Inaugural Malaysia Esports League launched with RM200,000 prize pool


Reezal Merican says the ministry aims to develop a sustainable and inclusive ecosystem for all eSports enthusiasts. — ESI

PETALING JAYA: Esports Integrated (ESI) has launched the inaugural Malaysia Esports League 2021 (MEL21), a state and national level league with a prize pool of RM200,000.

MEL21 will feature four popular eSports titles: battle royale shooter PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) Mobile, EA Sports’s Fifa 21, multiplayer online battle arena game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) and Dota 2.

Organised by ESI, MEL21 will follow the Nasional Esports Blueprint set by the Youth and Sports Ministry.

“This is to develop an exciting, sustainable and inclusive ecosystem for all eSports enthusiasts.” said its minister, Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, in a press release.

He said the tournament will be conducted fully online in accordance with the standard operating procedure of the Phase 1 of the National Recovery Plan.

As many tournaments held in Malaysia are catered to professional players, semi-professional and amateur players are only able to compete in smaller tournaments, said ESI CEO Ahmed Faris Amir, adding that MEL21 aims to bridge this gap.

Professional players are allowed to participate though the tournament imposes a limit of one pro player per team.

“By organising the first national level eSports league, the development of players can be further expanded and their talents highlighted to the masses,” he said.

The number of participants will vary depending on the title – 256 teams of four players will duke it out in PUBG Mobile and MLBB, 32 teams of five players will participate in Dota 2, and 128 solo players will compete in Fifa 21.

ESI is organising MEL21 in collaboration with 16 state eSports associations and the support of game publishers like Moonton and Tencent Games.

The first stage – State Leagues – will be held from July 10 to August 6, and will be conducted simultaneously across 13 states and three federal territories.

Teams in each state will compete in a qualification round with a best-of-three knockout format before the finalists compete in a round-robin format.

Winners of each category will bag RM2,000 and represent their state in the second stage – Nationals, slated to run from August 14 to Sept 10.

This stage will use a round-robin format, and teams or players with the highest points at the end of the tournament will be crowned as the National Champion and take home RM20,000.

Players can check out the schedule and register at www.esukan.gg.

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