ORDER fail to find buyer, Oceanic esports org staff contracts terminated

Lee Aiksoon for Riot Games

Oceanic esports giant ORDER is one step away from liquidation after administrators told Dexerto they had failed to find a buyer for the organization. Staff have had their contracts terminated as their teams make their final showing at DreamHack Melbourne.

Despite a more than $5 million AUD ($2.94 million at the time) investment just 12 months ago, Oceanic esports titan ORDER is just one step away from disappearing into the history books.

The top side, who boasted championship-winning teams in five titles domestically, went into voluntary administration in August after running out of cash. Two weeks on, administrators have failed to find a buyer in time, and the organization’s days appear to be numbered.

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ORDER staff had their contracts terminated as of September 2, 2022, sources told Dexerto. This includes all backend staff and players.

“Employees have now been terminated on the basis of not finding a purchaser to fund the business,” David Holton, director at Rodgers Reidy, the firm handling ORDER’s case, said. 

“The company hasn’t gone into liquidation, although it’s likely at the second meeting of creditors [later in September].”

Administrators said there were 17 interested parties in ORDER, but sources told Dexerto that only one or two seriously considered a purchase.

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Investors pulled the pin on ORDER in August due to “market volatility” and the global health crisis.

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“Essentially it’s a start-up where many people have invested a lot of money in trying to invest in Australia’s best esports teams and get ahead of the curve,” Holton said. “Financial markets put their company into a position where their revenue wasn’t as strong as hoped and they required additional investment.”

If the company is liquidated, employees and contractors will be paid their dues first before any outstanding debts. These debts run into six figures.

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“We’re still dealing with a number of claims against the company or other entities and their legitimacy,” Holton continued. “The trade creditors are out $200,000, then you’ve got employee entitlements on top of that, which will crystallize with redundancies for all the staff ⁠— but there’s no picture of total entitlements on that yet. 

“There are some other issues, such as players and whether they’re going to be determined as employees or contractors.”

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ORDER were expected to have two teams compete on stage at DreamHack Melbourne 2022, the first major Australian esports LAN in three years. Their League of Legends roster is competing under the banner, but ORDER’s Counter-Strike team has returned to its Grayhound origins.

Grayhound currently sits in the loser’s bracket of the ESL Challenger event, duking it out against fellow Australian side Vertex to stave off elimination. 

The League of Legends side is fighting against Pentanet.GG for a spot in Sunday’s LCO final and the chance to go to Worlds 2022.

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