After making their Dota 2 debut by signing the upstart Playmakers Esports roster a month ago, Team Odd’s partnership has ended due to contract issues just before the upcoming StarLadder ImbaTV Minor.
Playmakers manager George Griffin posted a TwitLonger on March 2 in which he called the past several weeks “a nightmare for myself and my team.” But Odd’s co-owner, Vyacheslav “Smith” Kuznetsov says Gervin “began to demand more money.”
The Playmakers roster was formed by Christian “Accel” Cruz and Alonso “Kotarō Hayama” León, former Infamous teammates who wanted to continue playing together. They brought together a team that quickly popped into the mainstream when they made it into The Bucharest Minor just months after formation.
Since they were a player-run, startup team, the players and staff for Playmakers didn’t make a monthly wage. Instead, they would all receive a payout based on their tournament winnings, which up to the point they signed with Odd was just $7,500 from their seventh-place finish at Bucharest.
Gervin, who was reaching out to multiple organizations throughout December 2018 and January, said someone named Smith representing Odd reached out to him on Discord with interest in signing his team.
“I began putting my team out there and reaching out to organizations and seeing what I can get my team and what I can accomplish with what I had. In comes a guy named Smith,” Gervin said. “Smith approached me via discord and said that they were a new organization looking to field a team and asked if we would be interested.”
Gervin detailed how his research didn’t field much info about the man, but the team and their offer seemed legit.
Odd offered Playmakers a $600 to $1,000 starting salary for players that would be delivered towards the end of February, help paying for LAN cafe fees, a total rebrand including team logos, and a larger social media presence through Odd.
This whole deal hinged on the fact Odd wanted a team to compete in the upcoming minor for them. The minimum requirement for Odd’s offer was making it into the South American closed qualifiers for the StarLadder Minor.
Gervin ultimately agreed to Smith’s deal, which not only promised the above initial resources but also bonuses should they achieve more.
Those bonuses include being officially signed to the organisation, a potential increase in revenue, and a full boot camp before the Minor.
Not only did the Playmakers roster make the closed qualifiers, but they also won the event and made it into their second Minor of the season. Yet none of those promises from Smith or Odd came to fruition.
“My team was not paid or given what they were promised even if things were signed and were lied to about resources when the biggest resource they had was after they signed us,” Gervin said. “We are no longer going to work with Team Odd and will be going back to Playmakers. We will be looking for an organization to represent in the upcoming rest of the season but I expect to be paid and given a contract straight up front instead of promised and lied to.”
This is where stories split between the two sides.
In an interview with CyberSport, Smith said that, after they paid the initial $1,000 to Gervin and his team, Gervin began asking for more resources.
“They began to ask for additional funds, although we set them a budget for organizing the bootcamp, which initially suited them,” Smith said. “On it, the guys had to make content for Instagram and YouTube, which we agreed with the manager, and he agreed. In the end, they just took the money and refused the bootcamp, citing the fact that there is not enough money and you need to pay for several months in advance. ”
Smith detailed other ways Gervin was asking for more funds, but not all of his comments add up. It is unclear where the fault lies in this situation, but Gervin claims that the organization was “trying to attract sponsors with the help of the lineup.”
The manager later responded to the interview, saying that Smith and his partner Vasiliy “Mahoney” Khlopotin would be playing video games rather than answer him and were going behind his back to talk to players instead of him.
Since this announcement, Gervin and the Playmakers squad have rebranded. They will still attend the Minor, now playing under the name Demolition Boys as they work toward a fresh start.
The StarLadder ImbaTV Minor will run from March 7 to 10 with eight teams playing for their share of $300,000, 500 Dota Pro Circuit points, and the final spot at the DreamLeague Season 11 Stockholm Major.