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CHIBA, JAPAN - JUNE 25: Evil Geniuses takes a final bow onstage after defeat by FnaticÊat VALORANT Masters Tokyo Grand Finals atÊMakuhari Messe on June 25, 2023 in Chiba, Japan.
Photo by Colin Young-Wolff via Riot Games

Evil Geniuses championship VALORANT roster reportedly in “contract jail” for 2024 offseason

EG's star players are stuck, mainly due to their contracts.

Evil Geniuses are still in contract discussions with their VALORANT championship 2023 roster but have put them in a scenario where they will either have to continue with the organization with a pay cut or get another team to pay a buyout of any players’ contract, according to reporter Richard Lewis. In his report, he stated that EG has already denied multiple buyout offers for their players, leaving them effectively inactive under the organization.

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The news came to the surprise of many, no less the players who won Champions 2023 themselves, who took to Twitter to express their disappointment. Rumors of their next destination skyrocketed, but it all relied on one thing: the buyout structure on EG’s contracts.

Now, the reporting suggests that these contracts don’t have any specific set buyout price, meaning that the organization makes the choice as to what amount works for the deal—and they already rejected some significant offers. Max “Demon1” Mazanov and Ethan “Ethan” Arnold were the two who were denied their buyouts, each around $100,000, with Demon1 reportedly frustrated and not likely to stick around with EG due to these issues.

100 Thieves’ planned buyout of Kelden “Boostio” Pupello was also denied, even though he looked to leave even before the EG pay cuts came to light. Either way, these player contracts run until 2024, meaning that EG holds all the leverage over the players. 

Effectively, they could deny any buyouts and force players to play until their contracts expire, putting them in a free agency market where there wouldn’t be as many teams looking to pick them up. Whether that’s their intention or not, they haven’t been satisfied with the buyout offers so far, considering their players were the best in the world in 2023. 

This isn’t the first significant roster issue in the VCT Americas offseason: after The Guard got their Ascension win, they released their roster, and it took community outcry to get the players who earned their spot in franchising, albeit under the G2 banner instead. Now, we have the best team in the world caught between a rock and a hard place: a pay cut or a late free agency—provided no one placates EG with a large enough offer.

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Michael Czar
Contributing writer for Dot Esports. Covering esports news for just over five years. Focusing on Overwatch, VALORANT, Call of Duty, Teamfight Tactics, and some general gaming content. Washington Post-published game reviewer. Follow me on Twitter at @xtraweivy.