- Team Organizations Withholding prize money has been an ominous issue in esports for many years. This time, however, Allen Cook has ended the silence, in the hopes of bringing the issue to light.
Dota Team Organizations Called Out For Withholding Prize Money
Allen Cook posted a TwitLonger earlier today calling out multiple Dota Team Organizers on withholding prize money. This is not the first instance where such accusations were made, but this time around a much larger scope of players are affected. Although his post was directed at a few specific organizers, he expressed that there were underlying issues among the entire Tier 2 scene. What followed was a big discussion among community members regarding the way Valve handles 3rd party organizers as well as the Tier 2/Amateur and Semi-Pro Dota Scene.
Summary of The Post
His twit longer mentions the difficulty for smaller organizers to make a profit running an esports team. Before we get into specifics, Allen mentions that there’s little to no “regulation” when it comes to starting a new organization. Multiple organizations pop up here and there and seem to disappear faster than they show up. Picture yourself as a lesser known team of 5 players, and after qualifying to an event, you were looking for some sponsors. In the hyper competitive esports landscape, finding one can be a very difficult task, and beggars can’t be choosers. Teams will often have no choice but to sign with shady organizations, or risk not attending the event they qualified for.
This to some extent, has been happening throughout the years in Dota, and esports in general. The main reason behind this is how hard it is to break even as an organizer. By its nature, Dota is very top heavy in terms of prize pools, so unless you won or placed highly, you tend to not make much profit. Lower placing teams make akin to a couple of thousand dollars, which are supposed to support both the players and the organization. This money however, is spread way too thin, and unfortunately the players tend to be on the losing end of it all.
Vega-Squadron and Aachen Esports
Allen Cook spoke namely about Vega Squadron, a fairly historic org that has been among the CIS scene for many years. Vega is definitely an underachieving organization. They tend to host up and coming stars with them leaving shortly after making a name for themselves. Vega struggles to qualify for tournaments, hence they struggle to make ends meet. As a result, a multitude of its players were left with empty pockets, even after performing decently well in a certain tournament.
To name a few, Peksu and KheZu have opted to speak up on their first hand experiences with Vega. However, Vega is not the only antagonist to our story, but another org known as Aachen Esports is also allegedly guilty of underpaying their players. Aachen is not a very well known org, but community members and ex team mates are reluctant to have anything nice to say about the org. Peksu opted to join Aachen Esports for TI qualifiers sometime after his run with Vega and was left unpaid once again by a different Org.
A Request By Allan
This more or less, is a simple paraphrase of Allan Cook’s statement. He closed his blog post with a simple request to Valve; Regulate Dota 2 Team Organizers. And finally, to other victims of shady Organizations to speak up on their organizations fraudulent endeavors. There are far too many cases of players being left unpaid in this industry, and justice will likely not be served for them. However, it’s important that an intermediary of some sorts oversees how third parties handle prize money, in the hopes of preventing any wrongdoings in the future.