Two national esports teams given send-off in Parliament for M5 World Championships [NSTTV]

By Hakim Mahari – November 27, 2023 @ 6:10pm

https://youtube.com/watch?v=T8_HwNTnrSw%3Fautoplay%3D1

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is poised to make its mark on global esports as two national teams, HomeBois and Team SMG, gear up for the M5 World Championship 2023 in Manila.

The teams will compete against 14 other international teams for the lion’s share of the increased US$900,000 prize pool and the title of the world’s best Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) team.

They qualified through MPL Malaysia Season 12, a professional eSports league that allows community and professional esports teams to compete globally or represent Malaysia at medal events.

At the 32nd Sea Games this year, the national MLBB esports team secured a silver medal in the Men’s Tournament.

Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Adam Adli said, even though this is not Malaysia’s first international esports competition, their qualification demonstrates their hard work has proven worthwhile.

“The two teams representing this country possess excellent expertise in the (esports) ecosystem, coupled with government support. Setting high expectations for them will yield positive results.

“This is not only for the athletes but also extends to the entire team, including coaches and managers who have devised effective strategies and the unwavering supporters who have tirelessly helped both teams perform their best,” he told reporters at the sending-off ceremony in Parliament.

Adam also emphasised that the cooperation between the ministry and ESports Integration (ESI) will continue to embark on a better future for sports in Malaysia.

“(The ministry) and ESI are committed to enhancing collaboration with game developers such as Moonton Games to fuel a vibrant and sustainable esports ecosystem in Malaysia,” he said.

He added that the ministry was also exploring possibilities in promoting more new sports, including esports, through education.

“The ministry is creating a high-level committee for sports development to discuss that matter. We have ensured that fresher sports, especially esports, are being introduced at the school level and will continue to be incorporated into the curriculum.”

Meanwhile, Homebois founder Nureddy Nursal is confident that his team will secure a spot in the top three, given their excellent performance during the recent Sea Games.

“Considering Malaysia’s strong performance and potential in international tournaments, two or three of my players and coaching staff brought back medals during the Sea Games, and their performance continues to be excellent until today.

“The momentum is there, and indeed, we’ve been targeting it since January. Our goal is for M5, and God willing, we will do our best in M5.”

Moonton marketing and business development head Fikri Rizal Mahruddin said the success of national esports teams at the global level would not have happened without the hard work of all parties involved.

“In 2024, we want to open up more doors for ecosystem partners and operators to work with us in leveling up the mobile esports industry,” he said.

The sending-off ceremony for both national teams was held at Parliament for the first time, signifying the nation’s representation in the global esports arena and giving Malaysia’s athletes recognition.

Esports’ inclusion among the 103 sports covered by the Sports Development Act 1997 this year underscores its growing prominence and integral role in the Rakan Muda initiative.

It also marks a significant milestone in the continuous development of Malaysia’s eSports ecosystem, with the Youth and Sports Ministry actively involved since 2019.

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