Dota 2 legend Syed “SumaiL” Hassan left Evil Geniuses in early 2020, but he’s not quite done with the American esports juggernaut.
It has been revealed that Dota 2 prodigy SumaiL has been engaged in a legal battle with Evil Geniuses since late 2021. The lawsuit is related to stock options given to the player in 2016 when he was just 17 years old. A combination of contract issues and company mergers resulted in a situation with what SumaiL’s attorneys described as “unwarranted and draconian obligations and forfeitures.”
The news was revealed by veteran esports journalist Richard Lewis through his personal blog on March 10, 2023. In the post, Lewis details that SumaiL is suing his former sponsor for breach of contract related to 400,000 company shares originally granted in 2017. Lewis also claims that the legal battle has been ongoing since late 2021.
When EG later merged with investment company Peak6, SumaiL was promised 265,338 common stocks and 106,667 unrestricted stocks, which are more valuable. However, he allegedly never received ownership of the unrestricted shares. Peak6 never explained the details of the deal, leading to confusion.
This came to a head when SumaiL left the team in 2020, as EG attempted to purchase the stocks back from the player. The then-21-year-old agreed, but has yet to receive any of the $1 million promised to him.
Effectively, SumaiL was given partial ownership of the company, but that control was then taken from him with no compensation. The situation is made worse by his age, with SumaiL’s lawyers claiming that Evil Geniuses took advantage of his youth to present a flawed contract.
SumaiL’s time on Evil Geniuses was one of the most famous player-team pairings in Dota 2. The American player became the youngest winner of The International in 2015, taking home his share of the $6,634,661 grand prize at the age of 17. He’s practically synonymous with the hero Storm Spirit, who he rightfully abused to win the prestigious event.
Evil Geniuses scandals pile up with SumaiL and Danny
Evil Geniuses has faced a number of scandals in 2023, with controversies surrounding both Dota 2 star SumaiL and LoL pro Kyle “Danny” Sakamaki.
In Danny’s case, multiple sources have alleged that Evil Geniuses’ League of Legends division mistreated the player during his tenure. This included verbal harassment from staff and failure to provide promised support. The situation has escalated to the point where even Riot Games is reviewing the case. Danny himself has remained silent on the matter.
At the beginning of the year, Evil Geniuses was often held up as an example of sustainability in esports. However, the scandals involving both SumaiL and Danny show that the company isn’t quite as stable as fans thought. EG is now in a precarious position. If these issues don’t resolve amicably, the sponsor will lose even more respect and goodwill from the esports industry and community.