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GAB currently probing alleged 'piloting' in ML tourney

GAB OIC Ermar Benitez takes a photo together with fellow GAB official JM Garcia, wakeboarding coach Carlo Dela Torre, and the hosts of Sports on Air Weekly. Screen capture via Zoom
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Games and Amusements Board has quickly taken action on allegations that one Mobile Legends Bang Bang player was piloting another gamer's account during an esports tournament organized by the celebrity duo Moymoy Palaboy.

GAB officer-in-charge Ermar Benitez said on Thursday that an investigation is ongoing regarding the said manner.

"Meron kaming ongoing investigation dyan sa alleged switching ng player mid-game. Definitely, if that is proven, magkakaroon tayo ng disciplinary measures dyan," Benitez said over the Sports on Air Weekly podcast.

In a statement posted by the sibling tandem of Moymoy and Roadfill Macasero last week, ULVL Productions disqualified AP Esports from continuing its campaign in the Juicy Legends Tournament and banned the team in the production outfit's future events after conducting an initial probe on the piloting, although the organizers did not specify that it was indeed for a piloting violation.

AP, however, denied the allegations, calling the ban "biased and unsupported."

The comedic duo then posted a series of supposed pieces of video evidence showing that one player, whose face has been blurred for privacy but goes under the in-game name Saloma, was still doing something on his phone while the game is on a technical pause or even done.

He was even seen scratching his head while his Paquito was pushing, which usually requires both hands to do so.

Being an online tournament, the organizers required the participants to enter a video teleconferencing app while they are playing.

These videos led to speculation that someone else was using Saloma's account to play, thus, the ban.

Despite the surfacing of the supposed video evidence, Benitez said that due process must still be done in probing the cheating allegations.

"Gumalaw na yung kaso, pero syempre bigyan pa rin natin ng proper investigation. May due process naman dyan so that we will really know what happened and prevent it from happening again," Benitez said.

He added that GAB might summon the player involved and even the organizers "if the evidence calls for it."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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