The invitations to the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Professional League were announced earlier this week and there have been some interesting decisions by Moonton. Even though RSG and EVOS SG were at MPL-MYSG S6, the organizations will be fielding completely different squads from their Singaporean counterparts. But since the invitations belong to organizations instead of the players, it wasn’t too big of a surprise to see them in the announcement.
What’s surprising is the glaring omission Red Esports or Red Reborn Esports – the team placed sixth at the previous season of MPL-MY/SG and should be part of the seventh season.
“Wait a minute, aren’t they just Reborn Esports?” you might ask. While they might share the name of the team that competed in season six, Reborn Esports are not Red Reborn or Red Esports. Did the team break up? Disband? What happened?
Since Reborn has been in the spotlight before regarding contractual issues, we thought we’d shed some light on the situation. We’ll be reporting from both sides of the story so you can form your own opinion on the situation. We spoke to Siti Nurul Syahirah, personal assistant to Red Esports’ CEO; Intan Syazana, a marketing executive of Red Esports; and Hawkeye, team manager of Reborn Esports.
Bella Ciao – the team which consists of Silo, Cakbu, Eren, Mal, Mom and Grengo, used the name Bella Ciao instead of Reborn Esports when they competed in the qualifiers of MPL-MYSG S6.
Red Reborn – Bella Ciao/Reborn Esports, which was renamed after signing a deal with Red Esports. Red Reborn was used to signify the collaboration of the two organizations.
Red Esports – the same team Red Reborn, but renamed after the conclusion of MPL-MYSG S6.
Reborn Esports – roster currently unknown, invited to MPL-MY S7.
Hakweye – manager of Reborn Esports, formerly manager of Red Reborn.
Reborn Esports, after losing their invitation to MPL Season 6 due to prior contractual issues with Orange Esports, competed in the qualifiers as Bella Ciao, to earn a spot in the league. After qualifying, they signed with Red Esports and were rebranded as Red Reborn for the tournament. They placed decently at the tournament, finishing the playoffs at sixth place. Based on the invitations for season seven, they should have gotten one as well – which they did. But here is where things get messy.
Contracts, the birth of Reborn Ventures
According to Hawkeye, the Reborn and Red Esports deal was only a sponsorship deal to them, and they weren’t supposed to own the team. Red Esports disagreed saying that to them, it was more than just a sponsorship deal – after all, they had provided the players with equipment, a training house and more. Right off the bat, there was already some miscommunications but it wasn’t a problem at that point in time. Red Esports claimed that they had let a third party (Hawkeye) handle the responsibility of registering the team for MPL-MY/SG S6 so they didn’t go through the paperwork.
After MPL-MYSG S6 concluded, Red Esports wanted to continue sponsoring the players for the upcoming season. As part of their agreement with the organization, they wanted Red Esports to promise them the S7 invitation. Since Red Esports were pleased with the team’s performance, they were happy to oblige.
However, they were told by Moonton that players weren’t allowed to hold invitations – invitations had to belong to an organization. This led to Silo setting up a dummy company, Reborn Ventures, to accept the invitation on behalf of the players. The transfer of the invitation took place in November. Since the players were essentially part of Red Esports, they had no issues with it.
Trouble brewed last month when Red Esports decided that they wanted to rebrand the team to just Red Esports instead of keeping it as Red Reborn (their name for season 6). Silo, unhappy with the decision started to question their authority and disobey commands. This led to his suspension from Red Esports until the end of his current contract (16th May 2021). Because it was considered a breach of contract, he will not receive his remaining salary and will not be allowed to compete for another team (since he’s technically still under Red Esports).
When the invitations to MPL-MY S7 went out, Red Reborn’s invitation was given to Reborn Esports, since they had signed it away. Moonton followed the rules and honoured an agreement (the transfer of the invitation from Red Esports to Reborn Esports) when it came to giving out the invitations. Whether or not Moonton knew that the Red Reborn players were on Red Esports and not Reborn Esports is up in the air – the company has declined to comment on the situation. Since Silo can’t compete for Reborn Esports in S7, the organization has signed a completely new roster (to be announced in the near future).
Red Esports claims that they have spoken to Moonton regarding the situation but the game developer failed to address their queries. What happens next then? Red Esports will have to go through qualifiers in order to make it to the upcoming season. We all know how much of a coin toss the qualifiers can be – a single off match can spell disaster for the team regardless of how good they are. While it feels wildly unfair when a group of players who worked so hard lose out on an opportunity to compete just because of some questionable actions by one person (according to Red Esports, the players on the roster weren’t fully aware of Silo’s actions), they’ve been through the grind before so it won’t be their first rodeo.
What can be done in the future?
We’re not sure either what rules need to be changed when it comes to invitations. Problems arise when too much power is given to the players (they have the ability to leave any organization they want), and too much power is given to the organizations (they can replace their players with no consequences). There needs to be a balance. However, in this case, it is clear to see that not inviting the players who placed sixth at MPL-MYSG S6 is extremely questionable, especially when they are still playing together as part of the same organization albeit the name change.
We will update this article when/if we receive additional information.
So much drama before the MPL-MY S7 season has even begun. We wonder what else is in store! What do you guys think about the situation? Any hot takes? Make sure you tune in for the qualifier finals that will be taking place this weekend, 7th February 2021. Stay tuned to the MPL-MY and eGG Network Facebook Page to keep abreast of all the latest MLBB news!