THE new season of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) Philippines finally takes off this weekend, promising exciting action, enhanced features and more fan engagement.
In a release, organizers of the popular online competition said the eighth season of MPL Philippines kicks off on Aug. 27, guided by government protocols and in-house measures to ensure the safety of all participants and the successful staging of the event amid the prevailing conditions with the pandemic.
Leading the cast of teams for the new season is defending champion Blacklist International, which is coming back with an almost intact roster, namely: Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna, Danerie “Wise” Del Rosario, Kiel “OHEB” Soriano, Mark “ESON” Gerardo, Dexter “DEX STAR” Alaba, Edward “EDWARD” Dapadap, Salic “Hadjizy” Iman (formerly Omega PH) and Kristoffer “BON CHAN” Ricaplaza (team coach).
Also competing are BREN Esports, Smart Omega, Nexplay EVOS, RSG, Onic PH, TNC Pro Team, and Echo (formerly Aura PH).
The league is also beginning a new season where it has adopted a franchise model, similar to that employed in MPL Indonesia.
Included in the model is a more professional and standardized management system and team operation, providing players the much-needed stability they need, involving, among other things, their salary.
It also involves a diversified revenue model where earnings will be shared among franchise teams over the next three years.
“The launch of the franchise model marks a momentous chapter in MPL PH’s journey as a league,” said Matt Jaron, Director of Business Development, MPL Philippines, in a statement. “It will provide players greater sustainability and protection — a goal that we’ve been working and striving towards for ever since the inception of MPL PH. We hope that the shift will encourage more players to participate or compete for MPL PH, and boost growth within the local esports ecosystem.”
Tournament matches take place every weekend — Friday beginning at 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday beginning at 4 p.m.
On opening day, playing are Onic and Echo at 6 p.m. followed by TNC and Blacklist at 8 p.m.
The regular season will take place until Oct. 10. After that, the top six teams will proceed to the playoffs, which will be played in best-of-five matches. The grand final will be a best-of-seven.
Organizers said the Mythical Raffle Draw will be coming back for the new season, enabling fans to win exciting prizes every week. Participants stand to win more than 600,000 diamonds per week, marking it up to four million diamonds to be won during the regular season.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is developed and published by Shanghai-based Moonton.
MPL-PH Season 8 has Smart Communications as presenting sponsor. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo