It’s been three months and Valorant teams and talent still haven’t received payment for participating in the Pulse Series event in September.
Commentator Dustin “dusT” Mouret was the first to come forward about the concerning situation. dusT claimed that Pulse Esports Arena owes him and other talent “a good chunk of change.” Originally reported by Dot Esports, dusT stated that the payment was due around October 22, but he’s yet to receive any money. Pulse now also allegedly owes “tens of thousands of dollars” to tournament participants.
“I tried to resolve this privately but have been getting strung along, as many others have been,” dusT tweeted. Since his tweet, a handful of other players, teams, and talent have come forward with the same accusations.
Tried to resolve this privately but have been getting strung along as many others involved have been. @pulse_arena owes a good chunk of change to all talent involved with Pulse Series. Not sure about teams/players/event staff but I’d imagine it’s similarhttps://t.co/6MYVXzNcnl
— dusT ➐ (@followdusT) December 2, 2020
Valorant community accuses Pulse Esports Arena of not paying players, casters
After seeing dusT speak out publicly against Pulse Esports Arena, analyst Alexander “LeX” Deily decided to come forward with his experience as well. He tweeted at Pulse directly, telling the TO to “pay us what we’re owed.”
LeX confided to Dot Esports that Pulse’s CEO and founder, Dan Cybak, had told tournament talent that they’d be paid within 30 days of submitting their invoices after the event. But Cybak ended up delaying the payments multiple times, claiming in emails that investments and the ongoing global health concerns were to blame. At one point, Cybak even claimed he had to “personally take a mortgage” to pay back everyone involved.
“Don’t ruin Valorant for the talent and players,” LeX tweeted, still waiting for his $2,000 from the TO.
Don’t ruin @PlayVALORANT for the talent and players.
Pay us what we’re owed. @pulse_arena https://t.co/s9NHpexbhM
— LeX (@TheUltraLex) December 2, 2020
LeX opened up further, claiming that he has rent and bills due that he now can’t pay for. He said there’s “no worse feeling” than not being paid for work, except players not getting their prize money.
The Pulse Series tournament had a $10,000 prize pool, shared between the top three teams. Mamba Mode Gaming, Luminosity Gaming, and beastcoast stated they haven’t received any of the money they won. Former Mamba Mode Gaming player Tristan “Critical” Trinacty stated that he’s “not too sure what’s going on.”
Luminosity’s Alex “aproto” Protopapas stated that his team also hasn’t received any of the prize money. He is hoping that Riot will ban the tournament organizers to “set things right.”
THESPIKE.GG didn’t ask for money when they helped Pulse produce the event, but CEO Artur Minacov still shared screenshots of his private Discord conversations with Cybak. Minacov can be seen telling Cybak to never get involved with anything esports-related again after not paying anyone from the event.
yikes man 🤮
— TSM Subroza (@Subroza) December 4, 2020
“Months after the event we literally built for them, these two clowns did not pay anything. Yet they said they have investors and seem to only know how to talk,” Minacov tweeted.
Riot has yet to make a statement about the Pulse Esports Arena situation. The developer is most likely busy with their company-produced First Strike series at this time. It’s not clear if they are aware of the accusations, although Cybak stated in an email that he’s allegedly told Riot about the situation himself.