In a tweet earlier today, Golden Guardians’ former League of Legends Academy head coach Kublai “Kubz” Barlas claimed he wasn’t paid for his services to the organization between the months of October 2020 and January 2021.
“[It’s] certainly been a wild 2 months I did not anticipate when signing my nice shiny 3 year contract in [the] offseason,” Kubz said on Twitter. “Also [I] didn’t get paid for any work I did before I was in [the] US.”
Additionally, Kubz revealed his position with Golden Guardians Academy required him to move from Canada to Los Angeles. But his moving process wasn’t funded by the organization, according to Kubz. The former head coach claimed his “esports income didn’t cover” the expenses of travel and interim hotel stays, as well as the process of renting and furnishing an apartment in Los Angeles.
The Golden Guardians organization is owned by the NBA’s Golden State Warriors franchise. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization reported $474 million dollars in revenue gains during the 2020 NBA season, according to a recent report from Forbes. Although the overall valuation of the Golden State Warriors far outweighs that of Golden Guardians, the organization at large is still held accountable for any alleged missed payments in its esports division.
Golden Guardians general manager Danan Flander further commented on the situation on Twitter, stating “Kubz’s contract start date was contingent on his entry into the US on a work-authorized visa status.”
Under United States law, Kubz was defined as a P-1S worker. According to the United States Department of Homeland Security, the P-1S classification includes “‘Essential Support Personnel’ who are an integral part of the performance of a P-1 nonimmigrant, and who perform support services that cannot be readily performed by a U.S. worker.”
In an esports setting, this definition could easily apply to teams’ various members of their support staff including coaches, analysts, general managers, team chefs, or translators.
Kubz said he wasn’t notified that his contract would not take effect until he arrived in the United States until one week before he landed in the country. Golden Guardians “neglected to say anything until literally a week before [he] was going to land,” according to the coach’s thread of tweets made earlier today.
Kubz retired from professional League of Legends earlier this week. He had been a coach in the North American and European scenes since 2014. This spring, he coached Golden Guardians Academy to a 2-7 record before his premature retirement. Kubz announced on Twitter he’ll be returning to his home country of Canada, a trip which will cost him approximately $3,500, according to his own calculations.
Flander claimed Kubz was offered a return flight to Canada following the his contract’s contract, but Kubz ultimately declined.
Golden Guardians signed Kubz to a three-year contract last offseason, but the deal was terminated upon his retirement. Samuel “Spookz” Broadley has stepped in as the Academy team’s interim head coach following Kubz’s departure.
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