Mobile Legends

Nexplay dodges outright disqualification as Sibol shows leniency

Delfin Dioquino
Nexplay dodges outright disqualification as Sibol shows leniency

PHILIPPINES REPRESENT. Nexplay EVOS vies for a chance to represent the country in the SEA Games.

Nexplay EVOS Facebook page

Sibol penalizes Nexplay EVOS for just one game instead of disqualifying the squad outright even after it caused significant delay during the Mobile Legends National Team Selection

MANILA, Philippines – Nexplay EVOS escaped with a lighter punishment even after the team caused significant delay during the Mobile Legends National Team Selection as Sibol organizers said on Saturday, January 29, that it opted to “show leniency.”

Scheduled to face Blacklist International in the upper bracket at 11 am on Friday, Nexplay missed the start time as John Paul “H2wo” Salonga needed to be hospitalized due to a “severe stomach condition.”

The incident pushed back the series schedule and Sibol organizers decided to give Game 1 to Blacklist by default, much to the disappointment of Nexplay coach Setsuna “Dogie” Ignacio.

Blacklist went on to sweep Nexplay to advance to the upper bracket finals, 3-0, even after H2wo returned for Game 3.

Frustrated, Dogie claimed Sibol organizers did not consider the health and welfare of H2wo.

“[Sibol] prioritized to livestream the game and to follow the schedule of the game instead of his health,” Dogie said in Filipino on his YouTube Vlog.

But Sibol said it could have disqualified Nexplay outright for the delay.

“Normally, under the official rulebook of Sibol MLBB policies on punctuality, any team’s failure to attend or complete its members within 15 minutes of the scheduled match time may result in a complete disqualification at the discretion of Sibol officials,” Sibol wrote in a statement released on Saturday.

“However, understanding that the reason for the delay concerns the health of an individual, Sibol management chose to show leniency by softening the sanction prescribed by the official rulebook to a simple one-game penalty instead of a full-on disqualification.”

Sibol, though, acknowledged it could have handled the situation better as Nexplay and Blacklist were informed of the decision just as they were about to begin their rescheduled match at around 11:40 am.

“This understandably caused a lot of confusion and disappointment to all the parties involved and for that we sincerely apologize,” Sibol said.

“Moving forward we resolve to have clearer policies and contingencies in place for situations like this to avoid confusion among the parties involved, upholding Sibol’s values of fairness and sportsmanship, and most importantly, putting the health of any individual we interact with at the highest priority.”

Nexplay remained in the running for a chance to represent the country in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games after toppling Omega Esports, 2-1, in the lower bracket on Saturday. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.