MLBB Academy League Malaysia (MAL MY) expands search for world champions
7 January 2024

KUALA LUMPUR: MOONTON Games and IO eSports have jointly announced the official launch of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Academy League Malaysia (MAL MY).

The MAL MY functions as the developmental leg of the Malaysian Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) eSports league system – after the MLBB Professional League (MPL) Malaysia – and aims to build the eSports talent pipeline in the nation by providing up-and-coming gamers with a more structured and competitive entry into the world of professional eSports.

The MAL MY will act as the bridge between grassroots and national-level eSports. It will unite the nation's top third-party community tournaments by inviting their strongest representatives to battle for spots in the national MLBB competitive stage – the MPL Malaysia.

The launch of the MAL MY also introduced a promotion and relegation system between MAL MY and MPL Malaysia.

Under this system, the developmental league teams will compete to qualify for Season 14 of MPL Malaysia, scheduled for the second half of this year.

Season 1 of the MAL MY will follow the tournament format of MPL Malaysia and take place in three stages – open qualifiers in February, regular season in March, and playoffs in May.

The MAL MY is MOONTON Games' latest initiative to elevate the esports talent pipeline in high-growth regions.

It is the publisher's third development league following the respective launch of MLBB Development League (MDL) Philippines in 2023 and MDL Indonesia in 2020.

Fikri Rizal Mahruddin, head of marketing and business development at MOONTON Games, said: "The launch of the MAL MY follows the conclusion of the M5 World Championship in the Philippines, which saw both of Malaysia's representatives crash out of the group stage – the first M Series where a Malaysian team have failed to advance to the knockout stage.

"With Malaysia set to host the M6 World Championship at the end of 2024, our newly launched developmental league will play a crucial role in preparing our nation's eSports aspirants to defend our honour as the host country and nurturing future world champions.

"The MAL MY will provide young players with more structured support, a more competitive environment, and a clear path to professionalism.

"It will also empower our third-party partners and the thriving eSports ecosystem in Malaysia by allowing everyone to foster closer ties with one another."

Rachael Teh, head of operations at IO Esports, said: "We are proud of our longstanding partnership with MOONTON, which has been pivotal in our eSports journey.

"Our goal is to strengthen our ties with MOONTON and demonstrate an unwavering commitment to nurturing the growth of the MLBB eSports scene in Malaysia.

"The launch of MAL MY marks a crucial milestone in our pursuit of developing young talents and providing a gateway into the eSports ecosystem.

"We are dedicated to collaborating closely with MOONTON to ensure the success of this initiative. Together, our focus is on making MAL MY a resounding success, creating an environment to support talents and providing a clearer path to professionalism."