Players of two PUBG Mobile teams were caught teaming-up in the PMPL SEA Championship Play-Ins and have been handed a one year ban.

The play-ins of the PUBG Mobile Pro League (PMPL) Southeast Asia (SEA) Championship Fall 2022 happened on Sept. 3 and 4. Sixteen teams from across SEA competed for the three spots in the main event.

With stakes this high, teams are known to give it all for their national pride. Two teams from Vietnam, however, crossed the line when they teamed up to give one of them an advantage. The players have been subsequently suspended for a year.

4ANIX and Eighteen Plus Esports were suspended for blatant teaming up at the PMPL SEA Championship Play-Ins

The incident in question occurred during Match 4 of Day 2 on Erangel. 4NIX, also known as Phoenix Esports, and Eighteen Plus Esports landed near Severny.

While it looked like an intense showdown could happen between the two Vietnamese teams, the exact opposite took place. 4NIX seemed to have surrendered to Eighteen Plus allowing them to pick up four easy kills.

Firstly, Eighteen Plus’ Pat999 took down 4NIX DuckA with a weapon. The three remaining 4NIX players, on the other hand, simply stood on the open field. Eighteen Plus' FaKe1st ran them over with a car.

The incident showing ETP's FaKe1st running over 4ANIX's players. Screenshot via Tencent
The incident showing ETP's FaKe1st running over 4ANIX's players. Screenshot via Tencent

In the PMPL SEA Championship Play-Ins livestream, even the two English caters, Andriyana "ChuChu" Ghazali and Andrew "Sir_Cloud" Cheong, were left scratching their heads over what took place.

“I am not sure what their plan is right now,” ChuChu said as 4NIX’s players simply stood in the open field before they got run over.

It seems that 4NIX, who were in 14th place at that stage of the tournament were aiding the 7th place Eighteen Plus to finish in the top three and qualify for the SEA Championship.

After the tournament got over, the PUBG Mobile Esports Vietnam Facebook handle released a statement that the players of both teams have been banned for a year. Based on the statement, it seems that only the players will be affected by the ban. The organization is still eligible to compete, albeit with a different roster.

“We hope that there will be no more similar violations or other forms of cheating in PUBG Mobile Esports,” the Indonesian esports Instagram account said in a separate statement.

Was there any confusion about the rules?

The teaming-up incident between the two Vietnamese teams in the PMPL SEA Championship was blatant. It raises the question of whether the players weren’t even aware of the rules. Teaming up is a serious offense in any battle royale game.

While 4ANIX hasn’t publicly commented on the suspension of its players, Eighteen Plus Esports did release a statement. It said that it was working on “solving” the “issues of sanctions” and that Tencent had made a decision without any “evidence.”

It’s unclear what the organization means by this, however, as it was clear in the stream that Eighteen Plus were giving away free kills to their Vietnamese counterparts.

Top 3 teams from the Play-Ins advance to the PMPL SEA Championship

The play-ins stage ended with Vampire Esports, who recently won the PMWI as well, coming in first place. The team, along with TEM Entertainment and Don't Break Dreams, have qualified for the PMPL SEA Championship.

Tencent hasn't announced the details about the SEA Championship yet, however. The event will see 16 teams from the region competing for a share of the prize pool and slots to the PMGC 2022.

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