After attempting to mend fences between Paradigm and its European Smite roster, the game developer has elected to bar the organization from participating in the Smite Pro League and have given the organization’s slot to the players themselves.
In a series of chat logs posted by former Paradigm solo-laner Jeroen “Xaliea” Klaver, Paradigm manager Lydia Picknell informed the roster on Aug. 28 that the organization allegedly owed the Canadian government $8000 in back-taxes. Picknell also let the roster know that she “will now be running this org professionally and properly as a business like it deserves to be or else it will die.” Picknell presented the new contracts to her roster on September 6.
In Hi-Rez Studio’s competitive ruling, the developer states that “Paradigm was demanding the Players sign contracts with grossly unfavorable terms,” a fair description overall as the players would be receiving just a dollar in monthly salary, as well as sharing half of their revenue stream with the organization. Team captain Emil “Lawbster” Evensen was also told by Paradigm’s legal representative David Fry that he “will sign his contract, today, or you won’t play. That simple.”
As a result of these revelations, Hi-Rez Studios began an internal investigation into the matter and temporarily excused the team from competing in the Smite Pro League. This in turn prompted a response from Paradigm. On September 7 the organization submitted an electronic demand letter to the developer with “alleged contractual and tort claims against us [Hi-Rez Studios] based, in part, on the temporary freeze.” according to Hi-Rez. The following day, Paradigm released a statement in which it claimed not continue competing fielding a Smite roster in the future.
The ruling by Hi-Rez Studios is not exclusive to Smite, however, as Paradigm have also been suspended from competing in the studio’s title Paladins. While Paradigm currently fields a roster in the game, the roster’s future is now in question.