AFTER Bren Esports was able to break Blacklist International’s 7-0 MPL-PH winstreak, a series of nasty comments directed at Blacklist's Johnmar “OhMyV33nus” Villaluna began flooding social media.
In a public Facebook post published this morning, OhMyV33nus talked about how hard it was to be part of both the esports community and the LGBTQ+ community.
“Sa totoo lang, ngayon palang ako magsasalita regarding sa ganitong issue hindi dahil sa sobrang apektado ako, kundi dahil alam kong hindi lang ako ang maaaring maapektuhan,” OhMyV33nus said.
The Blacklist International captain continued: “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.
Villaluna's former team ONIC PH also released a statement of support, saying, "We may be on different teams but we’re always on your side Ohmyv33nus." On its post, it added the hashtags #loveislove, #lovewins and #ProtectAllQueens.
In an interview with SPIN Life, Louie Cacho, ONIC's head of strategy and business development, said, "Just because V33 isn't a part of ONIC doesn't mean that we don't support him, especially after seeing the hurtful comments that were made during the match against Bren."
He continued: "We felt it was the right thing to do. It had nothing to do with V33nus playing for what team. We've seen these comments before, during our streams, in our posts, and we felt it was time to take a stand and unite as a community against this kind of thing."
While he has seen the prevalence of homophobic comments in the industry, he hopes that, through ONIC's gesture of support, "People [will] understand that their words have power, their words have repercussions."
Cacho does not doubt that other teams will follow suit.
"Knowing the management of other teams, they're very proactive, and they're all on the same boat," he said. "Just because our fans are fans, we can't accept certain types of behavior. We really need to educate and spread the awareness."
Cacho added, "I have no doubt that the other management teams of other orgs, I think everyone will really start taking a stand."
Since the issue exploded last night, several esports personalities also issued their own statements of support.
Alodia Gosiengfiao, co-founder of Tier One Entertainment (which also runs the team) wrote, “Stan a Queen!” as she reposted OhMyV33nus’ heartfelt statement.
Shoutcaster and analyst Renmar “Reptar” Sta. Cruz wrote: “You can support a team without having to hurl discriminating remarks targeted at a person's race, physical appearance, gender, socioeconomic status, or anything.”
Blacklist International will face Laus Playbook Esports tomorrow at 3 p.m.