Steven R. August 6, 2019
More details have emerged on the messy breakup between the Quantum Bellator Fire organization and its ELEAGUE Boston Major roster.
According to by Dexerto’s Jarek Lewis, Kirill "Boombl4" Mikhailov’s allegation of money being withheld from him by the organization was true and was only the tip of the iceberg. Lewis’ report detailed repeated incidents involving QBF co-owner and CSGO team manager Vyacheslav Soloviev that impacted Boombl4 and the entire team.
Per Lewis’ sources, the issues between the players and organization staff began following the team’s top-eight run in Boston. When the team returned to Russia they began renegotiating their deal, seeking a salary increase from $750 per month to “anything from $2,000 to $3,000.” The two sides agreed on a $2,000 per month salary, but Quantum Bellator Fire did not live up to those terms over time.
The organization paid out that sum the following April, but didn’t come through over the subsequent months. Worse, the organization then froze payments to the players. This resulted in those players never receiving prize pool winnings or their agreed upon cut of the money from in-game sticker sales. QBF also failed to follow through on promises of better equipment and boot camp facilities for the team.
During this time, Quantum Bellator Fire was negotiating with several other organizations for a potential roster transfer, despite the fact the players were not actually signed to contracts. Upon discovering this during negotiations, Winstrike Team made moves to sign the players as free agents. The QBF roster and coach transferred to Winstrike, with Soloviev joining as well after telling Winstrike the players insisted he join.
In reality, the players resisted his addition as they blamed him for their withheld payments. Soloviev’s tenure with Winstrike didn’t last long regardless, with him being fired just two weeks later after allegedly pocketing $3,000 euros which were meant to be daily stipends for the players at Moche XL Esports 2018. Soloviev, who currently works for ForZe, denied these allegations in a statement to Dexerto.
The details of the report largely sync up with a separate interview in which Soloviev admitted to freezing payments to the players during their negotiations following the ELEAGUE Boston Major.
An unnamed source speculated to Lewis that the motivation behind withholding the money was to keep the players locked down to ensure their ability to negotiate with other organizations for a transfer. The report states that Winstrike Team ultimately took on these debts and repaid the players.
The controversy surrounding QBF follows what has been an ugly two weeks in CSGO, sparked by former Ninjas in Pyjamas player Robin "Fifflaren" Johansson opening up on his rough history with that team. It seems a matter of time before more players come forward with similar stories on other organizations.