K. Rajan
One-hand' gamer Syakz hopes to inspire others
16 March 2024

KUALA LUMPUR: National para eSports gamer Ahmad Syakirin Zamharin, aka Syakz, wants to make an impact in the newly launched Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Academy League Malaysia (MAL MY).

The league offers aspiring gamers a more accessible and inclusive platform to enter the world of professional eSports.

At stake is promotion to the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) Malaysia, the highest tier of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) competition in Malaysia.

Syakz lost his right leg and the function in his left hand in an accident two years ago. But he did not let this stop his eSports dreams.

After months of rehabilitation, the Axis Eldians gamer bounced back to win a silver medal at last year's Phnom Penh Para Sea Games.

Syakz is now looking to prove he can hold his own against Malaysia's brightest on the MAL MY stage.

"Initially, I didn't believe that I could play with one hand and I wasn't confident in myself. But then I saw there were handicapped MLBB gamers out there who could play so well, almost seamlessly.

"I told myself if others can do it, why can't I? With the support of my friends and family, I began my journey to learn to play as a one-handed MLBB player.

"Alhamdulillah, I was chosen to represent Malaysia in the MLBB Para Sea Game 2023 event, and achieved second place overall.

"They say that eSports is for everyone, so I want to show that on the MAL MY stage. Hopefully, I can inspire others who need a bit of encouragement to chase their dreams, just like I did before."

Meanwhile, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's X Aero's Sharifah Alia Husna Syed Fakrrurozi, aka Aria, will compete this season as part of a crop of promising female athletes looking to take the league by storm.

The 21-year-old UKM student won the women's MLBB bronze medal at last year's Sea Games.

"MAL MY can have a significant impact on improving the women's eSports scene by providing female gamers with an accessible and inclusive platform to compete, and showcase their skills, and be part of a supportive community," she said.

"We expect to be very competitive and I hope this will inspire young female gamers out there to pursue their dreams."

The MAL MY 1's regular season will run from March 18-May 9, while the Playoffs will take place from May 24-26.

The league consists of two separate conferences of seven teams each – the Challengers Conference, comprising teams from a combination of third-party grassroots tournaments and Open qualifiers held in February and the Affiliated Conference, which features junior teams from Season 13 of MPL Malaysia.

The regular season will see 15 teams play Best-Of-Two (BO2), single round robin matches, with their conference rankings based on the number of points obtained.

The top four teams from each conference will advance to the playoffs, where the eight teams will compete for US$ 20,000 (RM84,000) prize money.