Your favorite player on loan: What does it mean?

Photo from Blacklist International
By Drew Malihan

MANILA—For a casual follower of esports and gaming in general, the offseason can be their time to take a break seeing the competitive scene and look forward on to the next. But to a more passionate fan, this is a time of speculation, rumors, and reloading your social media feed for news surrounding player movements, organizational changes, reunions, and disbandment.

A few days during several regional and international events, we have saw teams breaking up, stand-ins, reformation of new squads, and more in between. Renowned Myanmar organization Falcon Esports disbanded their MLBB roster, jungler Albert Neilsen "Alberttt" Iskandar left RRQ, several players bidding ONIC PH goodbye, and even coaches on the move with Michael Angelo "Arcadia" Bocado going to Red Giants Esports in Malaysia.

However, some fans and casual followers of the game were caught off-guard when on Wednesday, Blacklist International announced that gold laner Jon Redick "Super Red" Bordeos will be move on loan to the Selangor-based team.

Now, how does a "loan" works in sports in general?

A loan involves a player who will play temporarily for a team other than the one they are currently contracted to. This may last for a few weeks to a full season, or in some cases, multiple seasons.

This is a common practice in football, where clubs sent some of their players to other teams while still under live contract with them, often done by bigger clubs by sending young players to smaller teams. Yes, Red Giants Esports is not new to this as their owner is Selangor Football Club, who themselves have players on loan deals.

The player loan concept is fairly new to the competitive MLBB scene in the Philippines, but this is a somehow common occurrence in MPL Malaysia, where Super Red will be competing.

One example is current RSG Slate MY roamer Ahmad Ali Huzaifi "Leixia" Bin Abdullah Hazawi, who had quite a journey in the Malaysian pro scene.

Leixia has played for five different Malaysian teams in his career, and has saw himself getting loaned to Todak in November 2021 during ONE Esports MPL Invitational when he was still part of RSG MY, and being sent again on loan to Team SMG for MPL MY Season 9 while being contracted to Team Caracal.

This is also not new to esports however as other esports titles such as Call of Duty and Dota 2 has saw player loans here and there, prime examples for this year alone are ATF and SumaiL

This move also applies to coaches as well, when Steve Dale "Dale" Vitug was loaned by HomeBois (yes, another Malaysian team) to Outplay in time for MSC 2023.

The player will have another contract with the team they are loaned to, usually discussing about the percentage of salary the team will pay during his loan spell.

That means, while Super Red is under Blacklist's contract, his salary will be either fully or partially by Red Giants Esports, whatever the agreement between Blacklist and Red Giants would be.

Now, why would teams arrange loan moves?

This will be a good move for the player, the parent team, and the loaning team. The player in question will get valuable game experience and playing time, which can enhance the player's potential and development.

The parent club will effectively have one of their players develop by other team, and the loaning team will have someone who can play for them without spending much on the player's salary and other perks.

While we all wish good luck and have to get used to see Super Red in a Red Giants Esports jersey ("Red" in red, lol), we can also all agree that things will get more interesting before Season 12 starts later this year.

Who knows? We might see more moves before M5.

Follow him on Twitter: @drew_corner