular Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB)’s World Championship, in any other case referred to as the M3 World Championship, in December. The occasion will happen offline, on the Suntec Singapore Worldwide Conference & Exhibition Centre, with groups from throughout the globe participating.
The marquee match encompasses a prize pool of $800,000 (~£597,160), which is sort of 3 times greater than the earlier yr. With the cellular MOBA area heating up for the reason that arrival of League of Legends: Wild Rift, the M3 World Championship is a vital juncture for the scene and is anticipated to set each the tempo and tone for the way forward for the title.
MLBB viewership continues to rise
In accordance with Esports Charts, MLBB saw a peak of 3 million viewers on the M2 World Championship. On the time, it put MLBB in second place of the world’s most-watched esports occasion, proper after the League of Legends World Championship 2019, which garnered 3.9 million peak viewers. Nonetheless, that title is now held by Garena’s Free Hearth, which recorded 5.4 million peak viewers in the Free Fire World Series 2021 in Could.
That stated, the upcoming M3 World Championship of MLBB is anticipated to be a grander occasion contemplating how its esports scene has grown in latest months with the official launch of home MLBB Skilled Leagues (MPL) in Brazil and Cambodia. The growth of MPL adopted the acquisition of Moonton Games by Chinese technology company Byte Dance, which was valued at $4m. By giving non-SEA areas like Brazil its personal League, Montoon plans to develop MLBB esports to different components of the globe and create extremely aggressive areas that can match the hype MLBB has in SEA areas.
The just lately concluded MLBB Southeast Asia Cup 2021 (MSC 2021) peaked at 2.2 million viewers. Received by Philippines’ Execration, the match boasted a prize pool of $150,000 (£109,000). The occasion being unique to the SEA area is proof sufficient that that is the place the title’s stronghold lies. The extremely anticipated match between EVOS Legends and Execration within the decrease bracket finals collected a complete of 2,284,012 views, according to Esports Charts, surpassing the view depend of the Grand Finals. Moreover, the latest seasons of the MPL Indonesia and Philippines additionally recorded peak viewerships of 1.8 million and 1.4 million, respectively.
Earlier this month, the ONE Esports Cellular Legends Skilled League Invitational (MPLI) noticed the highest groups in SEA battle it out for a $100,000 prize pool. It noticed 1.7 million peak viewership and a cumulative 87 million views across all platforms, per Esports Charts.
In 2019, Moonton held its first press convention — Moonton Epicon 2019 — the place it launched M1, the primary ever MLBB World Championship. The corporate shared its plans so as to add 8 extra international locations to the MLBB scene, as the sport was dominant solely within the SEA area. This was adopted by qualifier rounds for Brazil, Cambodia, Japan, Thailand and Laos, Russia, Turkey, Vietnam, and the USA. Moonton had partnered with Youtube gaming for M1, which has severe competitors with Fb Gaming within the area.
Roping in native companions
As for the M2 World Championship, there have been various massive manufacturers who shook palms with Moonton for the occasion. Samsung was named the official sponsor of the Bahasa Indonesia stream, and Nimo TV because the official broadcaster. Together with SMART, companion for the Tagalog stream, and Telenor, companion for the Burmese stream, Moonton partnered with Cathay Cineplexes, Mediacorp, Secretlab, Singtel, SUTL, and Tumi for the English stream. The duty of on-line broadcasting in Singapore was dealt with by meWATCH. Later, it was Razor who joined the checklist of sponsors because the official gaming gear companion for the occasion.
Thus, with every new version, Moonton has come again larger and higher. Whereas the M1 World Championship had a prize pool of $250,000 (~£183,000,616), it put $300,000 (~£219,000) on the road for M2. M3 can be an enormous leap upward for Moonton — the winner alone claims $300,000 out of the $800,000 (~£601,000) prize pool.
Nonetheless, given the present panorama of the cellular gaming ecosystem, MLBB’s true problem is the emergence of Wild Rift. Over these previous few years, MLBB has shaped a well-established esports scene all through Southeast Asia. The sport has greater than 75 million players, of which a big part is from the SEA area. However the remainder of the world nonetheless lacks the extent of enthusiasm Southeast Asia has for many of the cellular esports titles, not to mention simply MOBAs. Alternatively, Riot Video games is well-known for its sturdy esports construction and has efficiently expanded to a number of areas with its fashionable esports titles comparable to League of Legends and Valorant.
Competitors on the horizon
Riot has launched esports occasions as a launchpad for its cellular recreation and promised the playerbase a sustainable aggressive construction forward. Extra just lately, Riot introduced its League of Legends: Wild Rift SEA Championships and has partnered with ESL Mobile to host the event. The three-stage occasion is scheduled to start on September 14th and can have 21 groups from throughout South East Asia, Australia, and New Zealand competing for a prize pool of $200,000 (~£144,000).
Western organisations have additionally begun to grasp the potential of MLBB, with Natus Vincere being one of many massive names set to make an look at M3. Nonetheless, the precise magnitude of the competitors stays to be seen because the Group Stage goes reside on December sixth.
This story is written in collaboration with AFK Gaming. AFK Gaming is an India-based esports media and content material firm that goals to offer high quality and constant protection about groups, gamers, tournaments, and aggressive video video games with a major give attention to the Asian area.