It’s time to raise the bar for what people see as a side tournament.
The 2023 Mobile Legends Professional League Invitational (MPLI for short) brings together 16 powerful teams to Jakarta, Indonesia. Starting November 15, the teams will fight it out to see who will rise above all others.
However, as nice as those words may sound, the MPLI is usually seen as an inconvenience at best. Taking place right before the M5 World Championships, the tournament feels more like a speed bump than a grand event. Not content with that lackluster image, organizers One Esports and Moonton Games are looking to change that this year.
The first big change is that this will be the first MPLI to take place live from start to finish. Previous tournaments only had their grand finals live but even then they were mostly small, studio-sized venues. Taking place at the GBK Basketball Hall, the 2023 MPLI immediately brings up the hype as fans get a chance to see their favorite teams live and pros now have a live crowd cheering behind them.
The other, and more critical, change is the inclusion of teams beyond the Southeast Asia region. North America, MENA, and the newly established China region each have a team participating in the tournament. This is part of Moonton’s push to make Mobile Legends a truly international esport and will undoubtedly raise the stakes for all participating teams as they have a chance to face pro players from around the world.
Beyond all that, there’s still a matter of pride that needs to be settled. The MPLI is the only international tournament that hasn’t been won by a Philippine team. We’ve gotten painfully close twice – with Bren Esports and Blacklist International finishing second in 2020 and 2021 respectively. Now with AP.Bren and Blacklist returning and looking stronger than ever, this could be the year where we finally crown a Filipino MPLI champion.
Banner photo by Moonton Games.