Game developer MOONTON Games, the creators of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, has partnered with Malaysia-based esports event organiser IO Esports to create a new academy league in the country.
Called the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Academy League Malaysia (MAL MY), the league will act as the official developmental league for MLBB esports in Malaysia. The league will take place at the same time as the MPL Malaysia, from February to May.
According to a release, the league’s inception is part of MOONTON’s plans to make a larger effort to grow the MLBB scene in Asia from the ground up. The company shared that this is part of its 2024 strategy, along with the announcement of the Mid Season Cup which will replace the MLBB SEA Cup.
IO Esports, MOONTON’s partners for the academy league, are a company known for organising esports tournaments in the SEA region, notably working with the likes of Riot Games for the Ascension regional tournament and Krafton for PUBG events. The company also collaborated with GRID for the Dota 2 Bali Major. The company was founded in 2020 after MET Malaysia split from Mineski.
The newly-created academy tournament will bring a third-party tournament in Malaysia under one circuit by providing the winners with spots in MPL Malaysia. A promotion and relegation system between the two leagues will also be incorporated, meaning that the least successful MPL Malaysia teams will be relegated to the MAL MY. This is set to be implemented in the second half of 2024.
Fikri Rizal Mahruddin, Head of Marketing and Business Development at MOONTON Games, said: “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 Malaysia’s world champions.
“The MAL MY will provide young players with more structured support, a more competitive environment, and most importantly, a clearer path to professionalism.”