As someone who learned it the hard way, Dota player-turned Mobile Legends standout Mark Anthony “Jacko” Soriano warned his fellow professional gamers about match fixing.
“Guys, real talk. Para sa mga kapwa pro players ng ML, please ‘wag niyo gawin ito (For my fellow ML pro players, please don’t resort to match fixing),” Jacko said through a Facebook post on his page on Thursday, February 18, with the hashtags #NOto322ML and #StopMatchFixing.
“Ito lang naman payo ko. Galing na ako diyan and seven years ko hindi ma-enjoy at malaro ‘yung Dota 2 (This is my advice. I’ve already been there and I was not able to enjoy playing Dota 2),” he added.
At 15 years old, Jacko was dragged in the infamous “PH 322 scandal of 2014” wherein his Mineski-Dota team intentionally threw a match against Immunity for money.
Two years later, game developer Valve handed down an indefinite ban on players with 322 history and that included Jacko who was in the midst of playing for Mineski-X in the Shanghai Winter Major SEA qualifiers.
Unable to join Valve-sanctioned tournaments especially Majors and The International, the Amihan Esports stalwart decided to transition to the growing Mobile Legends esports scene to redeem himself.
“Lumipat ako sa Mobile Legends para pagandahin ang career ko at mag-bagong simula. Natuto na ‘ko (I transferred to Mobile Legends to improve my esports career and have a fresh start. I’ve already learned my lesson),” he said.
Jacko could only wonder what could’ve been had he not gotten involved in the PH 322 controversy. That’s why he wants his fellow ML pros not to suffer from the same what-ifs.
“Panay ‘edi sana nasa ibang bansa na ako naglalaro or ‘edi sana nakapag-The International na ako.’ ‘Wag niyo sana ipagpalit ‘yung dignidad at integridad niyo sa halaga ng pera (I always said to myself, ‘I could’ve played overseas’ or ‘I could’ve played in The International.’ Don’t exchange your dignity and integrity for money).”
Jacko reiterated that he has already moved on and changed for the better after that incident. And now he seeks to serve as a guide to his fellow pros in Moonton’s mobile MOBA game.
“Ngayon wala na ‘yung sakit na ‘yun kasi tinanggap din ako ng mga ibang mga taga-ML community (That pain has gone because some people in the ML community accepted me),” he said.
“Ito na lang siguro ang pinaka-maibabalik ko na tulong sa kapwa ko sa ML community ko, ang gabayan ang mga players na ‘wag gawin ito, lalo na ‘yung kapwa young bloods natin (This is the only thing that I can do for the community, to guide my fellow pro players not to do it, especially the young bloods).”
LuponWXC CEO Nico “Kuya Nic” Nazario, a known personality in the Philippine esports community, threw his support to Jacko’s call to stop match-fixing.
“Wise words, pare! Suporta dito (I support you)! To the younger peeps, listen,” Kuya Nic said through his Facebook comment.