Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, MOONTON’s popular MOBA, has ended its journey for the 2023 esports season today. With the conclusion of the Mobile Legends M5 World Championship 2023, the game marked the end. AP.Bren has become the champion of the event and has the glory of lifting the trophy two times. However, after watching the intense matches and strategic actions from the participants, here are our top 5 picks that we learned from the event.
Lessons learnt from the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang M5 World Championship 2023
After monitoring the grand finals and the online stream, here are our top 5 picks on the M5.
1. Many big names dropped but viewership and competitiveness have only increased
After the successful M5 event, fans will remember the matches and intense action for many days. How the whole event went, especially the final match was spectacular. But, we missed a few teams that could have made the tournament more competitive. The teams that participated in this M5, are from the regional qualifiers and no doubt they are the best choices.
But talking about how the event may attract more cheer and affect the fun memories a bit more is another thing. The biggest surprise of the event is that the champion of the M4 World Championship, ECHO, failed to qualify for the M5. MPL Philippines Season 12 was the qualifier event for the M5 where the slots were taken by the current champion AP.Bren and the third-placed team, Blacklist International. With a heavy heart, the team has to sit as a spectator of the biggest event of Mobile Legends Esports.
The list doesn’t end with only one team, it goes on. Another Philippino team that could not qualify is RSG Philippines. They were three times champion of MPL Singapore and yet failed to qualify. Besides, Malaysian powerhouse TODAK, ONIC Philippines, EVOS SG, and BloodThirstyKings will be the names that are part of the pack that missed the train to the Philippines. The list is incomplete without RRQ‘s name on it. Four-time champion of MPL Indonesia and the team was in the top three in each M series event except for the M3. Fans expected to watch them at the grand event of MLBB esports but the real scenario was different.
2. Old doesn’t mean dominant
The announcement of the M6 World Championship’s homecoming made the Malaysian fans happy. But the other end is not so charming to remember. MYSG teams have been operating for a long time in this esports field and yet the teams were nowhere close to establishing dominance or even standing as a strong opponent for the other.
We admit that the ground is massive and no teams are weaker than the others, but the performance graph is saying something else. HomeBois, the only flag bearer from Malaysia, came to the event by becoming the champion of the MPL Malaysia Season 12. The team failed to cross the Group Stage.
Looking at the other end, Team Flash also came as the representative of Singapore. The organization’s MLBB team was formed back in 2019, one of the oldest in this arena. But, the performance is not something to talk about. The organization is focused on many titles but the MLBB scenario is looking tough for the team. For this M5, it may happen as the roster is relatively new than the others. But, the players are experienced as well. So, it can be summed up as that “old doesn’t mean dominant“.
3. PH-ID dominance continues
The game is dominated by Indonesia and the Philippines and it has become a fact. Even looking at the just concluded M5, both finalists were from these two countries. Blacklist International was placed in the third position and the team is also from the Philippines. However, there are other players on the list as well. Malaysia and Singapore are the two of few others that have a bit less impact both on the game domination and international presence than ID-PH.
Apart from the participation in the international events, ID-PH has a strong presence on the overall performances as well. Other organizations want their team to be trained in the ID-PH and also want to play in the servers as well. Because these are the toughest servers for the game.
The way that the players from these SEA countries read the game and bring new meta is a whole different world than the others. Though it looks like the game is confined to a corner of the world (the SEA) region, it is still the highest-watched MOBA in overall viewership count. The grand final match between ONIC Esports and AP.Bren reached more than 5 million concurrent views, as reported by Esports Charts.
4. Dark horses are emerging from developing regions of Cambodia and EECA
MOONTON is relentlessly working to ensure participation from the other regions as well and also planning to keep their strong presence not by just the team numbers but by the power index as well. The M5 World Championship is the first M series event that was spread into two countries i.e. Malaysia and the Philippines.
However, looking back at the participation from developing regions, the first name that would cross the list would be Deus Vult. The team has been playing in the esports arena for a long time (participated in the M1 World Championship) but could not spread its wings much. But now, the scenario changed totally as was spotted in the recent M5.
Deus Vult came up as the fourth-ranked team. But the surprising fact is that their road to the position they acquired. On their run, the team had to cross Fire Flux Esports, See You Soon, and other strong contenders. They marked a distinct presence and every other participant was feeling the heat. The two-time MLBB Continental Championships (MCC) champion team also comprises in-house players from the EECA region.
On the other hand, Cambodia is a rising giant in this MLBB professional field. MOONTON brought the region under light in 2021 after announcing the MPL Cambodia. So, far only three years and five seasons have crossed, and See You Soon is already an established empire in the MLBB pro-world. Many will argue that the country is a sub-region of SEA but still, the presence and impact the country is performing is worth clapping.
5. Is China the future powerhouse
KeepBest Gaming is the only team in the history of the M series to come from China. The region was added earlier this year to spread the game into the Chinese market. China is a huge market for any titles and MOONTON surely didn’t want to miss it. Thus, the addition came out. But, it is still a long road ahead for the country to cope with the others.
KeepBest Gaming joined the event as a Wildcard team but failed to take a place at the main stage of the Mobile Legends M5 World Championship 2023. So, China is not emerging as a threat to the others soon. The region has every possible opportunity as the theme of Mobile Legends and Honor of Kings, a popular MOBA in China, matches. But the popularity of HoK in China is on another level so the mainstream Chinese teams are focused on that title, which makes sense as well.
As China has a MOBA culture that is very prominent and leading in nature, we may see any Chinese teams emerging in rapid growth to catch the others. But, we have to wait for that. So, this was our top 5 learning outcomes from the recently concluded M5 World Championship.