The Mobile Legends Professional League Philippines penalized Nexplay EVOS and Omega Esports for their lackluster play in a bizarre match that wrapped up the elimination round of Season 8.
Nexplay and Omega have been fined $3,000 (around P150,000) each and given serious warning for violating league rules involving competitive integrity and professional manner.
Also, several players who saw action in the best-of-three duel – which Nexplay won 2-1 – have been ruled by MPL Philippines ineligible for individual awards selection.
Fans voiced out their dismay on the strange series as they felt Nexplay and Omega did not perform to the standard of professional teams.
With both squads already qualified for the playoffs, Nexplay and Omega traded blowout wins in the first two games and carried out strategies that veered away from the meta (most effective tactics available).
Omega drew first blood with a 39-4 kill score in Game 1 as Nexplay opted for an unusual five-man Flameshot scheme.
Nexplay then equalized the series with a 61-26 kill difference in Game 2, which saw Omega feed throughout after choosing squishy support heroes like Diggie and Angela.
Omega also allowed minions to destroy its base turret in the second game.
It was only in the deciding Game 3 where action got more serious as rookie Sanford “Sanford” Vinuya led Nexplay to a 12-minute victory in his MPL Philippines debut.
“During the Game 1 and 2 of NXPE VS OMG in Week 7 Day 3, issues surrounding the competitive integrity of both teams occurred,” MPL Philippines said in statement.
“This led to a bad influence between the community, hurting the league and all eight teams included.”
Among those who are no longer eligible for awards include Nexplay EVOS’ John Paul “H2wo” Salonga, Tristan “Yawi” Cabrera, Renejay “Renejay” Bacarse, Jeniel “YellyHaze” Bata-anon, and Setsuna “Dogie” Ignacio.
Omega Esports’ Billy “Z4pnu” Alfonso, Robert Remar “Hito” Candoy, Dean Christian “Raizen” Sumagui, Dian “Dian” Cruz, and Romiere “Allidap” Padilla have been disqualified for awards as well.
Aside from the team penalty, Dogie has been slapped a $500 fine (around P25,000) and a two-match suspension for a prohibited pose in Game 3.
“We want to reinforce that competitive integrity is one of our core values as a league,” the league said.
“Any team or player is subject to the rulebook and guidelines as stipulated within and they must take full ownership and accountability of what they’ve done.” – Rappler.com