News broke up that Iceberg Esports, an esports company based in Canada, allegedly owed over 10,000 CAD to their CS:GO and Dota 2 roster. The news was first brought up to public when one of their CS:GO roster members, Tom “tconnors” Connors, tweeted that Iceberg Esports owed them 3,000+ CAD and blocked them on Twitter.
I'd like to thank @IcebergEsports for failing to pay out $3k+ CAD per player then blocking us all on everything. This screws me for the next 2 months and is the last time I ever rely on a non-pro org to pay my bills. Huge mistake 🙁 pic.twitter.com/hTqMPwr40h
— Tom Connors (@tconnors75) March 1, 2018
Furthermore, Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling, former Iceberg’s Dota 2 roster member, dropped his contract with Iceberg to form his original team, Animal Planet.
We're no longer under contract with iceberg. Back to animal planet
— Aui 2000 (@Aui_2000) March 1, 2018
After thorough investigation, Aui_2000 wasn’t getting paid even from the start. They are told that the company is going insolvent if they can’t get new sponsors. The pick-up of the Dota 2 Team was believed to attract sponsors for their team, but the sponsors never came.
This is further proofed by response from SuperGirlKels, Professional Smash player, with her notes regarding her salaries.
— SuperGirlKels on the Grind (@SuperGirlKels) March 1, 2018
Iceberg signed the CSGO MDL team playing under the Iceberg name only days before the new year, and paid a month’s salary over the course of the following weeks out of staff pockets.
After hours of silence, Iceberg promised to give the public their full statement regarding the situation. Five hours after their announcement, they did finally respond. Iceberg’s statement regarding the financial crisis was “Iceberg signed the CSGO MDL team playing under the Iceberg name only days before the new year, and paid a month’s salary over the course of the following weeks out of staff pockets. This was done with the understanding that an investor had made representations and repeated assurances that Iceberg would be funded before the end of January.”
They followed it with saying “Shortly after the Dota 2 team had been signed (January 26th) news came from the investor that the transaction would not be taking place.” Judging by their statement, they signed a roster with full knowledge that they still not have a sponsor on their pocket.
The Blame Game
However, Iceberg did promise that all players will be paid up to their respective end dates despite early terminations. Despite that, they implied that they believe telling a single person about the situation is enough: “We have come to the understanding that this information was not relayed to the other members of the CSGO team, and for that we accept fault for assuming one player would accurately represent what was discussed with the others.”
Iceberg also mentioned that Canada isn’t a viable place to operate an esports team. “After a long analysis of the Canadian esports industry, it simply isn’t a viable investment to operate esports teams in Canada until there is a wider acceptance of esports on the corporate level.” The statement angered many, as they didn’t blame themselves for their failure to meet their expectation.
As stated already by Aui_2000, the Dota 2 team will still compete under the banner of Animal Planet and will still attend the GESC Minor in Jakarta. The CS:GO team is still playing on MDL CS:GO and further seek court punishment. SuperGirlKels said she is done and will be focusing on Red Bull and Even MatchUp Gaming as her sponsors.
We really hope that no more companies work like this, whether you are a start up or not.