NRG and CeRq’s family attorney deny Outlaw’s claims of poaching

The 17-year-old's father has begun the legal process of voiding his agreement with Outlaws.

Image via Valve

An attorney representing a 17-year-old AWP phenom from Bulgaria has taken aim against the player’s former team Outlaws, after the team claimed the player had breached his contract in leaving the roster.

The open letter, signed by Outlaws and its parent company UltraPlay, claimed that North American-based esports brand NRG Esports had poached its AWPer Cvetelin “CeRq” Dimitrov. That claim that has now been rejected by NRG co-founder Andy Miller, as well as CeRq’s family attorney Emil Pehlivanov who slammed the contents of UltraPlay’s letter.

“There exists absolutely no binding agreement between UltraPlay and its team Outlaws, which would prevent CeRq to act, or be treated, as anything other than a free agent,” wrote Pehlivanov.

The contract CeRq signed was also, according to the attorney, between CeRq and a now defunct company named Eastern Technologies, Ltd—an agreement Pehlivanov considers a “legal nullity.” The attorney also notes that the contract with Eastern Technologies was in violation of Bulgarian labor laws concerning minors, as well as being signed without being accompanied by his legal guardian.

Pehlivanov argues that the open letter sent by Outlaws/UltraPlay, which was sent out to several media outlets and bodies active in esports, can be classed as harassment, as the organizations have “have taken no active steps to seek judicial remedies.”

Aside from garnering a response from NRG and CeRq’s attorney, the open letter sent out by UltraPlay also made its way to the Esports Integrity Council’s (ESIC) integrity commissioner Ian Smith. Smith noted that while ESIC “has no jurisdiction to address this or any other dispute of this nature in esports,” he argued that the idea of an esports transfer market similar to the one used by the NFL was unsupported, and implored teams to either reward players, or “face up to the reality that players can move on to a team that is willing to do so.”

CeRq competed with NRG on the opening day of the sixth season of ESL Pro League, where the roster defeated Splyce in two separate best-of-one series. According to the team CeRq is not contracted to NRG, and is merely playing as a stand-in.