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Esports Integrated (ESI), an initiative under the purview of the Ministry of Youth & Sports (KBS), today announces the successful organisation and completion of Malaysia Esports League 2021 (MEL21) Nationals. The inaugural nationwide esports league for grassroots was held in 2 stages; State Leagues on 10 July till 8 August 2021 and Nationals on 14 August till 31 August 2021.

A total of 288 players from 64 teams representing 13 states and 3 Federal Territories competed in MEL21 Nationals in 4 game titles; PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBGM), Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), EA Sports FIFA21 and Dota 2. Winners of each category brought home RM20,000 prize money, champion’s medal and the title of MEL21 National Champion. MEL21 was organised by ESI in collaboration with 16 state esports associations. Almost 30,000 local grassroot players registered for the fully virtual competition, held in accordance with the SOPs set under the National Recovery Plan – Phase 1.

For PUBGM, matches were held on 14, 15, 16 August with 22 August 2021 as the Final match day. 15 rounds were held throughout 4 tournament days using point system format, competing in 3 maps, Sanhok, Erangel and Miramar. Team Farang Guerrilla from Selangor emerged victorious, with the highest kill count of 13 during Final day. Team Farang Guerilla consists of Adib Syazwan bin Abd Razak (team captain), Nur Muhammad Safiuddin bin Abdul Jabar, Muhammad Abbas bin Saufi and Mohammad Helmi Eizlan bin Mohammad Ehsan.

For Dota 2, group matches were held on 17 & 18 August 2021. All 16 teams were split into 4 groups competing in a league format in “Best of 1” matches before moving into knockout rounds. “Best of 3” matches were held during the knockout rounds, with 4 league group winners progressing into Upper Bracket, whilst 4 teams with the highest points moving into Lower Bracket. Team Thanks from Sarawak emerged victorious in the final match against ANIMALS from Selangor, coming back from 2-0 deficit to win the match in the fifth game with the score line of 2-3. Team Thanks consists of Benedict Chin Kuok Hong (team captain), Nelson Chin Kuok Chiat, Raymond Then Wan Jia, Nicholas Chin Kuok Chun and Low Kin Siong.

For FIFA21, matches were held on 20, 21 August with 27 August as the Final Playoffs. 16 players were split into 4 groups during the initial league round before winners from each group progressed into the knockout stage during Final Playoffs. Kedah’s Muhammad Faiz Hariry (AKA OrangeFavLain) emerged as the champion, beating Perak’s Kamil Al Amini bin Jamalludi Al Amini (AKA MAXNEVIS) with golden goal in Game 3, after both players were tied in 3-3 in Game 1 & 2.

For MLBB, matches were held on 23, 24 and 30 August, before culminating in the Final Playoffs on 31 August 2021. 16 teams were split into 4 groups during the initial league stage before winners of each group progressed into the Upper Bracket knockout round and 4 teams with the highest points moving to Lower Bracket knockout round. Penang’s Cyduken emerged victorious over Terengganu’s Mikey with a score line of 3-0. Cyduken consists of Aiman Zairie bin Anuar (team captain), Muhammad Hakim bin Adanan, Muhammad Nabil bin Japri, Ahmad Zaki bin Ibrahim and Mohamed Aiman Solihin bin Mohamed Iqbal.

“With the success of the inaugural MEL, KBS through ESI are planning to continue hosting it on an annual basis to continue to support grassroots development of the esports ecosystem in Malaysia,” said Ahmed Faris Amir, the Chief Executive Officer of ESI.

“In the future edition of MEL, we hope to have more female players participating and that MEL will be more racially diverse as well,” he added to the media when asked about MEL improvement plans during the press conference.

All matches were livestreamed on the national esports tournament platform, and ESI’s Facebook page. A total of 2.2 million video minutes were viewed, and 700,000 total views were recorded throughout MEL21 Nationals. This exemplifies the local esports community’s appetite for exciting and competitive tournaments for the grassroots. The number of views exceeded ESI’s initial projection of 100,000 views.

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