RUMORS swirling around Duane "Kelra" Pillas' departure from Omega Esports have reached a new level with Billy "Z4pnu" Alfonso announcing in his vlog that the Indonesian powerhouse team RRQ is interested in acquiring the gold laner's talents.
It was also revealed that Kelra was eyeing a move overseas.
"Nakausap ko si Kelra, kinontact kami ng RRQ Indonesia. Bale interesado sila kay Kelra," bared Alfonso. "Ang matindi noon, kinausap namin si Kelra at sabi ni Kelra na gusto niya lumipat doon, gusto niyang lumipat doon sa Indonesia."
After mentioning Kelra's desire to play abroad, he also revealed his private conversation with Kelra.
"Kuya Billy, kausapin ko lang papa at mama ko mamaya, di ako sure doon sa request at hindi pa ako sure sa RRQ," Pillas allegedly told him.
Z4pnu also narrated an incident where he and a fellow teammate, Robert Remar "Hito" Candoy, reprimanded Kelra over video call about the latter's failure to inform the team personally.
"Nag-video call kami 17 minutes, sabi ko 'Ano boy totoo ba yun na gusto mong lumipat doon papuntang RRQ Indo, ba't di mo sinasabi sa akin, sa management? Kailangan ibang tao pa yung nagsasabi."
"Sa akin walang problema, suporta ako kahit saan kang pumuntang team. Sabihin mo lang sa akin kung gusto mo nang lumipat para wala tayong problema. At least hindi kami nabibigla o nagugulat."
What could be behind Kelra's desire to move to RRQ? Alfonso said: "Sinabi naman daw niya na gusto niyang i-try kase feeling niya daw madami siyang matutunan doon kung nasa Indonesia siya. Tapos pagbalik niya dito, malakas na siya."
Later in the vlog, he also revealed that only a few members were aware of the news: himself, Hito, team captain Patrick James "E2MAX" Caidic, and Omega head coach, Jomie "Pakbet" Abalos.
The problems that Kelra will have to face
If Kelra decides to move to RRQ, he will have to encounter the usual problem that overseas esports players have to contend with: the language barrier.
"Pag nasa ibang bansa ka, ang pagiging main problem mo is yung language mo or communication. Ok sana kung magaling ka mag-English," said the MPL veteran.
Hito responded by joking about Kelra's English fluency. But Z4pnu is confident that this issue will be solved if Kelra was given the right tutelage in his new organization.
Alfonso also mused about possible contract disputes that might await Kelra, should his overseas move become official.
“Pag hindi siya nag-perform doon, baka matengga siya doon. Halimbawa may kontrata na isang taon sa Indonesia tapos hindi siya masyadong nagper-peform tapos natengga siya dun, hindi siya makakauwi sa Pilipinas, kailangan niyang tapusin yung contract niya. Pero depende pa rin sa usapan.”
Given these factors, Alfonso admitted that Kelra's decision would be a big gamble. He even briefly mentioned that Omega has been in-talks with RRQ with regards to Kelra's benefits.
Z4pnu expresses his concerns as well as his support
If ever Kelra decides to stay in the Philippines, Alfonso said that Pillas is choosing between two teams: his current squad Omega Esports, or Onic PH, with the latter consisting of members with whom he once played in the amateurs.
"Sinabi naman niya na Onic or Smart Omega. Siguro sa Onic dahil nandoon yung ka-team niya dati sina Markyyyyy at Mico. Pati noong offseason gusto niyang maging ka-team sina Markyyyyy," said Z4pnu.
But his frustrations with Kelra's potential career shift were undeniable.
"Hindi ko alam kung bakit niya gustong lumipat ng team. Tinanong ko naman yung mga teammates niya, wala naman daw problema. Parang ang reason niya, sobrang baba yung reason," he reflected.
"Oo nga eh, dito sa Smart ang sarap-sarap ng buhay niya sa dito eh," replied his teammate, Hito.
But amid his doubts, Alfonso was willing to support his protege in whatever decision he makes. "Basta yun na lang gawin natin suportahan na lang natin si Kelra pre. Kung tatanggapin niya, go! At least, may Pinoy tayo na nandun. First time in history na magkakaroon ng Pinoy sa Indonesia. Pero hindi ko alam kung papaano magwo-work ito."