MANILA (UPDATE) -- Top names in the local Mobile Legends: Bang Bang community hit back at homophobic comments directed against Blacklist International captain Johnmar "OhMyV33nus" Villaluna following their loss against Bren Esports last Thursday.
Homophobic comments against OhMyV33nus, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, hounded the Facebook livestream of the MPL7 match between the two teams on Thursday evening, when Bren mounted up a come-from-behind victory to break Blacklist International’s 7-game win streak.
They also hounded Bren Esports’ celebratory post, in which the winning team has addressed with a warning that homophobic comments will be "automatically blocked.”
“We don’t need you here,” they said.
Bren’s head coach Francis “Duckeyyy” Glindro defended OhMyV33nus in his Facebook page.
“If you feel the need to discriminate anyone just because you can, you’re probably stupid. All hail QueenVee,” Glindro said, referring to Villaluna’s moniker.
Villaluna has the second most assists this season across all MPL7 players, next to teammate Mark Jayson "ESON" Gerardo.
Immediately after the cast, ML:BB shoutcaster and MPL7 analyst Midnight urged the local community to be “responsible and sensitive in what we say.”
"I get it, it’s a competition but these comments are just geared towards hatred and insensitivity. We, as a community, are as one during these times and during the amazing tournament season," he said.
The team, through the Tier One Entertainment Facebook Page, also addressed the comments, saying the esports community should be a safe space for everybody regardless of gender.
"Ohmyv33nus is here to show everyone that esports knows no gender. No matter which MPL team or esports org you support, if you are someone who feels invalidated and discriminated in the world of gaming and esports because you are part of the LGBTQ+, we welcome you to our community. Let this be your safe space,” they said in a Facebook page.
OhMyV33nus addressed the incident through a Facebook post Friday afternoon and thanked everyone for their support, saying he felt the need to speak up because it may also affect other people in the LGBTQ+ community.
He added that he will use his platform to inspire aspiring ML:BB players in the LGBTQ+ community.
"As a member of LGBTQ+ community, and a pro player of MPL-PH, I do stand to fight hindi lang para manalo, kung 'di maging inspiration to each member of my community. To open up the minds hindi lang ng bawat mga taong nanunuod kung 'di pati na rin ang mga kagaya ko na nangangarap pumasok sa ganitong industry,” OhMyV33nus said in a Facebook post, which now has more than 20,000 reactions within 2 hours of posting.
He added: "I will use any platforms that I can to spread awareness about how homophobic slurs affect a member of LGBTQ+ and how to turn that negativity into inspiration to keep moving forward. Let this be a healing galing movement not only limited to the LGBTQ+ community, but also to everyone."
In a later press conference after their win against Execration, he called on their fans to respond with kindness, and thanked them anew for their support.
"Ang pinakamasasabi ko siguro and sa mga nagtatanggol sakin: 'kill them with kindness'. 'Pag may nabasa ka iwasan niyo na lang siguro kasi kung aawayin lalong lalala pag pinatulan niyo pa," he said, adding that he did not find out about the comments until much later in the evening.