For the first time ever, the Malaysia Electronic Sports Federation (MESF) will be holding the eMas League, a national esports tournament for aspiring gamers and professionals.
The league, featuring four titles – Valorant, Fifa Online 4, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) and PUBG Mobile – boasts an RM80,000 prize pool per season.
MESF, the governing body for esports in Malaysia, said in a statement that it aims to build a stable esports ecosystem through the league, with the goal of showcasing to all stakeholders, including fans, that it is working towards achieving global recognition for the country.
“I always subscribe to the notion that esports is for everyone. I stand by my word and truly believe this is also a sport that is able to embrace every layer of society.
“All you need is the passion and drive to progress further,” said MESF president Datuk Ananth S. Nathan.
Players will get to monitor their rankings in the league on the ligaemas.my website and statistics will be made available for the purpose of transparency.
MESF believes, with the ranking system, players will be motivated to consistently practise and maintain peak performance in their own respective titles.
“Transparency is important. This also creates a very healthy competitive environment and promotes the need for the players to always be in top form.
“In the future, it will also be easier for us to make selections as we can easily generate data based on our requirements,” MESF said in a separate statement to LifestyleTech.
Teams and individuals will be promoted or demoted based on their positions in the league.
The open qualifiers – which can accommodate 96 teams from across the country for each title – start on Sept 3 and will span 42 days.
The play-offs will begin in November and the top four teams for each title will battle it out at the finals at EBN Esports City in Kuala Lumpur from Nov 25 to 27.
The prizes for the first and second places for each title are RM6,000 and RM3,000, respectively. Third and fourth places will receive RM2,000 each. A total of RM6,500 will be spread among players in fifth to twelfth places, and those awarded Most Valuable Player (MVP).
MESF added that the winners will also receive trophies and have a chance to represent Malaysia as national athletes in other international leagues and tournaments.
MESF said responses by players and others in the esports industry to the eMas League have been “very good” since online registrations began this month.
The body is also open to suggestions about adding more titles to the league from other gaming genres such as fighting and racing.
“We will open up a poll before the next season. PUBG Mobile and MLBB will always be the two core games,” MESF added.
Esports caster and owner of SC Esports team, Andrew Cheong, welcomed the idea of a national esports league that would open up more competitive opportunities for amateur teams.
“Not every amateur team can join the pro league and only focus on that as a career – having more tournament options is great for them.
“This will also open up more work opportunities for others in the esports ecosystem,” Cheong shared, adding that excelling in the league can give individual players opportunities to be scouted by pro teams.
However, he is hoping that winning the league will create a pathway to professional tournaments held by top game publishers.
“As a team owner myself, I wonder what is next for the team even if they become champions?
“Will they have a slot or a shot at getting into pro leagues like PUBG Mobile National Championship and PUBG Mobile Pro League?
“As a community team, if we don’t reach the pro league, then we will be stuck at the same level and that’s not sustainable,” he said.
Pro leagues also offer more lucrative prizes and a chance to compete against top teams, he said, adding that he hopes MESF will collaborate with game publishers to make this happen.