Sibol explains Game 1 decision in Blacklist-NXPE match

Sibol has released a statement on Saturday, Jan. 29, regarding its decision on the incident that marred the Nexplay Evos and Blacklist International upper bracket game.

Photo from Sibol Facebook page and screenshot from AkosiDogie vlog

The league operations came to the decision of handing the first game of the match to Blacklist after Nexplay Evos failed to enter the game lobby before Game 1. Apparently, NXPE’s main jungler John Paul “H2wo” Salonga was suffering from severe stomachache and had to be rushed to the hospital ahead of the match.

“This is to address the incident that occurred yesterday morning, January 27, 2022, during the Nexplay Evos (NXPE) versus Blacklist International (BLCK) match,” the statement opened.

“At the very start of the match, at 11:00AM GMT+8, Nexplay Evos informed Sibol League Ops that NXPE player H2wo was suffering from a severe stomach condition which necessitated seeking emergency medical attention and was rushed to the nearest hospital,” it added.

“This complex and unprecedented situation caused a significant overload of communication as Sibol League Ops scrambled to coordinate with NXPE regarding H2wo’s status as well as inform the opposing team, Blacklist International of the situation, in addition to communicating to Sibol Management the details of what had happened,” it added.

The discussion between Nexplay and Sibol went back-and-forth as the former tried to appeal to reschedule the match to which the latter denied. Instead, the team was given time to prepare to either wait for H2wo or someone from the reserves list to take his place.

However, due to the long delay, the league operations came up with the decision and moved on to the Game 2 of the match, much to the disappointment of NXPE's Setsuna "Dogie" Ignacio who expressed his frustration over the decision in a vlog.

“Ang sakit kasi isipin niyo tinakbo naming sa ospital si H2 tas after 10-minutes biglang 1-0 na pala kami ng Blacklist parang nakakabigla kasi desisyon daw sa taas so parang di nila kinonsider yung health ng tao,” said Dogie in the vlog.

“Mas priority nila i-live yung game, 'yung schedule ng game, kaysa sa health ng bata. Sakit men,” he added.

As a response, Sibol, while citing the official rulebook, revealed that Nexplay’s failure to complete its members within the allotted grace period should have resulted to an automatic disqualification. But instead, Sibol gave NXPE the chance to continue with the series by handing the first game to Blacklist.

“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,” the statement further read.

“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 (1) game penalty instead of a full-on disqualification,” it added.

Sibol, though, also admitted in its statement that there were some lapses in relaying the decision to Nexplay during the Game 1 lull.

“Unfortunately, due to the delay of communication, the ruling was relayed to the NXPE and BLCK just as they were about to begin their rescheduled match at around 11:40 GMT+8. This understandably caused a lot of confusion and disappointment to all the parties involved and for that we sincerely apologize,” said Sibol.

“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.”