Steven R. August 2, 2019
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professionals have started speaking out about some of the speed bumps they’ve hit with sponsoring esports organizations during their careers.
One of those players is Natus Vincere player Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov. In a series of Twitter posts, the player dropped thinly veiled hints that he had $95,000 stolen from him by his former organization, Quantum Bellator Fire. In an interview with HLTV, QBF co-owner Vyacheslav Solovyev spoke out on the allegations and suggested the awkward financial situation was actually the fault of the players.
“Not too long before the [ELEAGUE Boston Major,] the wages of both the players and coach were increased to $750 per month,” Solovyev stated. “Upon return, they stated that they wouldn't sign the contracts, instead asking for a pay increase to $5,000.”
Boombl4 and Quantum Bellator Fire became overnight stars at the ELEAGUE Boston Major. Despite entering as a largely unknown team, they shocked the competitive world by making a strong top-eight run at the event. This instantaneously established them as one of the best squads in the CIS region and endeared them to fans around the world.
According to Solovyev, this newfound fame saw them return to Russia looking to play hardball at the negotiating table and setting terms that the organizations simply couldn’t match. That resulted in QBF looking to sell off the roster, but when the team started indicating that they could simply walk out and find a new organization, QBF decided to play hardball as well.
“As things progressively heated up, I also approved the decision to freeze payments,” Solovyev said. “I'd like to point out that they were fully aware of this, and no one ever told them that this money wouldn't be paid out, provided they delivered on their spoken promise of remaining within the organization for the three months while we paid their wages.”
Five months after their major performance, the QBF roster was transferred to Winstrike Team.
Solovyev’s story does little to help rebuild the organization’s image, but early signs are that things are even worse than what he admitted to.
Following the publication of HLTV’s interview, Boombl4 and Winstrike manager Adalyat Mamedov both spoke out against Solovyev on Twitter, with Boombl4 calling the interview “nonsense” while Mamedov suggested he is lying. Dexerto reporter Jarek "DeKay" Lewis also blasted Solovyev and suggested that more information is coming soon.
Though Solovyev may be taking some heat right now, his career in and around CSGO doesn’t seem to yet be impacted. HLTV caught up with him while he was alongside ForZe, a team which will compete at the StarLadder Berlin Major in August.