North American esports organization Denial Esports may end up having to pay a massive amount of the money that they reportedly owe to players and for their spot in the Call of Duty World League.
Not for the first time, controversy has surrounded Denial Esports this past few days, with the issue, once again, involving unpaid debts.
On May 13, Denial were accused by former CoD pro player Nathan 'Natshay' Dupuis of not paying players the salaries they had agreed upon when first signing with the org back in January.
According to information reported by Dot Esports, the org and players signed letters of intent that would end up with the players getting paid a combined €26,000 ($29,618.86).
However, seeing as how none of the five players had received any salary during the three months that they were part of the team, Denial could owe them a combined €79,500 ($88,856.59) in unpaid salaries.
In addition to the unpaid salaries, Denial allegedly also owe another €40,000 ($44,707.72) to Overtime Esport, the org with whom the players originally qualified for the Pro League, but whose spot was transferred to Denial.
According to reports, when Overtime were not paid the money they were owed for the spot, they reached out to MLG, but when the matter did not get resolved, they eventually release their own statement on social media.
Today, through this message, we want to break the silence.
As some have noted, Overtime has been inactive since January 28, the official date of the announcement of our CoD team’s departure for Denial.
Overtime has continued to evolve in recent years on Call Of Duty, from amateur to Pro League. We have quickly reached a stage of development where funding is essential to keep our operations going. We had an extraordinary journey with our players who qualified in CWL Pro League, it was very hard for us to let them go, but we respected an arrangement that had been made between us before they came to us for CWL Vegas. Then it was an evil for a good in the end, the money recovered from the spot would have allowed us to prosper our projects and make us pass a new level in esports. Unfortunately, nothing has happened as planned since that day.
We are still waiting for a sum of several tens of thousands of euros for the sale of the CWL Pro League spot that we got earlier this year.
Measures have been taken and procedures have been launched, but if we want this story to come to an end, unfortunately we cannot go into any more detail at this time.
We want to show our support to Lucas, Nathan and Ryan who are in a similar situation to ours. We hope that this story will be brought back to order as soon as possible and that everyone can continue their journey with what they deserve.
With the two sums added together, Denial could end up paying a whopping €119,500 ($133,564) to the players and Overtime Esport before this is all said and done.
The exact amount they will end up paying, however, is still well up in the air, as there are some details that will need to be closely examined before Denial start dishing out money.
For one, according to reports, Denial COO Justin Jacobson and co-owner Zach Smith have maintained that the contracts that were offered to the players did not guarantee them any salary, since they could not be officially paid until they acquired P1-A Visas.
Instead, the org covered the players' costs for living expenses, such as food and hotel, until their Visa situation was dealt with.
However, Smith told Dot Esports that he personally feels that the players should be compensated, despite the fact that Denial technically don't owe them anything.
“Me personally, they are owed money,” Smith said. “Now, would it matter if I gave them a million dollars under the table? We still couldn’t pay them legally without the P-1A Visas. Now, from a legal standpoint, do we owe them money? No, but we are rectifying the situation no matter what.”
No end in sight to Denial controversy
This ongoing controversy has reflected pretty negatively on Denial, at least from the public's perspective, and ultimately led to Smith stepping down from daily operations with the team.
Some aspects of the situation remain very unclear at this point, so there's no telling when this financial issue between Denial, their former players, and Overtime will be resolved.
As always, we will continue providing you updates on this story as more information becomes available.