The situation surrounding Dennis “Svenskeren” Johnsen and the dispute over his contract between H2K-Gaming and Team SoloMid has escalated, with the owners of both organizations posting multiple times to provide their side of the story.
The controversy began following a report by Breibart.com’s Richard Lewis on Tuesday, in which H2K management threatened legal action against Team SoloMid for allegedly poaching Svenskeren.
Team SoloMid owner Andy "Reginald" Dinh provided his account of his interaction with both Svenskeren and H2K’s CEO and owner, Richard Wells, on TwitLonger Tuesday.
“The whole deal with Svenskeren started on November 3rd....I offered him a temporary tryout position which involved playing at IEM San Jose,” said Reginald. “Svenskeren was hesitant to take the tryout, since there was a chance that a poor performance at IEM San Jose would hurt his potential offers for the coming season....since he was an incredibly prolific free agent, he was already in negotiations with multiple LCS organizations that were willing to give him a starting position, including H2K.”
According to Reginald, Svenskeren ultimately turned down TSM’s initial offer in favor of H2K’s, stating that H2K would back out of the deal if he agreed to a tryout.
“Svenskeren told me if I wanted him to be able to try out for my team, I needed to convince H2K to still give him a starting position even if he did not get the position on TSM,” said Reginald.
The post then details a conversation between Reginald and Wells, in which Reginald says that he offered to pay H2K to allow Svenskeren to keep a spot on the roster while trying out for TSM.
Reginald provided a screenshot of a Skype log that appears to show Wells making an increased offer to Svenskeren despite the fact that both owners allegedly agreed to think about the situation and wait.
“Richard made an attempt at increasing the offer and stated that he would completely back out of the offer if Svenskeren did not take it immediately,” said Reginald “They were essentially handing him an ultimatum; accept our offer now or it’s off the table for good.”
As a result, Reginald indicates that Svenskeren turned down the offered tryout with TSM and entered into further negotiations with H2K.
“Meanwhile, I realized that I needed to give him a starting position, otherwise I would lose the chance of getting him period,” Reginald said. “I talked to my team and we all agreed to give him the starting position.”
According to Skype logs, Reginald appears to have asked Svenskeren if he was under contract with H2K, to which the jungler responded no to. Reginald then said that Svenskeren accepted TSM’s terms and that they were awaiting Riot confirmation before signing the player.
In the meantime, Reginald says that H2K changed their minds and proceeded to offer Svenskeren a substantial signing bonus. Furthermore, Reginald claims that Svenskeren felt harassed by H2K’s communications.
According to Reginald, he contacted multiple lawyers, all of whom said his signing was legitimate. He also received Riot confirmation, and proceeded with the signing, which he says was completed on Nov. 8.
“Overall, H2K's final offer was greater than mine, but Svenskeren did not feel comfortable signing with someone who would use these kinds of tactics to sign a player,” said Reginald. “I hope this clears up any confusion concerning this situation. We will proceed to stand behind Svenskeren unless evidence comes to light that he actually signed a contract with H2K.”
A few hours later, Wells posted a response on TwitLonger in which he defends himself and directly addresses some of the points raised by Reginald, specifically the references to his personal harassment of Svenskeren and his family.
“I will not further address anything pertaining to legal matters as that will be decided by the governing bodies that be,” he says. “I will however, as I feel I must, quickly address these lies by Reginald/Sven suggesting that I inappropriately involved his family.”
Wells proceeds to provide numerous screenshots that appear to indicate that Svenskeren requested that much of the information with regards to the contract pass through his mother.
“And just to totally clear it up, the phone conversation between me and Sven’s mother was literally me asking her to check her email as I didn't receive a reply after 2 days – This being the email address that Sven said I should send everything to,” said Wells. “Because of this I asked Sven to tell his mum to check her emails, which he didn't. If the phone logs were ever checked it would show that this was the only phonecall that was ever made.”
Many of the points of discussion between Wells and Reginald originate from earlier social media posts. Shortly after the story initially broke, Reginald took to Reddit to respond to the threats of legal action by H2K. In the Reddit post, Reginald said that H2K's claims are false and that their accusations are "slander."
"I spoke to Riot every step of the way," Reginald said via Reddit. "According to Riot, there is no agreement in place. Svenskeren did not sign an Loi or any form of agreement. H2k is now threatening to take legal action on TSM, while slandering my company publicly. Whats more disturbing is that H2k is threatening law suits on Svenskeren and harassing his family."
Reginald also posted a screenshot of a Skype log, which, according to him, was provided by Svenskeren. The log appears to be a conversation between H2K CEO and owner Richard Wells, in which Wells is seen discussing the legal obligations of Svenskeren to H2K.
Wells, then proceeded to respond with a post of his own on TwitLonger. According to him he did not threaten Svenskeren with legal consequences, but rather that the legal action is focused on pursuing TSM. He also indicated that he consulted his legal council before the situation came to light, and that the comments made in the screenshot provided by Reginald are out of context.
"I took legal advise on the matter because I wasn't sure if the situation was legally binding or not. I was informed that it is indeed legally binding by my lawyers so I passed on that legal information and it's connotations to Sven and Regi..." he says in the post. "The reason Sven's mother is mentioned is because we were talking with her every step of the way. Sven HIMSELF actually requested that everything we talked about and sent was also shared with his mother. Proposing idea that I ever 'harassed' his family is totally inaccurate and dishonest on behalf of Reginald."
Svenskeren also took to Twitter to support Reginald's claims, indicating that he did not sign any documents with H2K.
Another part of the Lewis' article which drew attention was the mention that Origen jungler Maurice "Amazing" Stuckenshneider was reportedly considering a return to his old team, but that the deal fell through. Amazing took to Twitter to confirm that it was his decision to remain in Europe.
Nic Doucet is a News Editor for theScore eSports. You can follow him on Twitter.