Several Dota 2 teams still awaiting payment from Northern Arena; casters, organizers allege they have yet to be paid

Thumbnail image courtesy of Northern Arena/Twitter

Update: In an email to theScore esports sent on March 9, Andrew "Zyori" Campbell said that all of the English talent supplied by MoonduckTV for Northern Arena have been paid in full by the organization.

Original Story: A number of Dota 2 teams that participated in November's Northern Arena Beat Invitational have not been paid prize money they are owed, several teams and Northern Arena confirmed to theScore esports. Representatives from compLexity Gaming, Alliance, and Team NP all told theScore esports that they have not been paid the money they were owed for the tournament.

When reached for comment, Northern Arena CEO Carl-Edwin Michel confirmed to theScore esports that his organization has yet to pay some of the teams, but added that the company is committed to paying all of the remaining teams. It is unclear exactly which teams have been paid and which are still awaiting payment.

"We have already paid most of the teams," Michel said in an email to theScore esports. "We are in touch with the remaining ones and made payment arrangement with them. One thing for sure is that we are committed to pay all the remaining teams and move on to our next events. We want to make good on our word and deliver even greater events this year."

Team NP are owed $20,000 for their second place finish while Alliance are owed $4,000 for finishing in 5th-6th. compLexity Gaming are owed $2,000 for placing 7th-8th, and a representative from the organization alleges that, after asking for a payment timeline, they were told that they would be paid that day or week. Combined, the teams that confirmed they have not been paid yet are owed a total of $26,000. Northern Arena set a $100,000 total prize pool for the event.

Michel also noted that, due to the organization's nature as a startup, they relied mostly on sponsorship money for their inaugural year.

"We are a small startup company that relied heavily on sponsorships for the first year," Michel said. "That's the reason why we are now on the verge of signing a big investor to sustain the future of Northern Arena. Northern Arena is the only Canadian company that is trying to build something sustainable for esports in the country and that's the reason why we have the support of Bell Canada and other large Canadian and international companies."

Additionally, MoonduckTV's managing director Andrew "Zyori" Campbell told theScore esports via email that he and the rest of the talent for the event have not been paid. Talent that participated in Northern Arena's Dota 2 tournament who are affiliated with MoonduckTV include Zyori, Jake "SirActionSlacks" Kanner, Annie "AnneeDroid" LeClair, Jonathan "PimpmuckL" Liebig, Travis "Maut" Bueno, Kevin "Purge" Godec and Trent "TrentPax" MacKenzie.

Zyori told theScore esports that MoonduckTV plans to send a legal notice. Michel did not provide comment on Zyori's allegations.

A representative for BEAT Gaming also alleged that that organization was not paid. BEAT organized the tournament, ran its qualifiers, and the company told theScore esports that they paid administrative fees and salaries for statisticians, tournament admins and a translator out of pocket with the understanding that they would be reimbursed for those expenses.

Michel says that BEAT Gaming's allegations are false, and added that the two organizations are currently in a legal dispute over a breach of contract. He declined to further comment on the matter.

"BEAT Gaming has paid staff wages and various expenses out of pocket for admins," a representative for BEAT Gaming told theScore esports via email. "This being said, the responsibility for payment of expenses related to the event, including payment of prize pools and the expenses of the teams in attendance, lies with Northern Arena.

"Anyone who was brought under the BEAT Banner was paid wages by us out of pocket. This included stats, admins for the event and our translator. Northern Arena is responsible for reimbursing us for those wages."

Northern Arena has also run two other CS:GO tournaments in Toronto, though those tournaments are not directly connected to the Montreal event, and representatives for several teams that participated in those events told theScore esports they have been paid their prize money.

This story last updated on March 10 at 10:16 AM EST

Daniel Rosen is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports. You can follow him on Twitter.

Team NP win DAC 2017 Americas qualifier

Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / Team NP

Team NP have qualified for the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 with their 2-0 victory over Digital Chaos at the Americas qualifier on Sunday.

DC previously beat NP 2-0 in the semifinals, however they were able to sweep Team Onyx and compLexity in the Losers' Bracket to meet Digital Chaos for a Grand Final rematch.

NP won the first game at 35:26 18 kills to 12 and 76.8 gold to DC's 61.2K. They closed the second game out at 41:03 24 kills to six and 95k-62.9k. Team NP offlaner Arif "MSS" Anwar dominated the second game with 14 kills, six assists and no deaths.

DAC will take place between March 28 to April 4 in Shanghai, China. Team NP will join Team Faceless and Team Liquid, who qualified through the SEA and Europe qualifier, as well as Invictus Gaming, Team VG.J, LGD.Forever Young and iG.Vitality who qualified at the China qualifier. Evil Geniuses, Wings Gaming, OG and Newbee all received invites to the event.

Sasha Erfanian is a news editor for theScore esports. Follow him on Twitter, it'll be great for his self-esteem.

Zfreek: '747 brings a good attitude towards the game and life in general'

Thumbnail image courtesy of Helena Kristiansson / ESL

compLexity Gaming has had a rough start to 2017. The team placed third in both the StarLadder i-League StarSeries 3 and the Dota 2 Asia Championships 2017 American Qualifiers, missing out on qualification to the two biggest tournaments before The Kiev Major.

When asked about the start of the year, Zakari "Zfreek" Freedman does not mince words when describing his team's recent performance, calling it just, "Bad."

Zfreek is the longtime support for compLexity Gaming, having played on the team alongside his brother, Kyle "melonzz" Freedman, since 2014. With the Kiev Major qualifiers looming, Zfreek spoke to theScore esports about coL's performance and their recent roster moves.

compLexity ended 2016 by being eliminated in the first round of The Boston Major playoffs. What did the team do following the tournament?


What are your thoughts on canceL leaving? How was he as a teammate?

He was a great teammate and a great guy, it just became apparent to both sides of the conversation over time that things would not work out in the long term.

Why choose 747 to replace canceL? Was he the first player on your minds or did you try out other players?

747 was the first person we tried out due to members of the team having past experience with him, and liking what he brought during his trial run decided to see how he would do as a long term member.

What does 747 bring to the team?

747 brings a good attitude towards the game and life in general. His gameplay is impactful nearly every game, and even if he makes a mistake it’s normally a mistake made from his expansive pub experience not working out in a more coordinated setting.

You and Kyle have played for coL since 2014. How difficult is it to adjust to new teammates? Has it become any easier?

Adjusting to new teammates never gets easier. Only the new players themselves change, some are easier and some are harder to adjust to.

Do you think North American Dota is more competitive now than it has been in the past?

This question is really up for interpretation. If you leave out teams that should have invites to LANs already (EG,DC) then the scene is just as strong as it has always been. There are the teams expected to finish in the top 3 of any qualifier exclusive to those two (NP,us,Onyx), and then an expansive list of ever changing rosters that will occasionally find a groove and take games or even a qualifier.

How is coL preparing for the Kiev Major qualifiers? Is there anything new or special that you are doing to practice this time around?

Practice has always been exactly what one would expect. Play pubs, watch Dota, talk about Dota, and then practice what you learned in scrims.

With Valve sticking with single-elimination for the Kiev Major, what are your thoughts on the format?

I’ve never minded one way or the other. My only gripe would be that single elimination makes groups only about seeding. It's a lot of Dota to play (and in the case of first seed win) to be in the same position as everyone else.

How have you adjusted to 7.00? Are there any changes that you would make to the current meta?

The competitive meta is in a good place where almost everything is playable, the pub meta on the other hand ... that’s a different story. Something about shrines has made people unwilling to ever “do things.”

Lastly, I noticed that the team went down to a Renaissance Festival recently. What was that experience like? Does the team get to unwind on trips like this regularly?

The ren fair was fun, it has a unique atmosphere where the people manning the stalls will openly insult you when you fail at their obscure and rigged game. That along with shops ranging from glassware with kiln on site to swords that are mock ups of ones from famous stories make it worth the trip. We haven’t had team trips for the purpose of fun very often, but it’s something we’re trying to do more now and in the future.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.

747 joins compLexity Gaming

Thumbnail image courtesy of Carlton Beener / ESL

Mid laner Eric "747" Dong will be formally joining compLexity Gaming through the upcoming Kiev Major, the team announced Wednesday . He will be replacing Antonio "canceL^^" Mihai, who announced his departure from the team on Feb. 16.

747 initially joined the roster as a temporary stand-in after canceL^^ parted ways with the team.

compLexity Gaming's roster is now as follows:

  • Kyle "melonzz" Freedman
  • Jaron "monkeys-forever" Clinton
  • David "Moo" Hull
  • Zakari "Zfreek" Freedman
  • Eric "747" Dong

Kristine "Vaalia" Hutter is a news editor for theScore esports. You can find her on Twitter.

canceL^^ steps down from compLexity Gaming's active roster

Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / compLexity Gaming

After just under six months with compLexity Gaming, Antonio "canceL^^" Mihai is stepping down from the team's active roster, citing performance issues.

"Unfortunately in the recent qualifiers I was not performing at a level that I expected of myself, and I felt I was holding the team back," canceL^^ said in a statement.

"As a result I decided to take some time to work on my play individually, rather than holding my team back. I am stepping down in the hopes that the team can find someone that is able to help them win, while I improve on my own. I would like to thank coL.Dota, compLexity, and the fans for the good times. I'm sorry to have disappointed this time, but I will keep working hard and I will not give up."

canceL^^ originally joined the team in September following the post-TI6 roster shuffle, having previously played for Kaipi in April.

In his time with coL, the team qualified for The Boston Major, but failed to advance past the first round of the playoffs. coL have struggled to qualify for tournaments, with their sole LAN appearance outside of the Major being at Northern Arena BEAT Invitational, where the team placed 7th-8th.

coL clarified that while the team will be trying out players to fill the spot left open by canceL^^, Eric "747" Dong will play with the team in their Elimination Mode 3 match against WanteD on Thursday.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.

bOne7 on joining Team NP and his future playing career

Thumbnail image courtesy of theScore esports / Team NP

Team NP's newest coach Pittner "bOne7" Armand intends to use his time coaching NP as a launching pad to return to a playing career, he said in an interview with Dota Blast's Andra Ciubotaru.

Team NP originally signed bOne7 as a coach on Jan. 24, recruiting him to coach his former Cloud9 teammates Jacky "EternaLEnVy" Mao and Kurtis "Aui_2000" Ling. NP wasn't the only team bOne7 tried to join as coach, but they were one of the few teams that he had faith in.

"I talked to some players who wanted me as a coach," bOne7 said. "I tried to join some teams, it didn’t work out. So, I might as well try to coach Team NP, because I know the guys there and they’re all smart, so I can actually work with them as a coach. I didn’t have faith in other teams that wanted me as a coach, because I thought there would be some issues. With Team NP, I think it’s gonna be okay."

Since Cloud9 released bOne7 along with the rest of their roster in Nov. 2015, he has primarily played for Kaipi. He hasn't achieved the same level of success in the time since, though he believes that joining NP will enhance his reputation enough that he could find another team to play on afterwards.

"I told Envy I want to coach his team so that I can build up my reputation and start playing again," bOne7 said.

That said, bOne7 isn't sure when exactly he will return to play, though he did say that his return will likely be after The International 2017 due to his duties as coach.

"Maybe after TI, most likely. The deal is: I should help Envy for TI at least and then we can see what happens next," bOne7 said.

Preston Dozsa is a news editor for theScore esports whose journalism idol is Dino Ghiranze. You can follow him on Twitter.

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