MANILA - "Mobile Legends: Bang Bang" professional league player Grant "Kelra" Duane Pillas was slapped with a 2-week suspension and fines following homophobic and sexist comments towards three players, which sparked uproar against the Smart Omega player over the weekend.
Kelra violated rules on sexual harassment and discrimination & denigration, MPL-Philippines said in a statement, as the Smart Omega Esports player had come under fire after offensive comments targeted at Blacklist International duo Danerie James “Wise” Del Rosario and Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna in video snippets that surfaced in social media.
In a video clip, which has since been deleted from social media, Kelra was heard to have said Wise and OhMyV33nus should "B****** each other."
In another part of the video, Kelra was heard saying lewd remarks about Thai female player Chareeny “Ramella” Ramella of IDoNotSleep, saying: "I want Ramella k*******"
Kelra, who was hailed as the most valuable player in the ML:BB Southeast Asia Cup when he was still with Execration, has since apologized to the public, particularly to the LGBTQ+ community on Facebook, saying he has reached out to Wise and OhMyV33nus.
"Taos puso po akong humihingi ng tawad at pasensya sa lahat ng taong naapektuhan at nasaktan sa aking mga nasabi," he said in a statement.
"Sa buong MLBB Community, sa Blacklist Agents at lalong lalo na sa VeeWise Fam, gusto ko po humingi ng tawad sa lahat ng aking na offend at nasaktan. Sorry po sa disrespectful at sobrang innaproriate ng joke. Makakaasa kayong hindi na po ito mauulit muli," he added, referring to Blacklist's and the V33wise duo's fanbases.
Prior to MPL's decision, #MPLDoBetter trended in the Philippines from Monday afternoon, as fans of the league's franchise urged the league to take action against Kelra.
IDNS in a statement also condemned Kelra's behavior.
"Sexual harassment is not ok. And should NEVER be okay. Doing nothing about it is also NOT okay," IDNS added.
Ramella echoed IDNS' post on her Facebook post and sounded the alarm over the harassment towards female esports players.
She added that she will "not be active in tournament for a while" after the team reached a consensus that it is "not safe for female esports players."
Just earlier this year, OhMyV33nus, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, spoken up against homophobic comments directed at him towards the end of the MPL Season 7.
MPL also added that it will require all of its players to attend a gender sensitivity and sexual harassment awareness training seminar, condemning the incident.
"MPL-PH Operating Committee does not tolerate any form of discrimination in the league and we expect our professional players to follow a strict code of conduct. The MPL-Philippines is working with all the teams to produce a safe environment for everyone," it said.