Omega Esports’ rising star Duane “Kelra” Pillas did not go scot-free following homophobic and sexual remarks he made in videos that recently made rounds on social media.
Mobile Legends Professional League Philippines (MPL PH) slapped Kelra with a two-week suspension and fined the player an undisclosed amount in violation of league rules involving sexual harassment, discrimination, and denigration.
The suspension will start on the first day of the league’s Season 8.
Kelra found himself in hot water after a livestream video surfaced of him directing homophobic comments at Blacklist International aces Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna and Danerie James “Wise” del Rosario.
Villaluna is a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
In another snippet, the 16-year-old Kelra made obscene remarks about Chareeny “Ramella” Ramella of Thailand team IDoNoSleep Esports.
“MPL PH Operating Committee does not tolerate any form of discrimination in the league, and we expect our professional players to follow a strict code of conduct,” the league said in a statement.
“The MPL Philippines is working with all the teams to produce a safe environment for everyone.”
Kelra apologized for his offensive comments and admitted he had been immature and irresponsible.
“I regret everything that I’ve done and I promise that this will be a learning experience for me. No words can express how regretful I am of this issue,” Kelra wrote on Facebook in Filipino.
Ramella on Monday posted on Facebook to announce that she is taking a hiatus from the professional scene. According to her, “this kind of action is the reason why there [are] not a lot of female players.”
“I will not be active in tournament for a while as my team and I agree that this has proven it is not safe for female esports players,” Ramella said.
“Sexual harassment is not okay. Doing nothing about it is not okay either.”
Omega Esports said it had launched an investigation into the matter.
“Rest assured we are taking steps to ensure respect and professionalism above all among all our players,” Omega Esports said.
Aside from the suspension and fine, MPL PH said Kelra and all players would be required to attend a gender sensitivity and sexual harassment awareness training seminar.
Kelra rose to prominence after being named the Most Valuable Player in the previous Mobile Legends Southeast Asia Cup, where he and Execration beat Blacklist International for the title.
Execration eventually released Kelra and his teammates, who were absorbed by Omega Esports. – Rappler.com