Despite challenges, the Mobile Legends community in Bhutan is slowly growing. Although the fan base of the multiplayer online battle arena game is expanding, there are still challenges that the players face. The Bhutan Olympic committee’s plan to form a national esports organization might give new impetus to the game’s growing popularity in the country.
Bhutan’s biggest and first-ever offline Mobile Legends tournament is the Druk Rivalry League. 22-year-old Rohan Rai is the brain behind the tournament. He has been organising the tournament for three years now. It is also the first official tournament recognised by Moonton, the developer of the game in Bhutan.
“The main reason why we hosted this tournament is to provide the players with the exposure and the experience of how an official higher-level tournament is carried out. This is also to strengthen the esports community in Bhutan. We have provided numerous individuals with different roles so that they can know and learn how the esports community functions as well. We would also like to thank BOC for their support and for their constant motivation and also for initiating esports in Bhutan,” said Rohan Rai, Organiser of the Druk Rivalry League.
The first and the second editions of the tournament had around 380 and 350 players respectively. Over 700 Bhutanese youths took part in the tournament this year, which ended recently in Thimphu. A prize of Nu 100,000 was offered. The game’s growing appeal amongst youths can be attributed to its easy accessibility.
“Mobile Legends is mainly popular in the Asian region and we have also been competing against players from the South Asian region for a long time. We have also won few tournaments competing against the best teams. Even with the lack of support from the community and the internet service providers of Bhutan, I would say that we have been doing great,” said Phuntsho Zangpo, esports enthusiast.
Recognising the growing interest in esports among youths and the economic prospects the industry offer, the Bhutan Olympic Committee has plans to support it.
“The main priority of the Bhutan Olympic Committee is to set up a national esports organisation. We understand and therefore want to harness the potential of esports in Bhutan, so as to not only empower and entertain Bhutanese youth, but also make it a source of financial stability and networking within the community,” said Phuntsho Choden, esports focal person at Bhutan Olympic Committee.
Mobile Legends enthusiasts in Thimphu say the game’s growing appeal amongst Bhutanese youth can be complemented by the establishment of an esports organisation.
Intern (Tsheyang Tshogyal)
Edited by Kipchu