Former XSET players and coach take legal action over unpaid Valorant Champions 2022 revenue

Declan Mclaughlin
XSET Valorant squad posed on stage at NA VCT LCQ

Four former XSET Valorant players and their head coach have taken legal action against the organization over alleged unpaid merchandising revenue, including money from the Valorant Champions 2022 cosmetic bundle.

Former XSET Valorant players Zachary ‘zekken’ Patrone, Matthew ‘Cryocells’ Panganiba, Jordan ‘AYRIN’ He and Rory ‘dephh’ Jackson along with Don ‘SyykoNT’ Muir have filed separate legal actions against the organization in the Los Angeles County Superior Court of California.

The cases alleged that XSET has reversed course on its word to pay the players and coach an agreed-upon 50% split of revenue from merchandise, which includes revenue from the Valorant Champions 2022 skin bundle.

Court documents from each case claim XSET has refused to pay the former team members their alleged share as first reported by Dot Esports.

The Valorant Champions 2022 bundle raised more than $16 million before the tournament concluded. Half of the profits from the cosmetic is split among the 16 teams that qualified for the event.

XSET allegedly owes former Valorant players Champions money

The cases for all five plaintiffs were filed on August 16. Court documents for the case include contracts signed by the players and coach which explicitly detail the revenue split for the tournament’s cosmetic bundle.

“XSET, Inc. agrees to pay 50% of the proceeds received from Riot Games from all in-game digital item sales as of the above date with the following players/coaches in equal shares allocated,” the document said and then lists the five former XSET Valorant players (including Brendan ‘BcJ’ Jensen) and the head coach.

xset valorant
XSET placed top six at Valorant Champions 2022.

The document also says the payment will be made within 14 days of receiving the money from Riot Games.

Documents in the cases also lay out the former XSET member’s attempts to follow the arbitration agreement they signed with the organization to deal with the matter. They allege that XSET is refusing to honor the agreement by rejecting an issue from the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services to pay a $2,000 non-refundable filing fee.

The case documents also include a copy of the player’s contract with the organization which includes a section about arbitration that says, “XSET shall be responsible for all fees associated with the arbitrator’s fee, including associated travel expenses of the arbitrator, the rental of a room to hold the arbitration hearing and similar costs.”

XSET Valorant coach at VCT masters answering questions from media
XSET at VCT Masters Copenhagen.

The former XSET members are looking for the court to order XSET to arbitrate the dispute over the revenue share and for XSET to pay for the agreed administrative fees and the costs to do so, as stated in their contracts.

XSET gave Dexerto a statement about for this article following its publishing.

“Unfortunately, no one reached out to us for a comment before publishing an article. Esports has faced significant challenges during the last year, and continues to find its footing as an integral part of the world sports scene. XSET has constantly sought to be a voice for change and growth in the space. It is a sad reality that contract disputes are part of professional sports. Needless to say, we totally disagree with what was written in the complaint, and we look forward to proving that the contracts were not amended, as is now claimed,” the statement said.

“At XSET, we get up every day and work hard to support our players as they pursue their dreams in gaming. Every penny generated by XSET in esports has been reinvested back into gamers and into the future of esports, and we look forward to continuing to help them generate the money they deserve for their grind. Despite any bumps in the road along the way, we are as excited as ever about gaming’s continued evolution.”

XSET exited the VCT circuit after Riot Games chose not to partner with the organization for the VCT Americas league. The organization has since scaled back its esports operation. Its former COO Marco Mereu has created his own esports company, M80, and signed some of XSET’s former teams.

XSET now only has a few esports teams signed to its brand, including an NBA 2K squad and a women’s Valorant team.

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