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WWF-Philippines Unites With Mobile Legends Teams to Save Endangered Animals

Mobile Legends teams are raising awareness on endangered animals.
IMAGE Shutterstock, Bren Esports, NEXPLAY
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The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines and the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League (MPL) Philippines make history as they partner for the first time. The two organizations join hands to raise awareness on wildlife conservation through the advocacy-driven Season 7 tournaments of MPL-PH, which runs until June 2021.

Established in the Philippines in 2018, the MPL is tagged as the most prestigious mobile games competition in Southeast Asia. Since its inception, MPL-PH has consistently initiated charity works and fundraising events for various non-profit organizations especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In its seventh iteration, MPL-PH shifts its focus to advocacy that WWF-Philippines has long pledged to undertake: reverse the accelerating degradation of the Philippine environment. This marks the first-ever participation of MPL-PH in an environmental conservation initiative.

Teams Raise Awareness on World’s Most Endangered Animals

Ten squads are all geared for the season grind. But unlike the previous seasons where they were known by no other representation aside from their respective team names, this year’s tournament will also identify the teams by the wildlife icons of some of the world’s most endangered species—the promotion of which began in early February via the official MPL-PH Facebook page.

Each team has personally selected the species that they will represent: veterans and returning teams Bren Esports for Great White Shark; Onic Philippines for Tamaraw; Aura Philippines for Tiger; Smart Omega Esports for Sea Turtle; Nexplay Esports for Pangolin; Execration for Whale Shark; Blacklist International for Giant PandaCignal Ultra for Philippine Eagle; and two newcomers who emerged victorious in the qualifiers Laus Playbook Esports for Polar Bear and Work Auster Force for Philippine Crocodile.

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Bren Esports: Great White Shark

Photo by WWF-Philippines; MPL-PH.

Onic Philippines: Tamaraw

Photo by WWF-Philippines; MPL-PH.

Aura PH: Tiger

Photo by WWF-Philippines; MPL-PH.
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Smart Omega Esports: Pawikan

Photo by WWF-Philippines; MPL-PH.

NXP: Pangolin

Photo by WWF-Philippines; MPL-PH.

Execration: Butanding (Whale Shark)

Photo by WWF-Philippines; MPL-PH.
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Blacklist International: Panda

Photo by WWF-Philippines; MPL-PH.

Cignal Ultra: Philippine Eagle

Photo by WWF-Philippines; MPL-PH.

Laus Playbook Esports: Polar Bear

Photo by WWF-Philippines; MPL-PH.
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Work Auster Force: Philippine Crocodile

Photo by WWF-Philippines; MPL-PH.

The teams will be divided into two groups during the group stage. Group A will be headlined by defending champions and M2 World Champions Bren Esports while Group B has Season 6 runner-up Smart Omega Esports. This will eventually lead to the best-of-seven Grand Finals on June 5 and 6

Unprecedented Partnership Between Esports and Nature

The integration of environmental awareness in Esports is rare—but possible. With the unprecedented emergence of COVID-19, humanity now lives in the “new normal,” where people stay home to prevent the spread of the viral disease. With less time spent outdoors, more and more people with access to mobile devices are introduced to online games.

This partnership between WWF-Philippines and MPL-PH takes advantage of the fastest-growing media platform to utilize the virtual realm as an avenue to make new collaborations for environmental campaigns with real-world, transformative impact.

WWF-Philippines recognizes the unrivaled potential of the youth in the gaming industry to increase awareness of environmental issues. Partnering with MPL-PH, featuring this year’s competing teams with a relatively huge following in the digital space, aims to drive positive behavioral change not only among the gamers but also among the vast audiences that watch and support them.

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Why Partner with Esports?

Contemporary environmental problems such as extreme weather, devastating forest fires, and the decline of wildlife populations are happening at a staggering rate. WWF-Philippines tapped the gaming community because it is young, tech-savvy, and innovative. “This is to call for fresh ideas, new approaches, and strong commitments in cultivating empathy and encouraging collective action across the world,” WWF said in a statement. 

As a leading Esports and gaming force unifying millions of fans in the Philippines, Mobile Legends partnered with WWF-Philippines to leverage its extensive reach in making a mark in saving disappearing species. 

“MPL-PH commits to providing joy, creating unforgettable moments, and taking on social good to inspire new generations of audiences through partnerships with prestigious brands and organizations that share the same advocacy, especially those within the country,” MPL-PH wrote in a statement sent to Esquire Philippines.

“With partnerships and collaborations such as this, online games are proven to be not for entertainment only, as gamers are undeniably becoming global agents of change—including the 10 teams vying for this season’s coveted championship,” said WWF-Philippines. 

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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