Steven R. September 8, 2019
G2 Esports is starting to get a bit of a bad reputation in the esports management world.
CR4ZY CEO Antonio Meić is accusing the organization of attempting to poach players from his Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team on Twitter.
He publicized the accusation with an image that shows a Kenyan anti-poaching unit approaching a suspect. Each member of the unit have the CR4ZY logos superimposed over their faces, while the poacher’s head is covered by the G2 emblem.
“It's hard to build esports with healthy ecosystem when you are constantly muscled out by veterans of the industry,” Miec said. “Not the first time orgs are approaching our players behind our backs but it's hard when the one you look up to does it!”
To completely remove any doubt over who he is referencing, the tweet closes with an extra comment directed at G2 CEO Carlos Rodríguez Santiagos.
Poaching is a common practice in all forms of sports, including esports. It typically involves one team approaching active players from another and attempting to convince them to change sides, either immediately or at a later date. This undermines the organizations’ ability to retain their players, particularly in the case of a smaller organization like CR4ZY when dealing with a juggernaut like G2.
Leagues typically offer rules or guidelines for when and how organizations can approach players from other teams, but with no governing body for titles like CSGO it’s essentially every team for itself.
G2 and player poaching in esports
Poaching is prevalent in esports and impacts every popular title. Last month, Dota 2 saw drama erupt when Royal Never Give Up allegedly approached a player from Vici Gaming during The International 2019. While Vici Gaming withdrew these claims, it sparked a larger discussion about RNG approaching active players from other organizations.
G2 is no stranger to this topic, either. The organization has long been at the center of accusations and reports of poaching players in League of Legends going back to both 2016 and 2018, but has not faced any sort of punishment to this point from LoL developer Riot Games.
Regardless of whether CR4ZY’s gripes are legitimate, CSGO’s lack of oversight and regulation means G2 is unlikely to face any consequences.