Steven R. May 29, 2019
Jonathan "EliGE" Jablonowski has some important advice for young esports talents.
The Counter-Strike: Global Offensive star has been keeping a close eye on esports news of late and one of the biggest topics of discussion is the downward spiral of Denial Esports. The organization which fields teams in multiple esports titles, including CS:GO, has been mired in controversy surrounding its inability, or perhaps its unwillingness, to pay its talent.
His take on the situation? Any and every esports player ought to steer clear of the organization.
“Any CS:GO players, do yourself a favor and never even talk to Denial Esports,” Elige said on Twitter. “Save yourself some trouble and don’t deal with orgs that have been infamously shady or scummy for their entire existence...my audience is mainly CS:GO but yeah, just stay away.”
Denial has rarely been in the news for its competitive achievements despite fielding squads in CS:GO, Dota 2, Halo, and Call of Duty, but it has made headlines on many occasions thanks to its constant financial turmoil. Allegations of stiffing players on money began surfacing in 2015 with Denial’s Halo team and have popped up several times in the years since with both esports players and their support staff.
The organization largely disappeared in 2017 before resurfacing under new management in 2019. While the team got a new boardroom, it seemingly kept the same old problems.
Things started well for the new Denial as CEO Zach Smith openly tackled the organization’s dark past by beginning to repay former players who had been left out to dry by the previous owners. Things turned sour in May when Denial’s Call of Duty World League squad alleged that the organization had failed to pay its salaries since signing in January with players being out nearly $90,000, which prompted Smith to step down as CEO. Weeks later, a number of former players claimed that Denial had begun taking back payments made through Paypal.
Though Smith has stated that the chargebacks were due to a bank security error and has begun sending cash back out, things do not seem to be heading in a positive direction for the organization.
Denial currently has a South American CS:GO squad on its payroll helmed by Juanes "sickLy" Valencia.