Recently the former Animal Planet Dota 2 team brought up a huge controversy. They were unpaid dues from their parent organisation despite being with them only for two months. Giving a chance to untested organisations Animal Planet wanted to represent a Canadian team. Unfortunately, they were unable to pay the players’ dues and they had not done their research into the costs of running an esports team.
Iceberg esports came out with their own statement regarding their problems while trying to run the team. They had not anticipated the costs of running a team and it definitely hurt them in a big way. They were also unable to pay their CSGO team. They mention that they were upfront with the players right from the start, however, the huge controversy is related to the lack of communication amongst the players.
We would first like to address the nature of the situation. 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. Shortly after the Dota 2 team had been signed (January 26th) news came from the investor that the transaction would not be taking place. The CSGO team assured us they would be “sticking together with Iceberg”, and we began the process of establishing a bootcamp for the Dota 2 team in Toronto. At this time, the CSGO and Dota 2 teams were made aware of the situation, and Iceberg management adamantly investigated other avenues of funding through investment and sponsorship on the basis of team performance.
Unfortunately, this was not enough to satisfy the interested parties, and those deals fell through. On February 12th, the CSGO team received notice that Iceberg would be terminating their contracts without cause after 30 days. While a difficult decision, the consensus was reached that Iceberg could not continue with the CSGO team. Iceberg offered to waive this period and any buyout clauses to allow the team to seek other organizations and sponsors unhampered, which the players elected not to pursue. On February 28th, Iceberg’s Dota 2 team arrived at bootcamp and agreed to mutually dissolve their contracts to pursue other organizations. On the same date, a conversation was had with CSGO player Warren “Hades” Rettich, acting as the representative of Iceberg’s CSGO team, to relay to the remainder of the team that Iceberg was ceasing all team operations including Dota 2 alongside the termination of the CSGO team. All players were told, and the point was reiterated that, should Iceberg become capable of compensating the players for their salaries up to the termination date, the players would receive such compensation as quickly as able. 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.
You can read the full statement on their official website.