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MDL-PH conducts probe amid match-fixing allegations

Photo from Moonton

by Drew Malihan

MANILA - MLBB Development League - Philippines (MDL-PH), the country's second-tier competition for MLBB teams, conducts a league-wide investigation into alleged match-fixing cases Thursday.

The competition, which is in its third season, announced on their social media channels that they were aware of the situation and currently investigating the matter.

"We are aware of the community discussions about the alleged game-fixing in MDL Philippines Season 3 and the league is already investigating this matter" the league said in a press statement

They added, "MDL Philippines seeks to uphold professionalism and does not condone any match-fixing and any activities that will compromise the integrity of our tournament."

Social media buzz

The issue came to light as MPL Philippines' AP.Bren's head coach Francis "Ducky" Glindro, issued a warning on social media.

The two-time M-Series winning coach wrote "If you fixed your matches in MDL PH S3, best believe I will find out and you are all going home. You know who you are and I'm coming for you."

Screenshots of the said match-fixing incidents spread across several posts and comment sections regarding the fiasco.

Hours later, Ducky mentioned a certain Jigen Paul "Jigs" Masangkay, who used to be one of the MLBB's coaches for UST's esports team UST Teletigers' Esports Club.

Ducky vowed to look for people working with Jigs, stating "You’re a disgrace of a Head Coach.”

Responses from teams

Swiftly, Teletigers have announced that they have terminated Jigs, inactive with the club since November last year, and announced that the coach is permanently banned from their activities and events.

The Teletigers have cleared that the organization, management, and players were completely unaware of his activities outside the organization.

Several MDL teams have also announced their cooperation with the team, with two either suspending or terminating players.

ONIC Arsenals have announced that they will cooperate with the league's investigation.

"In ONIC Philippines, we do not condone such action. We are purely an esports organization with no ties nor relationship individually or as a team to any betting sites nor participate in any," ONIC Arsenals stated in their press release.

"It is our mandate to ensure that the people within the organization understand what ONIC stands for and it is to adhere to the highest standards of integrity," they added.

TNCZ4, the MDL team of TNC Pro Team, has announced that they will suspend jungler Jhonjie Paul "Jiee" dela Rosa from all team activities.

"This action follows a thorough review of our team's values and code of conduct, where it became evident that certain behaviors were not aligned with the standards we uphold," TNCZ4 said in their statement.

The team added that Jiee will be on forced rest, as the team and league conduct their investigations.

El Ganador Esports, who are playing under the RSG banner as RSG El Ganador, decided to terminate two players amid the scandal.

Christian John "Nyija" Calantoc and Raven "Aeris" Arellano were both kicked out of the team as a result of their investigation.

"We believe this action is necessary to uphold the values of honesty and fair play that we stand for," El Ganador said in their statement. RSG has also released their statement regarding the two's involvement in match-fixing allegations.

Two of the three teams under investigation will be in the playoffs from May 10 to 12, with ONIC Arsenals as fourth and TNCZ4 as sixth seeds, respectively. 

TNC will be down to a five-man roster following Jiee's suspension.

RSG El Ganador meanwhile will miss the playoffs after getting a 3-6 record, good for eighth in the 10-team league.

This is a developing story.

Follow him on X: @drew_corner

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