The competitive scene of Mobile Legends in Indonesia began to develop rapidly since the presence of the Mobile Legends Professional League event. This competition, which is directly organized by Moonton, brings together the best MLBB teams in Indonesia to fight for the title of the strongest team and fantastic prize money.
First held in April 2018, at that time King Slayer (NXL) became the first team to taste the trophy of the most prestigious Mobile Legends competition on a national scale. Approximately three years of existence in Indonesia, now MPL is ready to carry out its sixth season. If we take it back, what was the MPL journey like from the first season until now, let’s see together.
The Beginning of the New History of Mobile Legends Indonesia
Being the biggest Mobile Legends tournament in Indonesia, MPL S1 has succeeded in arousing enthusiasm from game fans from all over the country. Moreover, the qualifying round which took place online was immediately invaded by amateur and professional teams.
A total of more than 1000 teams enrolled in MPL S1 is indeed very surprising. Moreover, the prize for the winner of this competition is USD 100,000, as well as being named the best MLBB team in Indonesia.
After a long journey from qualifying, regular season to main event, the King Slayer (NXL) team managed to come out as champions after playing EVOS Esports.
The same format for the qualifying round is still applied to the MPL S2. Two open qualifiers were held to find eight teams that qualify for the final qualifier. Meanwhile, there were two teams from MPL S1 who received direct invites to participate in the final qualifications.
Of the 10 teams that will compete in the regular MPL S2 season, four of them will come from the 1-4 Grand Final MPL S1, namely Aerowolf Roxy, Evos Esports, RRQ, and SFI Critical. The other six teams are those who made it through the final qualifiers namely Louvre, Capcorn, ONIC, Bigetron, Saints Indo and BOOM Jr.
The new system introduced for the first time in MPL S2 is the presence of accommodation money of 300 USD per week. Each winning point in the regular round will get a different prize money from the first season. This is because the match format used is Best-of-3.
Each team win points for 200 USD, but the team that wins 2-0 will get 600 USD. Meanwhile, 2-1 only got 400 USD.
The climax, the final round of MPL S2 was held in Surabaya, bringing together the el clasico party between RRQ and EVOS Esports. The match between the two teams was finally won by the King, Rex Regum Qeon.
Taking place at the beginning of 2019, MPL ID S3 will be the last season this competition is held using a conventional format. Still opening online qualifiers, from around 1000 teams registering, only 512 teams were selected to compete with the single elemination bracket BO1 concept until the round of 32.
Entering the last 32, the match format will change to BO3 and leave eight teams to continue to the final qualification. The final qualifier round will bring together 8 teams from online qualifiers and two teams ranked 7-8 MPL S2. They will compete in two groups using a round robin system to find 6 teams that have the right to continue to the regular season.
The prizes offered in this third season have also increased, reaching 120,000 USD or around 1.7 billion Rupiah. The team that won the MPL S3 was ONIC Esports.
Massive Reform, MPL Indonesia Implements Franchise System
After going on for three seasons, Moonton decided to change the total format of the match and the way the team participated in the MPL competition. As the first esports frachise league in Southeast Asia, the transition from MPL S3 to S4 has had many pros and cons.
The presence of this franchise system is seen to be able to overcome problems that have arisen over the past three seasons, such as regulatory uncertainty between teams and players to create a solid foundation for the long-term sustainability of esports competitions in Indonesia.
The MPL ID franchise model will provide a permanent slot in this league competition at a cost of 1 million USD or around 15 billion Rupiah. There are eight teams that decided to participate in this MPL franchise model, they are RRQ, EVOS Esports, ONIC Esports, Alter Ego, Bigetron Esports, Aura Esports, and Geek Fam ID.
The franchise fee of 1 million USD per team not only increases the MPL S4 prize pool significantly to USD 300,000 or around 4.2 billion Rupiah, but also various benefits that will be received by the team to MPL ID players.
The first is a fair game system, where each team will have a standard maximum wage to encourage balance between teams and guarantee operational costs. All teams will also receive equal resources. Furthermore, there is a revenue sharing system, where each team will get more than 50% of the league revenue.
The crowd of poaching has also been overcome thanks to this franchise system. While professional players will have a minimum wage, their contract period will last for six months or until the season ends. So there is no longer the problem of players being moved teams during the middle of the season.
The presence of commercialization opportunities is also Moonton’s offering through this franchise system. This creates an opportunity for them to do marketing, teams, and players who can create new long-term revenue streams.
The MPL ID franchise model has currently been running for two seasons and will soon enter its third season (S6). Indeed, no more complex solutions to technical problems were found throughout the league.
However, the thing that often becomes the question of the Mobile Legends community today is the next development innovation for the MPL ID league franchise model. What do you think, Friends of Esports?
Franchise League and Its Future Potential
MPL ID is currently entering its sixth season where the franchise league system itself has been running for two seasons. However, Moonton has not seen any striking changes or innovations. We can try to look at other esports competitions that have also implemented the franchise model, looking for potential that Moonton can emulate to apply to MPL ID. Anything, let’s try to discuss together:
Some examples of esports competitions outside that have implemented the franchise model are the Overwatch League, as well as the League of Legends in the NA / EU LCS, LPL, to Honor of Kings through the King Pro League competition.
The presence of sponsors of non-endemic esports brands seems to be the most reliable thing from a league-based competition that has a long term. Take for example during the second season of the Overwatch League, several non-endemic brands decided to work with Blizzard such as T-Mobile, Sour Patch Kids, to Toyota. The money obtained from this sponsor can certainly improve the quality of the league and the welfare of the team and players.
Another opportunity that non-endemic esports companies can take advantage of is participating in the league competition itself. Reflecting on the many conventional sports teams that have begun to plunge into the esports division, this can certainly be an opportunity for MPL ID to bring in new challengers.
Talking about adding slots, this discourse has been widely discussed by the Mobile Legends community since the preparation of the S5 MPL. However, it seems that Moonton still doesn’t want to open a slot for newcomers and is more focused on developing his league first. Even though the time has come for Moonton to open a new slot, the franchise fee is also unlikely to still be at the price of 1 million USD. The price increase will certainly be adjusted to the popularity of MPL ID and its future potential.
Moonton tries to increase the variety of matches by presenting the Mobile Developmental League (MDL) as a tier 2 league whose participants also come from 8 franchise rights-holding teams, as well as teams from the qualifying round. The presence of MDL can at least provide opportunities for teams outside the MPL to be able to show their abilities in big competitions, even though their champions will not be ‘promoted’ to MPL.
Although the franchise model has many benefits for players, the team, and the game developer itself. However, the amount of money that is not small to participate is still in the spotlight of the MLBB community. The pros and cons of franchise-based leagues seem to be continuously discussed, so what do you think about Esports?
Pandemic Doesn’t Stop MPL’s Euphoria
The Corona outbreak that has attacked the entire world since the beginning of 2020 has an impact on esports competitions. Activities that invite crowds must be temporarily stopped, this means that many esports tournaments have to switch to online or postpone until the pandemic situation is under control.
The Indonesian Professional League Mobile Legends League was also affected. In the fifth season yesterday, Moonton finally decided to continue the sixth week of the regular season round and so on online. The consideration is the health factor of the players, crew, and Mobile Legends fans which are the main concern.
Even though it took place online, the enthusiasm of MPL ID fans to watch their favorite team compete has not faded. In fact, based on records, MPL Indonesia is one of the most popular esports tournaments in the world, with a total audience of 1.1 million viewers.
This has made MPL have a major contribution in bringing the esports scene in Indonesia which is currently growing rapidly to become the leader in Southeast Asia. No wonder the name Indonesia is increasingly in demand for esports investment in the future.
Prepare a New Record in MPL Season 6
The fantastic achievements that have been achieved last season keep Moonton optimistic that they can set a new record in MPL Indonesia season 6. MPL Indonesia commissioner Lucas Mao said that the MPL S6 which was rolled out during this pandemic will apply a different format.
The regular season will still run online, but there is a possibility that the playoffs could take place offline. However, this decision will still take into account the situation, conditions, and regulations from the government related to organizing the event.
Still with the same eight teams, namely Evos Legends, RRQ Hoshi, ONIC Esports, Alter Ego, Bigetron Alpha, Aura Fire, Genflix Aerowolf and Geek Fam ID, they will compete in the regular season from 14 August to 4 October 2020. The six best teams will advancing to the playoffs on 16-18 October 2020, fighting for cash of 300,000 USD or around 4.5 billion Rupiah.
Come on, esports friends, we can take part in creating a new history of Indonesian esports in MPL ID S6. Who is your favorite team that you are championing for this season?