The biggest esports organization in the Philippines, Mineski, is serving former team members with a lawsuit, though it’s unclear who exactly is being targeted—or if it’s anything more than an idle threat.
In a Facebook post Thursday, Mineski outlined its reasons behind the decision, citing contract infringements and unprofessional behavior.
“We have dealt with a lot of issues like members not playing tournament matches and absence or being late in the team practices due to fights with girlfriends, personal conflicts, and other unacceptable reasons,” the post reads. “While we understand that these are all parts of a normal life, we also want to emphasize that these should not interfere with their profession. Like any other job, personal problems should be left at home.”
It is as of yet unclear which of the organization’s rosters Mineski is referring to, as the Philippine mainstay has recently seen roster changes to both its Dota 2 and League of Legends roster in the past months. It’s presumed that the team’s former carry, Carlo “Kuku” Palad is the focus, as he recently started playing for Tnc Gaming.
According to Mineski, the move to pursue legal action is also an attempt to legitimize the nation’s esports scene as a whole, which has struggled to establish itself on an international scale. Mineski’s statement concludes with the following paragraph:“We’ve thought that this is the best time to put a stop on these acts. The door is already open for the Filipino talents to step into the world stage. If we want to pursue the goal to have a world championship under our country’s flag, may it be us or other teams, we need to straighten up our acts and be true professionals.”
The Daily Dot reached out to Ryan Morrison, an American attorney licensed in New York, who provided valuable context to the situation. For Morrison, the problem is likely two-fold: Esports contracts are typically poorly written by the organizations in power, and the athletes themselves aren’t paying close enough attention to their contractual obligations.
While actual lawsuits rarely (if ever) happen, threats are made daily. The big problem here is that most players never speak to an attorney. They get trapped in terrible contracts (or terrible situations with no contracts), and they don’t know what to do about it. So, in most instances, they just bail on the team and do what they want. The contracts are usually so awful that a judge wouldn’t hold them up in the first place, so lawsuit threats are easily dealt with. Until the industry starts taking the business and legal side of things a lot more seriously, these headlines will be common.
On the same note, I would wager that this player has no idea what his contract says about termination, and certainly didn’t before he signed. So again, they just do what they want. That’s not okay, and if they want to be professionals they have to act professional. Peyton Manning can’t just up and decide to go play for the Jets. There are contracts and structure that exist in traditional sports that we are nowhere close to in esports.
It’s unclear if Mineski is actually going to move forward with a suit or if this just social media posturing, but Morrison thinks it could be a part of a necessary step of esports maturing as an industry.
“I can’t begin to speculate on that without seeing the contract,” he said, “but having teams and players accountable for their actions is a good first step.”
We’ve reached out Mineski for comment.