Recently, esports and its community has boomed, from emerging streamers to forming tight-knit bonds with fellow players. Although, from an outsider’s perspective, there’s still a lot to learn and discover. 

The good thing is, recently, we got the chance to chat with Hans Galeria, one of the talents of Mobile Legends Professional League (popularly known as MPL Philippines), to get a better picture. 

First things first, we asked Hans to give us a play by play on what goes down in the MPL. And the key thing he told us is: it’s  engaging, from the games to the commentaries. After all, Mobile Legends is a game you’d play, and you usually want to win. The same goes for the audience who watches their favorite players during tournaments. 

For those unfamiliar with the ins and the outs, Mobile Legends is a multiplayer battle game that has taken the online community by storm in recent years, and now has professional esports  leagues such as MPL PH. 

 

“Sa ML kasi laging may nangyayari eh, laging may laban.”

The Shoutcaster

Now in its 13th season, MPL PH has not only grown into a thriving community of esports enthusiasts but it’s also becoming a breeding ground for new talent of hosts and shoutcasters. 

One of the few is: Hans Galeria, currently a host in MPL PH but has also shoutcasted in previous seasons. Starting out as a casual player of the game, he eventually found his way to the stage. 

He recaps that it took years in the making, “Initially, I was a courtside reporter, then they placed me sa desk for three seasons.”  In fact, this is no easy feat, especially considering the challenge of shoutcasting in esports and trying to keep up with the pace of the players. As compared to ball games where there’s a quick break for commentators when the players encounter fouls or free throws. 

In Mobile Legends, there’s always something going on and the shoutcasters have to catch that and explain to its audience. The shoutcasters have to stay engaged at all times. Hans explains that, “Dapat naglalaro ka talaga. Kasi mas matatalino na ang mga manonood ngayon, they’ll know if may laman ba talaga sinasabi mo.” 

The Players

“It’s very niche but it’s so alive” is one of the things Hans has to say about this community. He further explains that while only a couple groups of people know what goes down in these games, almost everyone can say that they do know what Mobile Legends is. 

Now a line everyone, even non-gamers, have probably heard is: “laro lang yan.” For others, it’s not that deep, but Hans tells us that that’s not the case anymore.

Times have changed and more people have joined in on the world of Mobile Legends. Not only that, but in tournaments team Philippines took home the world championship for 4 straight years, as Hans explains: 

“Iba-iba yung mga manlalaro, it’s not always the same team representing! That should say a lot about our level of play.”

The Fans and The Community

Another thing Hans noted  in the ML community is that the audience is just as action-packed as the game itself.

“They love their biases so much. Once they set their sights on a team that they like, there is no way for them to get swayed sa desisyon nila.”

 

Even before the actual match starts, the fans make it a habit to form cheers and their signs, showing support for their favorite teams. With this energy out on the sidelines, it definitely translates onto the stage as well. Hans gives a shout out to his co-talents and anchors, “They’re the best colleagues I could ever ask for. No hint of competition, everyone just helping everyone.” 

It takes a village to form this safe space, Hans knows this and notes that it takes one person at a time. An effort that definitely doesn’t go unnoticed, especially with new streamers emerging, coming from different ages and backgrounds. 

Just like with any community, there’s still a long way to go, and Hans could not be more excited to see where it goes. MPL PH is his home, the one who gave him his first big break. He honors that by extending the same generosity he got when he started, hoping to create a cycle for future gamers and talents. 

“Lalaki pa yung community, I’m so sure of it. Laging may mga taong maglalaro ng ML- at susuporta, kahit nasaang parte pa sila ng mundo.”

Photos @gabriel_altonaga @amxling

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