After weeks of drama in the North American Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB) scene, Michael "MobaZane" Cosgun has raised the white flag, apologized for his online outbursts, and wished his former teammates good luck in the MLBB Southeast Asian Cup (MSC) next month.
MobaZane posted on his YouTube community page a public apology for his "irrational actions."
"I understand that the rules are set in place to uphold fairness and I fully accept their final ruling on the matter," the star of the American team BloodThirstyKings (BTK) wrote.
With this apology, MobaZane accepted that BTK—champions of the North America Challenger Tournament (NACT) after a stunning upset of Outplay—would not be participating in the prestigious MSC in Cambodia.
"I was heartbroken and not in the best mental place after the rulings were [made] final on MSC," he admitted.
How we got here: MobaZane, BTK, and the fallout of The Valley
MobaZane is certainly a character.
Filipinos became familiar with the jungler during the M3 World Championship when BTK beat Pinoy squad Blacklist International in the upper bracket quarterfinals, only to square off in the lower bracket finals.
The Agents eventually won the title and BTK settled for third.
He then proceeded to call Blacklist's healing meta—as their gameplay centered on Estes—"very boring" and called the squad out for an exhibition match.
MobaZane eventually formed a new squad, The Valley, for M4 with Korean midlaner Jang "Hoon" Seong-hun, American-Vietnamese roamer Oscar "SHARK" Vo, Filipino gold laner Peter "Basic" Lozano, and EXP laner Ian "FwydChickn" Hohl. But they were unable to climb out of the lower bracket quarterfinals and lost to ONIC Esports.
Basic, Hoon, and SHARK eventually left The Valley and joined a new squad, TheOhioBrothers, along with Pinoy former Nexplay EVOS player Rainiel "URESHIII" Logronio for the North America Challenger Tournament (NACT) Spring Season 2023.
Not to be outdone, MobaZane signed on new, young members to become part of BTK for the NACT Qualifiers—Tea, Yato, Yoonaqt, and Theo.
And it was on.
Upset at NACT
MobaZane's new squad willed itself past the qualifiers and into the regular season of the NACT. Filipino gold laner ISO and roamer JOYBOJ were also signed for the regular season. BTK finished second with an 11-3 record, next to TheOhioBrothers' 14-0.
In the upper bracket finals, Hoon and the rest of TheOhioBrothers—now called OutPlay—beat their former teammate MobaZane, 3-0, and sent him to the lower bracket finals. BTK bounced back and defeated Ackerman to set up a revenge match against Outplay in the best-of-seven grand finals in Las Vegas.
And this is where BTK took revenge.
With the newly-formed squad of rookies JOYBOJ, ISO, Yato, and Tea, MobaZane forced his former teammates to a winner-take-all Game 7 and snatched the victory to become the North American representative to the MSC.
"Hard work will never betray you," MobaZane posted on his YouTube community page.
The power of Asian moms
Now, this is where things really became a problem for BTK. Yato's mom wouldn't allow him to go.
Fwydchicken explained on a livestream.
"He said Vegas was a school trip, because he had no intention of even going to Asia."
"The stigma against gaming with Asian parents, it's just so insane," he added. "Yato's mom's issue is he literally is playing video games and he hid it from his parents the whole time."
Fwydchicken would know, he has a Chinese mom. Meanwile, MobaZane had an Italian mom.
"Zane doesn't know what it's like to grow up with Asian parents," added Fwydchicken.
"He physically has everything he needs but his parents are saying no," MobaZane explained on his livestream. "And if Yato can't go, we're not in MSC."
"OutPlay could not have beaten me. I ain't beating a Vietnamese mom. I can't beat that. I've potentially lost to a Vietnamese mom," MobaZane elaborated.
EXP laner Tea is also only 15 years old and does not have a passport. So he and Yato would be unable to travel to Cambodia.
On May 17, Fwydchicken explained that they spoke to Moonton. He and another former teammate Victor would return to BTK for the MSC.
BTK out, OutPlay in
On May 22, though, the Mobile Legends Esports page announced BTK would no longer be participating in the MSC because the squad was "unable to meet basic requirements."
The rules state that an MSC roster need to be the same as the team that made it through the NACT, unless there is a force majeure before the roster lock date.
"Unfortunately, one of BTK's players did not have a valid passport, and another player's legal guardian did not consent to their participation," the statement read. "Despite our efforts to find a resolution for BTK from May 15th to May 22nd, which is the deadline to arrange the players' visa application, flight tickets, and other travel documents, the team could not meet these requirements, and their manager has confirmed this."
This meant the runner-up, OutPlay, would be playing in the MSC instead.
MobaZane didn't take it well.
MobaZane vs everyone
Leaked conversations from Discord showed MobaZane flaming his teammates: "I’m not getting top four with these apes."
He also attacked the members of OutPlay and cussed them out, as posted on Reddit.
Mobazane on voice chat in Outplay server
by u/heroes_neverfade in MobileLegendsGame
He also claimed Moonton gave little effort to help him with the roster change contrary to the announcement. "If Moonton can't even help me out with that, imagine how they care about you guys," the BTK star claimed in a YouTube video.
Unfiltered Raw Mobazane. Credits: Captain YT
by u/Brilliant_Ad2579 in MobileLegendsGame
MobaZane also called David "Assassin Dave" Mao, a caster and an MLBB partner in North America, "the biggest snake ever" and alleged he was influenced by OutPlay.
It got to the point where MobaZane was threatening to leave for Indonesia or just quit MLBB altogether.
Assassin Dave lays it all out
In a 32-page slide, Assassin Dave explained that MobaZane was made aware of the MSC requirements as early as April 30. He even tagged MobaZane multiple times in a Discord post.
The requirements were posted on April 30, which Dave stated would show BTK had ample time with Moonton to help settle the roster issue.
Dave explained that MobaZane's rants and claims have resulted in harassment and threats, forcing him to pause his work. He has also received death threats.
The caster maintained that he helped North American teams because they had no coaches, pitched in during the celebratory dinner, and aided BTK with the MSC requirements.
He also showed screenshots of encouraging BTK.
In the now-hidden livestream, Dave said he would look into filing defamation lawsuits against MobaZane.
And that's how MobaZane was pushed on Wednesday to post a public apology, including one to Dave.
"I'm well aware that he has been a believer in me and my team for the whole NACT, but I was wrongly led to believe that he was favoring one team to go to MSC over BTK and I have since realized that it's completely untrue. I was acting on speculations and I want to apologize for doing so," he wrote.
He also extended good luck to his former teammates at OutPlay in MSC.
"Being unable to represent North America in an international tournament had me sobbing out of pure desperation and feeling a way I haven't felt in many years," MobaZane added. "I know that doesn't justify any of my irrational actions and I hope the community can give me another opportunity to prove myself."
Is this the last we're going to see of MobaZane? That depends on how Moonton would act on it.