Mobile Legends: Bang Bang has been confirmed to be the first of the esports titles to be included in the 2019 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games that will be hosted by the Philippines.
A total of 6 games will be included in the SEA games, comprised of two console games, two PC games, and two mobile games, with Mobile Legends being the first.
This will be the first time that esports will be part of a regional sporting event under the International Olympic Committee as a medal sport. It had been previously been part of the 2018 Asian Games, but only as a demonstration event.
Mobile Legends is one of the most popular mobile games in the Philippines as well as in the rest of SEA. This is because the game is free-to-play for mobile users, thus making it more accessible compared to other esports titles.
Most gamers in the Philippines and in SEA play in internet or LAN cafes because it is more affordable than buying and maintaining their own computers. With Mobile Legends being playable anywhere with just their phones, it is no wonder that the game has been so popular in the region.
The game also follows in the steps of multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games such as Dota 2 or League of Legends, the two top esports titles for PC in SEA, which boosted its popularity.
Mobile Legends was developed by Moonton and was released for Android and iOS back in 2016.