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

by Daniel Rosen Mar 4 2017
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.