Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Women’s Invitational
Women have so far been rather neglected in esports – whether it’s because they’re still viewed as an afterthought in a men’s hobby or because female-led sports tend to be, on balance, less profitable than the men’s version, is relatively irrelevant. At the end of the day, they are absolutely still being neglected, and only very slowly has the esports industry started to try and better the situation.
More female talent in esports
Stories like that of Liooon, the first female Hearthstone player to have won a BlizzCon event, and also the first female Grandmasters Global Finals winner prove just how difficult things can get – she was told at sign-up for the event by other players that women don’t belong and that she shouldn’t bother by other competitors. That is something that male players simply don’t have to deal with – and it’s part of why female-only environments can absolutely be beneficial to women in esports.
Long-term, gender segregation isn’t a solution, of course, but when it comes to establishing talented women, giving them a chance to shine, and to also be role models to other aspiring female pros, there is a lot of value here. The latest event in this category would be Moonton’s all-female tournament for Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, a MOBA that boasts a huge number of female players in the region where the tournament will happen; Southeast Asia.
Some 49% of women there play esports titles in the region – half of the women in Southeast Asia are actively playing esports games, and yet there are almost none in most professional leagues. Moonton, the publisher of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang is now hosting their Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Women’s Invitational (MWI), with the goal of inviting more female talent into the pro pool!
At the end of January 2022, from the 27th to the 30th, 10 female-led teams from the SEA region will be competing for a prize pool of $15k. “Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Esports is all-inclusive, with MWI empowering the existing cadre of female Mobile Legends: Bang Bang esports. “ said Lucas Mao, the managing director of Global Esports for Moonton games.
Several teams have already been invited to the event, including Bren esports, Omega esports, IDNS Princess, IDNS Elsa, and Impunity Starlets1. The rest of the competing teams and the specific players will be revealed closer to the event. Moonton is taking the event seriously – they are setting it up in the same format as their Southeast Asia Cup tournament. The countries involved will be Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Phillipines, Singapore and Thailand.
Additionally, Moonton partnered with One esports, practically guaranteeing that the MWI will be a big production – after all, they have also organised events with and for PUBG Corp and Activision Blizzard. The long-term impact of events such as this isn’t clear yet since we don’t yet have a lot of examples for them, but we do know from the talented women that are active in esports already, that the lack of role models for them was a major reason they themselves decided to take the risk and try to inspire other, equally talented female players. The interest, the dedication, the talent and everything needed is already present in female esports fans – however, far too many are still discouraged by the often hostile and even outright sexist environment they have to deal with when they try.