For the second straight season, the entirety of the group stage of the MPL Philippines will be held online as a health and safety precaution amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reigning MPL-PH and world champion Bren Esports and the nine other contenders will compete in the eight-week regular season from their respective bootcamps, according to Rick Tian, marketing manager of game developer Moonton.
The playoffs, meanwhile, is yet to be determined, raising the possibility that it could be held offline at a specific physical venue if conditions get better and protocols begin to relax further.
Moonton decided to start holding the MPL online midway through the group stage of Season 5 in May last year as the worsening COVID problem forced the government to impose a nationwide lockdown.
Since then, the local professional league of arguably the most popular mobile MOBA esports title in Southeast Asia has been held virtually.
The MPL-PH Season 7 will roll off on March 19, with the group stage set to be played over eight weekends until May 16.
An All-Star Weekend event on May 22 and May 23 will be hosted as a primer for the double elimination playoffs that leads to the best-of-seven Grand Finals.
The first playoffs weekend is on May 29-30 while the second one which includes the Grand Finals is on June 5-6.
Bren Esports will begin its title defense against Onic PH, Aura PH, Cignal Ultra and qualifier Work Auster Force in Group A, which could be considered as the “Group of Death” in the upcoming season.
Smart Omega, the Season 6 runner-up and an M2 World Championship playoff finisher, will take on Execration, Blacklist International, Nexplay Solid and the other qualifier Laus Playbook Esports.