Mobile Legends Bang Bang: Building the Filipino Esports Community

Playable heroes, different game modes, and fast-paced gameplay. This is what the multiplayer online battle arena game (MOBA) Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) has to offer. Although this is a mobile game, it features much of what a PC MOBA has to offer: item builds, hero roles, hero abilities, skins, and so much more. MLBB allows players to match with other players from anywhere in the world, and it has sports community features, such as built-in livestreaming and an esports system that allow users to watch high-level plays.

In 2019, the game won Most Favorite Game of the Year and Most Favorite Tournament of the Year at the EXGCON Indonesia Gaming Awards. There is no denying that it is one of the most increasingly popular games in Asia and the rest of the globe.

In 2020, MLBB had over 1 billion game downloads, with over 100 million registered users and 25 million monthly active users in the Philippines. In Southeast Asia, Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League holds the largest and most prestigious esports competition. Despite the pandemic, esports in Asia generated $543.8 million in 2020 and it is set to approach or exceed $600 million in 2021.

 

Turning MLBB players into fans

However, in  the Philippines, esports is still not recognized as a part of mainstream entertainment, unlike in other countries. This is a missed opportunity, given that the esports global market is almost $1 billion.

Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League – Philippines or MPL-PH, is the Philippines’ professional league of the popular game. MPL-PH was established in 2018, and their tournaments are streamed on MLBB’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, and Tiktok.

To build the local MLBB community, there needs to be a connection between the users, the game, and the league. Evident was tasked to boost the engagement and following of MPL-PH’s social media accounts, without any boosting budget. How do you engage hundreds of thousands of fans and turn them into a million?

 

Connecting Through Content

The main objective was to increase MPL-PH’s engagement and followers on their Facebook page. To do this, Evident had to build a connection with the Filipino users. By creating localized content fit for the Filipino esports community on Facebook, Twitter, and Tiktok, we were able to engage more users and fans.

MPL’s content became centered on topics that appeal to the Filipino audience. The “Usapang MPL” content theme was created to encourage discussions within the community. The fans could talk about anything that was going on in relation to the league: their favorite players and teams, rivalries, results and highlights, predictions, and other topics.

To get the fans even more excited, the posts also featured popular figures within the community, such as players and shoutcasters. Then to get a further reach, the team tapped online communities like groups and pages to spread the word about MPL-PH. This brought different audiences together; solidifying the fanbase of the league.

Trendy content such as memes were also produced to capture moments in a fun and relevant way. Evident aimed to create content that fans still talked about even if it’s not game day. By creating content that appealed to the users, we were able to build a strong connection.

Bringing the Community Together

Evident created a highly significant impact with this campaign:

  • From a reach of 7,126,548, it increased to 125,110,560 (1,655% increase)
  • From an engagement of 974,630, it increased to 9,206,556 (844% increase)
  • From 206,077 followers, it increased to 1,033,468 followers (401% increase)

The campaign exceeded all its targets organically, without zero boosting budget, just in a span of 4 months. By creating relevant content, we were able to make an impact in the MPL-PH community.

 

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