Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) MENA undergoes overhaul ahead of USD 3 million Esports World Cup

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SAUDI ARABIA, 15 April – MOONTON Games has announced an overhaul of the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League Middle East and North Africa (MPL MENA) for its upcoming edition this month. Organised by MOONTON Games, MPL MENA will expand its tournament structure and pivot to a seasonal format, reflecting the league's rapid growth and elevated status in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) Esports ecosystem.

Overhaul will lift the esports ecosystem higher, faster 

The overhaul of MPL MENA is aimed at empowering and preparing the region to seize the opportunities at the Mid Season Cup (MSC) 2024, held in conjunction with the Esports World Cup in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where a life-changing USD 3 million prize pool awaits. MPL MENA has been allocated two direct qualification slots to the MSC 2024 main stage, being one of only three regions with two slots at the prestigious event, the others being Philippines and Indonesia.

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As part of the changes, MPL MENA will adopt a seasonal format instead of a split system. As such, the upcoming fifth edition of the tournament will have a new name: "MPL MENA Season 5". This aligns MPL MENA with the other MPLs in the MLBB Esports ecosystem. 

Additionally, the league's format will feature an expanded roster of 10 teams, up from eight teams in the 2023 MPL MENA Fall Split. This will offer more athletes and teams the opportunity to compete and develop their talents on the regional stage. 

Jaime Cruz, Head of Esports (Head of Esports, Middle East & North Africa) of MOONTON Games, said: "Teams in the MENA region will have the home court advantage when the world arrives in Riyadh for MSC 2024. We've introduced these changes in anticipation of that, to prepare and uplift teams so they can take full advantage. It also brings us a step closer to parity with other regions in the MLBB Esports ecosystem and reaffirms the development of the league and community." 

Jaime added: "Beyond the milestone that is MSC 2024, we're also looking at the long game – to continue the development of the esports ecosystem in the MENA region through the expansion and elevation of the league. MPL MENA continues to experience tremendous growth and we want to make sure that our competitive ecosystem offers aspiring athletes the opportunities to spread their wings." 

MPL MENA Season 5 commences on 18 April 

The Regular Season will pit the top 10 teams from across the MENA region in a single round robin, with each match a Best-Of-Three (BO3). The top-placed six teams will advance to the Playoffs, where teams will face a hybrid elimination, where the 3rd to 6th seeds will compete in Round 1 (single elimination), while the 1st and 2nd seeds will receive a first-round bye and will start in Round 2 (double elimination). The Playoffs will run from 12 to 15 June and will be feature BO3 matches except for the Lower Bracket Final (BO5) and Grand Final (BO7). 

The 2023 MPL MENA Fall Split saw Triple Esports take the crown after overcoming league newcomers, Team Falcons, 4-2 in a closely contested Grand Final. Triple Esports had previously lost 2-0 to Team Falcons in the Upper Bracket Final, reflecting the league's competitiveness. Triple Esports went on to represent the region at the M5 World Championship in the Philippines, while Team Falcons advanced to the M5 Wild Card in Malaysia.