Denial Esports rumored to be folding again with players still owed thousands - Dexerto

Denial Esports rumored to be folding again with players still owed thousands

Published: 31/May/2019 15:29 Updated: 31/May/2019 16:03

by Matt Porter


Rumors are circulating that Denial Esports are set told for a second time, while still owing money to a number of players currently contracted to the organization.

Denial Esports have a long reputation of failing to pay players and staff, eventually disbanding in late 2018 following months of accusations.

The organization returned in 2019 under new management, but according to new rumors circulating on May 31, it appears that their return to the esports scene will be short lived, and leave more professional players out of pocket at the hands of Denial.

CWLDenial are apparently set to fold once again, leaving a number of players unpaid.

Revealed on Twitter by Scott ‘SirScoots’ Smith, the rumor suggests that Denial is once again set to shut down operations, leaving behind a number of players who are owed money by the organization.

“Word on the street is that Denial are folding up their circus tent and leaving town again,” wrote SirScoots. “Owing current players money as they run for the hills… again.”

SirScoots also mentioned a claim that states Patrick ‘BlackBeardAP’ Smith was not in fact CEO of Denial, with the rumor stating that he was “fake.” Whether this means that he was never officially installed to the position is unknown.

According to SirScoots, Denial owes a number of current players large sums of money, and stated that Eduardo ‘Link’ Osuna and the rest of the current CS:GO team are owed $1,500 each.

The news that Denial could be shutting up shop once again comes just days after a number of former Denial players revealed that goodwill payments made by the organization back in January had been charged back.

Co-owner Zach Smith told Dexerto that this happened because the payments had been flagged by his credit card company as suspicious, and stated that he would be repaying the money.

Dexerto has approached Denial Esports for comment on this story and will update this post with any new information.


Rainbow Six champs DarkZero deny conflict of interest with Raven investment

Published: 26/Oct/2020 18:18

by Adam Fitch


DarkZero Esports respond to conflict of interest concerns after Dexerto found documents revealing they’ve invested in merchandise company Raven.

Despite declaring themselves as partners in the public domain, it has not been announced publicly that DarkZero had acquired an ownership stake in the merchandise company until now.

DarkZero compete in Rainbow Six Siege, recently placing first in the North American Six August Major and Season 1, Stage 2 of the North American League — results that arguably position the team as the best in their region.

Raven produces and sells merchandise for partner teams Excel Esports, Rogue, Spacestation Gaming, and Tribe Gaming. DarkZero are also listed as a partner on their website.

DarkZero Esports Raven Sleeve
DarkZero Esports has a merch line available for purchase with Raven.

On April 27, Raven published on their site that they had raised $1.4m in a seed funding round with a “US-based private equity fund.” The fund’s identity was not revealed in the blog post, nor had there been any public declaration of ownership beyond company records on Companies House — the United Kingdom’s official registrar.

You had to have purposefully gone seeking these documents to find DarkZero’s involvement in Raven.

In a confirmation statement published to Companies House dated July 22, it’s revealed that DarkZero Esports LLC owns 6666 ordinary shares in the company. Raven’s managing director Samuel Wells owns 8500 ordinary shares, making the North American team the second-largest shareholder.

Other shareholders include Adam Cooper and Robert Loveday, Raven personnel who both hold 750 ordinary shares each. DarkZero’s CEO Zach Matula and director of operations Robert Stamey were both appointed as directors of Raven on April 24, according to documents.

Conflict of interest?

Dexerto contacted Wells to ask why DarkZero’s position in Raven had not been declared in the initial announcement, nor on social media or their website. He replied: “As long-term partners, DZ took a minority share in Raven to grow their ecosystem as an esports organisation which in turn allows Raven to grow and expand as an endemic esports apparel brand. All information is readily available in the company registrar.”

There is nothing inherently wrong with DarkZero not declaring their ownership interest in Raven, but it raises conflict of interest concerns such as them gaining access to information about Raven’s partner orgs that they otherwise wouldn’t be privy to. DarkZero and Raven partner Spacestation Gaming both compete in North American Rainbow Six Siege, for example.

DarkZero’s Matula responded to Dexerto’s request for comment on the investment, why it had not been announced to their fans, and conflict of interest concerns.

“DarkZero has a minority financial interest in Raven and this has never been something that we have attempted to conceal and is even a matter of public record,” he said. “If the investment is of interest to the public we would be thrilled to have Dexerto readers be aware that DarkZero is proud to have invested in the most innovative esports apparel brand in the world!”

People having ownership stakes in multiple companies is nothing new and there have been plenty of concerns voiced surrounding conflicts of interest — even in esports.

Examples include OpTic Gaming founder Hector Rodriguez used to be a shareholder in Dexerto and was declared as such in relevant articles, ESPN covers esports and their owners, Disney, are also investors in Team Liquid’s parent company aXiomatic, and Valve has had to issue multiple orders to resolve such conflicts in Counter-Strike. Earlier this October, it was unearthed that the CEO of Better Collective, the parent company of CS:GO news site HLTV, is also a co-owner of Astralis.