By REYNALD MAGALLON
Onic Philippines coach Denver “Yeb” Miranda shared their side of the story in the controversial delay during the drafting phase of Game 3 in their series against Omega Esports last Friday.
Following reactions from fans of both teams — some of which crossed boundaries and led to arguments among fans and harassment towards Onic players — Coach Yeb, joined by Onic country manager Rafael Sanchez, took to social media through ONIC’s official Facebook page to explain what transpired during the two-hour delay before the teams’ deciding game.
Coach Yeb's statement also came a day after Omega Esports head of player development Tony “Ynot” Senedrin explained what happened on their side during the long pause.
According to Ynot, Onic experienced a bug during the draft pick which cause the technical pause. The team bared that the original plan was to pick Aulus as Kairi “Kairi” Rayosdelsol’s hero but Bane appeared on their screen after a switch.
Yeb confirmed that in his statement and recalled how they experienced the bug that caused the long pause.
“Nag-uusap kami, sabi ko baka i-ban na nila yung Aulus sa second phase, so kunin na natin. Sabi ko i-pick na si Aulus, then sinwitch sya ni Hatred. Pag-switch ni Hatred lumabas si Bane,” the Onic PH mentor recalled.
He also bared that it was not the first time they encountered such bugs during the switching of heroes. According to him, the bugs existed in the tournament mode even in last season but it rarely happened to them during their scrimmages.
“Last season maraming bugs sa switch ng tournament mode. Kaya last season sinabihan kami na pag pipick yung actual hero, not mag-switch but this season na-try rin naman naming sa mga scrims very rare na nangyayari siya,” he furthered.
He also dispelled the notion that the pick could be a player’s error.
“After lumabas si Bane, sinabi kaagad ni Milly (Dolor), who is our manager dun sa marshal na, bug na 'yung Aulus pick namin. Sabi ng marshal, naubos ba yung oras? Kasi kung naubos, random hero yung dapat lalabas eh. Syempre hindi kasi nagka-countdown pa eh,” said Yeb
Yeb then explained that what dragged the whole delay to two hours was the discussion from whether to have Onic pick Aulus in place of Bane or just push through with the current draft picks.
The discussion went back and forth between the two teams as they tried to find compromise to the situation. Among the possible solutions brought up in the discussion was doing a redraft from the Aulus pick, which Yeb disagreed with since all of his picks were already shown. He then insisted that the only compromise here is whether to let them play Aulus in Bane’s place or just push through with the picks they have.
“Ang pagkaalala ko, ang sabi sa akin, hindi alam ng Omega na nag-bug dun pa lang sa Bane. Kaya hindi ata ok yung papalitan ng Aulus. So tinanong sa amin kung ok ba sa inyo na ituloy natin ito? Sabi ko, ‘Nag-bug siya, nasa inyo yung decision. Kung itutuloy ba ito or papalitan namin ng Aulus.’ Kase diba yung committee or marshals sila nagde-decide since may rulebook sila,” he explained.
After a lengthy discussion and with MPL PH Operations officials intervening, the decision was to have a completely new draft for Game 3 which the two teams complied to by just slightly tweaking their picks and bans.
After explaining what happened, Yeb also pleaded with the community to refrain from harassing his players due to what happened in their game against Omega while asking to have a healthier community in the MPL.
“Gusto ko lang sabihin sa MLBB fans or sa ML community na nirerespeto namin lahat ng teams at lahat ng fans. Pero please stop harassing my players and Onic management. Some of them are minors. Gusto ko lang maging healthy ang community,” Yeb said.
Sanchez also added that some of the players were emotionally affected by the comments they got after the incident, with some even messaging the players on this personal social media accounts.
“Marami kaseng pinagdadaan yung mga bata and this added unnecessary pressure not only affects their actual gameplay, but also their mental state which I think is much more important,” said the country manager. “I've found out that some of my players na sa sobrang gigil or sa sobrang inis na mapapaiyak ka sa sobrang gigil.”
Meanwhile, MPL Philippines part rued the lengthy discussion that caused the long pause, saying that the issue should have been resolved immediately by ordering for an immediate redraft or letting the draft continue with the current picks.
MPL PH also asked the fans to stop the hate comments towards either of the team and assured everyone that the league will take active steps regarding the issue.
“Rest assured that we will do our best to improve MPL-PH with all related parties, active steps including handing out internal punishments will be taken too to ensure such kind of issue won't happen again. Thank you for your continuous support for the league, and we seek for your understanding in this matter. We will continue to work with the franchise teams to deliver the best possible esports league for our fans,” MPL PH said in a statement.