Written by: Aiya Rodjel
In July 2016, Mobile Legends was introduced to the world. Five years later, it has become a global phenomenon launching esports players to greater heights. As long as gamers have fiber internet access, they had the opportunity to make a name for themselves and make serious money.
Among the most prestigious stages for Mobile Legends is the M3 World Championship. In this article, we’ll discuss what went down in the massively popular online tournament. It’ll give aspiring professional gamers a chance to appreciate what professional esports is all about.
What is Mobile Legends: Bang Bang?
In order to appreciate what the fuss is all about, it’s important to understand the basics. The most crucial of which is the game being played at the tournament.
Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is basically a mobile multiplayer online arena (MOBA). The game’s developer is Moonton Games, a subsidiary company of ByteDance. First released in 2016, it is wildly popular in Southeast Asia. In fact, the game is so popular that it was chosen to be one of the games to be played for the first medal event esports competition at the 2019 Southeast Asian Games in the Philippines.
Mobile Legends is designed to be played on one’s smartphone. Basically, two opposing teams battle it out to reach and destroy each other’s base. At the same time, each team defends their own base for control of a path, the three “lanes” known as “top”, “middle”, and “bottom”, which connects the bases.
Aside from the two teams, there are ‘minions’ or computer-controlled characters that spawn at team bases and follow the three lanes to the opposite team’s base, fighting enemies and turrets.
Upon its initial release, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang had 10 heroes available. In 2018, this number increased to 70, and as of December 2020, there are 108 heroes available on the live server.
Because of the game’s popularity in Southeast Asia, Moonton Games regularly works with Southeast Asian countries in order to create new characters modeled after local folklore and history. This is to add to the game’s appeal. The company has even collaborated with boxing legend/ politician Manny Pacquiao to promote the game in the Philippines.
What is M3 World Championship?
The M3 World Championship is the grand finals and the world finals of the 2021 Competitive Season. It is the highest level competitive scene with an international scale. Throughout the year, professional teams around the world compete in order to qualify for this prestigious tournament. This tournament was the third iteration of the tournament.
Basically, the tournament is split into two stages: the group stage and the playoffs. Sixteen teams were divided into four groups. The grouping was determined by the group draw held on November 6. These teams competed in a single round-robin best-of-one format of gamers. The group stage took place from December 6 to December 9.
The top two games in each bracket were placed in the upper bracket, while the bottom two teams were placed in the lower bracket. Teams placed in the upper bracket then competed in best-of-five games, while those in the playoffs lower bracket played best-of-threes until round three. Then, games in the lower bracket starting in round three had a best-of-five format. The playoffs were held from December 11 to 18.
The grand finals of the tournament had a best-of-seven format. The grand final was slated for December 19. The M3 World Championship took place at Suntec Singapore International Convention, Singapore. This is the second time the matches were held in Lion City.
MLBB fans all over the world had the chance to watch their favorite teams clash by watching on YouTube and Facebook. Because of the massive popularity of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang across the world, media from several regions coveted the games extensively.
What are the prizes for the tournament?
Because of the massive growth of esports not only in the region but around the world, the M3 World Championship had very big prize money. This year, the total prize pool was $800,000, which is three times larger than the prize money in the previous world championship games.
Qualifying for the tournament in itself is extremely difficult. That is why all participants of the tournament receive a cash prize. Those that placed in 13th to 16th place were awarded $10,000 each, meanwhile, teams in 9th to 12th place were each given $15,000. Teams that ended in 7th and 8th place were each given $30,000.
From the prize pool, those who ended up in 5th and 6th place were awarded $40,000 each. The team that ended the tournament in fourth place was awarded $55,000, while the 3rd place winner was given $80,000. The runner-up or second place winner was awarded of the tournament was given $120,000, while the world champions won a highly coveted prize of $300,000.
Because of the M3 World Championship’s level of difficulty, even landing a spot in the lower bracket would earn you a lot of money. However, the goal during the group stage was to advance to the upper bracket in order to have a better chance at becoming the champions.
Who competed in the group stage of the M3 World Championship Games?
There are sixteen teams in the M3 World Championship. The teams competed in various tournaments throughout the year in order to qualify to the biggest stage of them all. Champions and first runner-up of the national games usually qualified for the tourney. However, there were select competitions wherein only the champions earned a spot at the M3 World Championship.
Among the countries that earned spots in the competition hailed from the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei, and Cambodia. There were also participants from Turkey, Latin America, the United States of America, and Arabia.
SeeYouSoon represented Cambodia while Red Canids Kalunga and Vivo Kleyd played for Brunei. EVOS SG and RSG SG represented the host country Singapore, while Team SMG and Todak represented Malaysia. GX Squad played on behalf of Arabia, while BloodThirstyKings represented America. Malvinas Gaming were the representatives from Latin America, while Navi earned a spot by becoming Mobile Legends Mythic League CIS champion.
Bedel represented Turkey, while winners from the local tournaments, Blacklist International and ONIC PH bore the Philippine flag. Indonesia sent ONIC Esports and RRQ Hoshi to represent their country. Interestingly, there were no teams from Japan and Myanmar in this year’s edition of the matches.
In general, there are five players competing for each team. However, because of the scale of the M3 World Championship, each team usually had backup members who were on standby to compete in the matches.
Who were the world champions at the M3 World Championship?
Interestingly, the M3 World Championship was decided through a showdown between the two teams representing the Philippines. In the end, Blacklist International emerged victorious against ONIC PH, winning the coveted top crown by sweeping their opponents.
The battle to become the victor of the tourney was a total challenge, as the team was placed in the lower bracket after the group stage wrapped up. They had to bounce back from stunning loss care of BloodThirstyKings in the first round of the upper bracket playoffs. However, the team bounced back decisively, eliminating Indonesia’s Onic Esports and RRQ Hoshi, Brazil’s Vivo Keyd, and Singapore’s EVOS SG. Before advancing to the finals, the team had staged their sweet revenge against BTK.
In addition to becoming world champions, Blacklist International had been dominant in the local scene. Their commanding performance against ONIC PH in the finals proved that the team had been hungry for victory.
On the other hand, ONIC PH had a dominant performance throughout the tourney with decisive sweeps against their opponents. Because of their performance, they had to wait for their competitor for the final matches because they bagged the first final slot first. In the end, their winning streak was broken by the champion team.
By being crowned the champion of the matches, Blacklist International makes history as the second team from the Philippines that won it all at the World Championship. The first Filipino team that won the coveted prize was Bren Esports, who won the title just last January.
Kiel “Oheb” Soriano has been crowned the Most Valuable Player or MVP of the matches due to his stellar play on the gold lane. He finished the series with a near-perfect outing of 6 kills and 3 assists against 1 death on Beatrix in their title-clinching Game 4 win.
The complete members of the team are Edward Jay “EDWARD” Dapadap, Danerie “Wise” James Del Rosario, Dexstar “Dex Star” Louise Alaba, Johnmar “OhMyV33NUS” Villaluna, Kiel Calvin “OHEB” Soriano, Mark Jayson “ESON” Gerardo, Salic “Hadji” Imam, and Coach Kristoffer “Bon Chan” Ricaplaza.
What makes Mobile Legends: Bang Bang so popular?
In the span of three years, the M3 World Championship has skyrocketed in terms of prize pool and prestige. This year’s tourney saw an increase of prize money of more than $500,000.
Teams all over the world compete left and right for a chance to qualify for the matches. For a game that is only a little over five years old, that is an amazing feat.
To put things into perspective, there are about 80 million active players every month. The appeal of Mobile Legends relies on the fact you play it on your mobile phone. As long as you have a reliable internet provider in the Philippines, you can play to your heart’s content.
You can play the game by yourself, or with a team. The option for team play makes it a fun pastime for friends to bond wherever they are. After all, all you would need is fiber internet and a smartphone to play the game anyway.
Not only is the game popular to play, but it also has a lot of fans as well. Millions of fans all over the world watch the matches wherever they are. This is also why a lot of skilled gamers have emerged to become professional Mobile Legends esports athletes.
As the esports industry continues to flourish so do the opportunity for talented gamers everywhere. Aside from the attractive prize money from professional tourneys, some athletes have even bagged sponsorship deals and become celebrities in their own right. Because the world is slowly embracing professional gamers as athletes, they continue to rise in popularity as well.
Join the Online Gaming World
Online games such as ML require a fast internet connection, and that’s why you need to invest in fiber internet if you wish to be a competitive gamer. If you’re interested in playing, you should invest in a fast and reliable internet service provider in the Philippines.
If your goal is to one day become as talented as players in ONIC PH and Blacklist International, you should subscribe to a fiber internet provider like Streamtech Inc. Streamtech allows you to play your favorite mobile games without fear of lagging because of our affordable plans.
We offer dedicated internet access, leased line, and WiFi services to subscribers in the franchise areas powered by our own fiber-optic backbone link. This means you can rely on us to connect you to your fellow gamers everywhere.
Aside from fiber internet, we also offer access to your favorite television channels as well. Our partnership with Planet Cable allows us to offer you cable television and a fast and reliable internet connection at the same time.
Plus, we make sure your entire household is equipped with great internet speed so you can play your favorite mobile games everywhere. Our Extendifi WiFi Extender allows the entire household to enjoy the Streamtech difference.
If you want to take your gaming experience to the next level, treat yourself to the power of Streamtech. Connect with our team today to know more. Visit the Streamtech official Facebook page for more information.