Nick J. October 31, 2019
Counter-Strike: Global Offensive organization Windigo Gaming has announced that it will shut down according to a Reddit post from the organization’s co-owner Maksym Bednarskyi.
Bednarskyi says that the organization hasn’t received prize money from Windigo’s placing in WESG. Windigo’s co-owner is also claiming that they haven’t been paid ESL Pro League’s Season 9 or 10 prize money, nor their winnings from MocheXL. Windigo Gaming won $6K from ESL Pro League Season 9 competition, $6K from Season 10, $40,000 from MocheXL, and a massive $500,000 from WESG that still haven’t been paid to the organization, according to Bednarskyi.
In the post, Bednarskyi provides an update on Valentin "poizon" Vasilev, a Bulgarian CSGO player who has been linked to Complexity Gaming. OG’s new team in the CSGO scene has also reportedly pursued the young player.
Bednarskyi says that poizon has signed a contract with another team but does not mention the new organization. A 1pv.fr report points towards Complexity. The rest of Wendigo’s CSGO players will become free agents on November 1.
Wendigo Gaming will not attend any more tournaments, including WePlay’s Forge of Masters, United Masters League Season 2, or the WESG 2020 finals.
The organization has placed well in lower tier tournaments during its run but never made an impact at any top tournaments during their time in the scene.
Bednarskyi came under fire earlier this year after using a death threat meme against former Windingo player Teodor “Spellan” Niolov. After Niolov accused Windingo of not paying him ten months’ salary, Bednarskyi replied with “you’ll prove it or I’ll kill you.” The meme is in reference to CSGO player Vito “kNgV-” Giuseppe, who used the threat against fellow player Pujan “FNS” Mehta.
After Bednarskyi’s Reddit post, the official Windingo Twitter account announced that MocheXL had wired the organization the prize money. There has been no word on the other organizers’ responses to Bednarskyi.
Windigo another victim of esports tournaments failing to pay winnings
This marks another incident where a tournament organizer has failed to pay prize money. According to a piece by Rivalry.com, SG E-Sports took to social media in order to get WESG to pay them $10K in prize money from a 2017 South American Qualifier. The same report states that Dota 2 team TNC was missing $152K from winning China Top 2017.
Larger organizations can wait longer between the end of a tournament and receiving prize money. But for players on smaller squads like Windingo, it can be the difference between being on a team and looking for a new one.
In 2017, E-Frag hosted the CSGO World Championships. Argentina took home second place at the tournament but told media outlet Compete that E-Frag never paid them. It wasn’t until Compete broke the story that E-Frag admitted to financial problems.
Players on low tier teams don’t have large salaries, often relying on tournament prize money to pay their bills. When organizers don’t pay, it’s the players who most often suffer.