The Mobile Legends Southeast Asia Cup 2018, organized by RevitalTV, turns out to be more than just your average esports tournament. Despite being a three-day event, the tournament has had more issues that will probably take fans more than three days to digest. The Malaysian team AirAsia Saiyan has decided to pull out from the tournament ultimately as a resolution. However, the whole ordeal is far from over and we’ll catch you up real quick if you’re wondering what has been going on.
The initial fire
MSC 2018 began on July 27 on Friday. Kicking the event off, the Malaysian team ASYN went up against Indonesia’s Aerowolf for a best of one game. During the first minute of the match, one of the Saiyans encountered technical difficulty with his device. Immediately they call for a pause. The marshall then ignored their request and only pause the game at the five-minute mark. At this point, it was a little too late. Due to the technical problem, they lost gold lean and eventually, Aerowolf snowballed them to victory.
The marshall involved was then fired. AirAsia Saiyan wanted a rematch but Aerowolf refused the request. This was all based on the rulebook they agreed on. The Saiyans then decide to just move on and focus on the next game.
On the following day, July 28, ASYN took down their opponent with a massive lead of 17 kills to three. This propelled the team to the same score as Aerowolf, drawing at two wins and two loss. According to the rulebook they signed on, KDA (kill, death, assist) comes before the Head-to-head (current standings) count. Since they had a massive KDA difference during their match against the Philippine team, Digital Devil, ASYN has rightfully acquired their spots in the Semis.
Playing by two different books
Organizer, RevitalTV announced the teams moving forward to Semis and ASYN was one of them. Despite already making it official, they later went back on their work. They requested that ASYN play a tiebreaker match against Aerowolf for their spot in the Semi. This, of course, sparked an outrage amongst Malaysia. Why do they need to play a tiebreaker when they’ve already got the spot?
As it turns out, Aerowolf and AirAsia Saiyans signed two completely different contracts and were bound by completely different rulebooks. The Malaysian was put on the spot there and then. They have to either play the tiebreaker or be disqualified completely.
Due to the organizer’s lack of transparency tempering with the integrity of the league, the Malaysian team unanimously agreed to pull out from the competition in protest. In the official statement on their Facebook page, the team voiced their disappointment towards the organizer but were all the same apologetic to their fans and home country since they couldn’t represent it any longer in this tournament.
AirAsia Saiyan taking a stance
Since releasing their official statement on Facebook, the AirAsia Saiyan have garnered lots of support. The support wasn’t limited either – it came from both local and international fans. Many fans of the Philippine teams came to show their support, promising to take down Aerowolf in the finals. Even their sponsor, SEA Gamer Mall stood behind their decision.
Right now, it seems like even the government is stepping in. Esports Malaysia, the governing body of electronic sports in Malaysia registered under Malaysia Sports Commissioner and Ministry of Youth & Sports Malaysia, issued their own official statement as well. Issued by Secretary-General Rinie Ramli, the statement demands that RevivalTV provide an official statement. If the organizer fails to provide proof they will be found guilty of breaching the tournament’s integrity and must compensate the Malaysian team.
On Saturday afternoon, the issue escalated really quickly when it was brought to the attention of Malaysia’s Youth Minister, Syed Saddiq, on Twitter. As an advocate for local esports, he agreed to meet with the team’s manager.
Saya akan dapatkan laporan penuh berkenaan kes ini dan bincangkan tindakan susulan.
I know you are an asset to Esports,
Please do join us for the discussion tomorrow.@Amshar_Aziz please contact her. https://t.co/NuB9gBP1zI
— Syed Saddiq (@SyedSaddiq) July 29, 2018
The minister has since met with ASYN’s manager and is waiting for a full report (in translation to his tweet) to proceed with further action. As the only team representing Malaysia, local esports fan stands with the team and is asking for the minister to take action.
Currently, RevivalTV has yet to put out any statement. We will keep you updated as soon as we receive any new information regarding the situation.