Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) developer MOONTON Games has partnered with Malaysian television and streaming provider Astro to produce an eight-episode comedy series centered on MLBB titled 'Gamers Mangkuk'.
Gamers Mangkuk, or Gamers Bowl in Malay, tells the story of Tam, Napi, Lee, Maya and Theeban as they compete in the MLBB Professional League (MPL) Malaysia to be crowned as the next generation of the country's professional esports athletes.
Gamers Mangkuk was directed by Hyrul Anuar and was written by Sham Hashim, Bainun Waheeda and Haris M. Nor.
The show also features a diverse cast including Amir Ahnaf (Napi), Taufik Izmir (Napi), Nick Davis (Lee), Sara Mack Lubis (Maya) and Sathisvaran (Theeban) as the leads. Supporting actors and actresses also include Amelia Christie (Vie), Josiah Hogan (Slayer), Nadia Brian (Aleya), Taqim Zaki (Abang Long), Khatijah Tan (Hajah Munah), Louisa Chong (June) and Puteri Qaseh (Madness).
Gamers Mangkuk will start airing on 1 December, every Friday at 9pm on Astro Premiere (Ch 410) or streamed as early as 12 midnight via On Demand and Astro GO on the same day.
MOONTON and Astro Originals said in a press release that Gamers Mangkuk depicts "the essence of friendship and sacrifices that need to be done" in order to compete in esports.
"Living by the aphorism, ‘Life Is A Game, Play It’, all team members give their all as they face upheaval and challenges whilst attaining the height of an esports player," the release added.
Executive Producer of ‘Gamers Mangkuk’ and Vice President and Head of Astro Shaw and Malay Nusantara business Raja Jastina Raja Arshad also said that "Gamers Mangkuk can be enjoyed by all walks of life, aficionados of the game or even those who aren’t fans".
“Gamers Mangkuk is a premium local drama that evolves around esports as its main narrative, and it shows our support towards the booming esports industry. The series just doesn’t boil down to the competitiveness of the industry, but it also focuses on the challenges in attaining one’s dream as well as the social conflicts that exist within the community," added Arshad.
"We hope our premium drama can impart a unique entertainment experience, whilst inspiring the audience as well as broadening the esports horizon through a [widened] perspective.”
Meanwhile, series director Anuar noted that Gamers Mangkuk "highlights the Generation Z" but also included elements and entertainment values for the general audience.
"Amongst the main challenges that I have faced while filming the series is staying true to the gaming elements. I hope Gamers Mangkuk will be received well amongst the audience as well as it is able to entertain them,” added Anuar.
“MLBB Esports has grown to be a mainstay of content consumption in Malaysia, with audiences enraptured by the compelling narratives and personable characters season after season. We’re delighted to team up with one of Malaysia’s biggest and most exciting studios to offer audiences a refreshing, immersive and accessible way to enjoy esports – regardless of whether you are an esports enthusiast, completely new to the scene, or somewhere in between,” said Fikri Rizal Mahruddin, Marketing and Business Development Lead for MPL Malaysia.
The premiere of Gamers Mangkuk comes at an exciting time for MLBB esports, which is in the last leg of its 2023 season with the ongoing ONE Esports MPL Invitational (MPLI) and the upcoming M5 World Championship.
The MPLI, hosted in Jakarta, Indonesia, will conclude on 19 November and features 16 teams fighting for a cut of a US$100,000 prize pool.
Meanwhile, the M5 World Championship will be hosted in Malaysia and the Philippines from 23 November to 17 December.
Kuala Lumpur will host the Wildcard Stage from 23 to 26 November, where two teams will qualify for the M5 World Championship proper.
The M5 World Championship itself will be hosted in multiple venues in the Philippines from 2 to 17 December and features 22 of the best MLBB teams in the world fighting for the lion's share of a US$900,000 prize pool and the right to call themselves MLBB world champions.