North American esports organization Denial Esports will be closing down their operations, according to co-owner Zachary Smith, who went on a maniacal tirade to make the announcement.
On May 31, Smith went on a massive rant on Twitter, posting a series of harsh and eye-opening tweets about Denial, including the fact that they would be "closing."
In his thread of tweets, Smith expressed his anger and frustration at how things had gone so south at Denial, and at the people who had apparently turned his back on him.
"I'm not sad that Denial is closing," he tweeted. "I'm actually happy to see it fold. It showed me the true colors of a lot of people I called friends."
"I learned a valuable lesson. Esports is like the first lunar landing. It was blown up in the public's eyes, cost copious amounts of money, and brought minimal physical return. Thank you to everyone, and as always, go f*ck yourself."
Denial currently own a spot in the CWL Pro League, which will be terminated effectively. After nine weeks of the regular season, Denial currently have a 5-10 record and sit next-to-last in Division B, with little to no hope of qualifying directly for the Playoffs.
As a result of the organization disbanding, their entire roster now remains without any entity to represent, and Rhys 'Rated' Price has already begun looking for any potential suitors willing to pick them up.
DENIAL ESPORTS CWL PRO LEAGUE ROSTER
We are now officially working with CWL on finding a new home for the team license this will be for CWL/Anaheim/Miami/Champs. If you are interested or know of anyone interested In getting involved in Call Of Duty my DM’s are open & my email is - [email protected]— Rhys Price (@Rated_COD) May 31, 2019
On May 13, Call of Duty pro player Nathan 'Natshay' Dupuis accused the org of not paying player salaries, which was followed by Overtime eSport claiming that they were never paid for their spot in the CWL Pro League, and both were harshly addressed by Smith in his thread of angry tweets.
"From paying people's rent to making sure their players got to events," he said." They so conveniently forgot the moment some French kid that dropped out of high school had an opinion on the situation."
"Overtime claiming that we stole their spot. Overtime, when selling us their spot, conveniently forgot to tell us they didn't own two players on the roster - committing international trade fraud."
"We started off trying to do something great with a tainted name and a lot ahead of us," Smith tweeted. "As we started fixing past mistakes, we started creating new ones. We trusted the wrong people and paid for it more than once."
Prior to this rant, Smith had already stepped down from daily operations with the team, and was faced with more accusations that the goodwill payments he had made to former players had been charged back, which he claims was due to his bank flagging potentially suspicious transactions.
This is, of course, not the first time that Denial have stepped away from esports because of internal and financial issues.
The organization went through a major down period from 2016-2018, especially in terms of competing in CoD esports, largely due to unpaid salaries and fees, consistent stonewalling by upper-management, and legal action taken against them.
However, the organization returned with a bang in early-2019, with former CEO Robby Rignalda publicly apologizing for his "mismanagement," and claiming that the new CEO Smith had "righted his wrongs" and "was turning the Denial brand in what it once was."
When news of Denial's second demise broke, Rignalda also posted some comments of his own about the difficult situation.
All I wanted to do was get the players paid back was willing to forfeit 6 years of hard work to do so. I'm still not sure exactly what is going on. I'll do all I can. Feel free to dm if you are personally affected.— Robby Ringnalda (@DenialCEO) May 31, 2019
Not trying to play victim. I have no benefit in coming back. Just trying to get people like your csgo boys paid. Which I thought happened in January. When all the players posted screenshots of payments.— Robby Ringnalda (@DenialCEO) May 31, 2019
As always, we will continue to bring you updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.