Players and staff of eSports team Quantic Gaming claim they are owed around $40,000 by the team’s CEO, who has disappeared.
The Daily Dot reports Quantic Gaming players and staff hold missing CEO Simon Boudreault accountable for unpaid earnings.
Star player Ko Hyun claims he has not received salary or prize funds in several months, and is owed $23,000, with other individual claims ranging from “hundreds of dollars” to several thousand.
Affected players are investigating legal action, and the situation has reignited discussion of the lack of regulation and representation for professional gamers.
The news of unpaid players has had an unfortunate effect as eSports fans have turned their anger on staff. According to a post made on the Team Liquid forums, most Quantic Gaming staff worked on a volunteer basis, and should not be held accountable for the situation.
“It is unfair to blame any of these people, from Fuji the COO to me as wrongfully taking HyuN’s money was all Simon’s doing,” Quantic Gaming’s Joe Eastham wrote.
“It obviously hurts the Quantic brand, and we are working to decide what we can do. I urge you not to blame the sponsors as they were doing their best to get in contact with Simon too and had the players interests at heart as much as their own investments. Simon’s intentions were never clear, but he would come up with some great ideas – most of which failed to materialise, despite careful planning.”
Eastham said Boudreault kept a tight grip on the team’s management, often making it difficult for other staff to do their jobs effectively, and described his management style as “immature”.
“I believe it is unfair to pin hate on the organisation as all of the staff were extremely dedicated and put up with Simon despite his flaws,” he said.
“Myself and Curse talked with HyuN to work out how much money was owed and did our best to get Simon to pay but it is far too easy to disappear from the internet these days. I hope Simon will eventually come to his senses and pay HyuN and any others he may owe money to.”
Boudreault is believed to have been in poor health and struggling to meet financial demands before he ceased responding to email, phone and IM contact. Although his disappearance coincided with a cancer scare, disgruntled members of the shuttered team don’t seem concerned for Boudreault’s health, noting that he would occasionally disappear for weeks at a time.
Quantic Gaming’s website has not been updated since November, although staff are still active on social media and supporting the fundraising efforts of Hyun.
“The Quantic staff would like to apologise for all the drama our previous CEO has brought, the staff is taking legal actions to assist HyuN,” a Twitter update noted.
“The staff still holds the Quantic name in high regards no matter what one person may have done the Quantic Pride still holds strong for us.”