When Denial Esports finished third at the Halo Championship Series 2, it was a disappointing result for a team that hoped to win the tournament outright. But behind the scenes, big problems were playing out: The team’s players weren’t compensated for their play for the month of July.
At $750 a month for each of the four players, the money amounts to $3,000. That payment was scheduled for Aug. 10. The players were released on Aug. 12.
It’s not the first time the players ran into an issue with payment. The players were supposed get paid on the 10th of every month, but that deadline was off missed, occasionally by weeks, according to one source.
Denial’s Chief Executive Officer Robby “Ringokid” Ringnalda said he was under the impression that the players preferred to have their contracts terminated early rather than receive a final payment:
“I am under the impression that the team was satisfied with the termination of contract instead of being paid previous agreed upon amounts (one month of salary) or being sold to another organization as a team or as separate players.”
The team—Bradley “APG” Laws, Richie “Heinz” Heinz, Kyle “Chig” Lawson, and Austin “Mikwen” McCleary—ultimately finished third in the Season 2 Finals. Shortly after leaving denial, the team disbanded entirely.
Since then, Lawson and McCleary have moved on to Team Liquid. Laws and Heinz are both still currently free agents and it’s unclear what the future of their professional esports careers entail.