Here at the Versed we always have one eye on what we think the next big eSport could be. Lately, we have been getting a lot of buzz about the mobile game, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB).
What is MLBB
MLBB is an arena-based game, so effectively a MOBA. This is no “new kid on the block” either. The game has been doing the rounds since the end of 2016, wracking up an impressive 500 million downloads in the process. According to the developers of the game, it boasts 75 million active players and because of this, they believe the game is ready to take eSports by storm.
Devoted player base
The game is a massive hit in Asia. This is effectively the game’s stronghold where it boasts eSports leagues in places like the Philippines and Indonesia. These organised and structured contests are referred to as the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) and they are already well into their fourth season. These aren’t small fry events either. The current season has a prize pool of more than 100k. The viewing figures have been strong too with last seasons MLBB cup pulling in more than 270k viewers.
Part of the posse
The game doesn’t stand alone in its bid to be a big thing either. It is set to be a part of this year’s Southeast Asian Games. You may remember that this tournament has ties to the Olympic committee and as such winners will be given gold medals like they would at the Olympics.
If the game doesn’t ring any bells, don’t think it is because you have slipped into a 30 year coma and woke up in the future (that would be cool though, right?) The game is massive in Asia but has yet to make the same impact in the West where it hasn’t been promoted, although it would seem that is something the game’s developers intend to remedy.
The Dev’s hinted at their plans at this event. They are working on the games engine to help with any persistent lag and speed issues. Improving infrastructure is always sensible when developing into an eSport and this has been a persistent gripe from the MLBB community. Moonton claims their speeds will be upped by at least 60%, impressive figures indeed.
Another area being worked on is the games frame rates and graphics, although details on this were less clear, however, there will be a total map texture overhaul to bring it in line with its main competition in the west, games like Vainglory.
Giving the game some character
It’s not just the map textures getting a much-needed overhaul. The characters are due for some of the Cinderella treatment as well. And is if that weren’t enough the games cluttered and clunky user interface will get the spit and polish treatment. The game will also receive some related media which may end up in theatres, but more on that at a later date.
Stepping up their game
Not content with their current tournaments the game’s developers will be launching the MLBB World championship. The contest, which is being referred to as M1 is set to have a massive $250k prize pool. More than double what has come before it. It will be held mid-November in Kuala Lumpur. This will be the companies inaugural foray into international tournaments. The qualifiers will take place in countries all over the world. Including the likes of Turkey, The US, Brazil and Russia. It is clear that the contest is designed to put MLBB at the forefront of international consciousness.
It would seem that MLBB has all the ingredients needed to be a big hit on the eSports scene and with the developer doing everything in their power to make sure that happens it will be interesting to see if they succeed.