North American Dota 2 team Iceberg Esports is going back to playing as Animal Planet, following the roster’s release from the organization earlier today.
The news was broken by support player Kurtis “Aui_2000” Ling. Earlier in the day Thomas “tconnors” Connors , a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive player signed to Iceberg Esports posted a tweet of his own, saying that the organization failed to pay each of its players 3,000 Canadian dollars in salaries.
Both Aui_2000 and tconnors have seemingly been blocked by the Iceberg Esports Twitter account, suggesting that the organization has severed all ties and connections with the parties involved.
The organization does, however, plan to issue an official statement “in the coming days”. In a tweet Iceberg Esports claimed that all players will be compensated per the terms of their contracts, despite “early terminations”.
Iceberg Esports was founded in August 2017, signing teams from multiple esports titles. According to the press release announcing their acquisition of Animal Planet earlier this year, Iceberg was founded with the goal of growing the Canadian esports scene. Unfortunately, Animal Planet’s short stint under Iceberg was marked by their inability to make it through a few regional qualifiers to Pro Circuit events.
Though Animal Planet was not the first iteration of Iceberg’s Dota 2 squad, previous lineups with NA mainstays such as Yawar “YawaR” Hassan, Braxton “Brax” Paulson, and Jaron “monkeys-forever” Clinton were likewise unable to post any significant results.
With the loss of their sponsor, Animal Planet will have to go back to the drawing board. A shame, for sure, considering how they have both Aui_2000—an International champion—and David “MoonMeander” Tan, one of the most talented offlaners from North America and a two time Valve Major champion.
Given the talent on their roster, though, there is little doubt that there are other organizations out there that will be interested in giving them a place to call home.