Denial Esports co-owner Zachary Smith is stepping down from daily operations with the team, after accusations of missing payments to players, and failure to pay for their CWL spot from Overtime eSports, had been mounting against the organization.
Smith had joined forces with other prominent figures in esports to rebuild the Denial organization in mid-December 2018 after previous management infamously tarnished the Wolfpack brand for numerous controversies related to unpaid salaries.
Since taking over, Smith himself has been at the center of criticism, ranging from interactions with the public and firing a graphic designer over innocuous comments, to accusations of players going unpaid for long periods of time.
The executive released a statement saying the organization had “been running too fast for [their] own good,” and that Strategic Advisor Jerry Nguyen will now be promoted to Chief Strategy Officer to handle the day-to-day operations.
The news of Smith stepping down from his position at Denial come as French esports organization Overtime eSports and former player Nathan ‘Natshay’ Dupuis alleged that they have gone without payment from previous business deals.
Overtime released a statement on May 15 claiming they had yet to be paid for the CWL Pro League spot they dealt to Denial Esports on January 28.
Even though a team under the Denial banner have played almost a dozen games in the Call of Duty league, Overtime say they “are still waiting for a sum of several tens of thousands of euros for the sale of the CWL Pro League spot.”
The claims come as a follow up to the May 13 accusations by Natshay in which the former Overtime and Denial member said the North American organization had not paid out player salaries with figures reaching up to $15,000.
In the same statement Smith said the debacle with Natshay stemmed from United States law preventing the organization from legally paying the player “due to existing immigration laws regarding work authorization and visas.”
Since then Denial has set up a form to appropriately pay the “alleged owed salaries of the player.”
Denial Esports will now look to rectify past transgressions with current CEO Patrick ‘BlackBeardAP’ E. Smith Sr. and CSO Nguyen at the helm.
Smith’s statement did not mention the alleged failed payment to Overtime eSports.