THE MPL-PH Season 9 playoffs is open to fans, though the number who can enter the main venue in the SMX Convention Center will be limited.
For those who aren't able to score tickets through various giveaways, they can either watch at the selected SM Cinemas or through Facebook or YouTube livestreaming.
Fans have voiced their opinions on the MPL-PH's continuation of the "new normal", bringing up both the convenience of watching at home and the distinct lack of excitement of the same.
“Actually kung pwedeng manawagan, dapat hindi nila nili-limit. I mean may [election] rally na e, may kampanya nga eh. Diba? Tapos mas gusto ko mas marami. Kung hundreds or thousands yun wala akong pake, gusto ko mas madami, mas masaya. Doon ako mas naha-hype," said the Onic PH mentor.
In contrast to the Philippines, Indonesia’s MPL scene was open to the general public starting from Week 8 all the way to the playoffs. Fans were required to take an antigen test before entering the venue.
Why Moonton decided to limit the SMX viewership
While the other professional sports leagues namely the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) and the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) have featured a full capacity crowd, Mobile Legends developers MOONTON made a bold move of limiting the number of viewers in the live venue.
A source from inside MOONTON told Spin.ph that, within the company, the importance of safety and welfare of the participants is paramount.
“Considering the venue size and safety of our participants, we have restricted the max capacity size as we are erring on the side of caution. The health and safety of our guests are of utmost priority, and we are excited for this weekend to go offline to a live audience finally,” the source said.
The unnamed source also said that MOONTON's decision was based on the potential rise of COVID cases after April, as outlined in an article written by Manila Bulletin’s Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz.
While the threat of COVID remains, Moonton made sure that the viewers will be monitored.
“We would like to ensure the safety of our guests while we finally provide them a chance to see the matches on-site. We are on the side of caution by making sure that attendees will be well-distanced while we implement health and safety protocols such as antigen tests, temperature checks, and health declarations,” said the source.
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