RRQ and Blacklist missing from MPL-themed items due to exclusivity clause

RRQ and Blacklist, two teams competing in Moonton’s franchised esports league, the MLBB Professional League (MPL) haven’t received in-game items. This is reportedly because the teams haven’t signed an exclusivity clause which restricts them from having teams in other mobile MOBAs in return for in-game goodies which likely adopt a revenue-sharing model as well.

MLBB esports

RRQ and Blacklist will likely not get MPL-themed items in MLBB

The official Twitter account for MLBB revealed the MPL teams’ exclusive killing notifications. There are currently two franchised esports leagues for MLBB which happen in Indonesia and the Philippines. Eight teams compete in either competition.

However, in the Twitter post, only seven teams have received a killing notification from both leagues. From the Philippines, Blacklist International is missing while RRQ is missing from Indonesia. This is likely because of the exclusivity clause.

MPL Items in MLBB

Moonton’s exclusivity clause for MPL teams first came to light back in 2021 when Wild Rift was released in SEA. While the clear details aren’t available, the clause stipulates that teams competing in the MPL have to become exclusive to the game in order to receive in-game content.

The clause is optional, but opting out of it will not allow the teams to get in-game content, which is evident with the kill notification banners. It’s unclear if this only extends to content or potential revenue share from the sale of in-game content.

RRQ and Blacklist have teams in Pokemon UNITE and Wild Rift, respectively

While the exact reason behind the omission of the two teams lies with Moonton only, both of them have teams in other mobile MOBAs.

RRQ fields a Pokemon UNITE roster which recently came first in the Asia-Pacific West Championship to book a slot in the 2023 World Championship in Yokohama, Japan. The organization also had a Brazilian Honor of Kings roster earlier.

Blacklist, on the other hand, has an ongoing partnership with G2 to be a part of the Wild Rift League (WRL) Asia. The two organizations announced their tie-up earlier this year to compete in the WRL, which is among the only Riot-supported esports events after the dev significantly scaled down on Wild Rift.

Currently, MLBB has close to no competition from Wild Rift and Pokemon UNITE. While Wild Rift was touted as the next big thing prior to its release in 2021, the game failed to make an impact. Pokemon UNITE, on the other hand, is more of a niche title. This makes it surprising that Moonton is employing such methods to restrict organizations from fielding teams in other games.

With Honor of Kings releasing soon as well, it’s likely that teams competing in the MPL will face the dilemma of competing only in MLBB or diversifying to other titles. It remains to be seen how Moonton’s monopolistic contract plays out in the longer run.

Read also: How to play Mobile Legends (MLBB) on a PC?
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