Israeli esports organization NOM Esports has failed to pay almost $10,000 in salaries to its former Valorant team, sources told Dexerto.
Sources said that NOM Esports also failed to deliver on a number of promises made to the team, including a bootcamp ahead of the VRL East Surge Stage 2 playoffs.
NOM Esports were regularly late with salaries, the sources added, with players often having to wait up to 30 days for payment.
The Israeli organization promised to provide the team with equipment from its partners, as well as custom t-shirts with the players’ own nicknames from clothing sponsor Adidas, but these items were never delivered to the players.
During the regular season of VRL East Surge Stage 2, NOM Esports promised that they would set up a bootcamp for the playoffs, which at the time were planned to be a LAN event. However, the organization would later call off the bootcamp after the playoffs were moved to an online format.
The team finished playoffs in third place, behind Diamant Esports and TENSTAR. After the tournament came to an end, NOM Esports, confident that they held the rights to the spot in the regional league, parted ways with the team. But after realizing that it was in fact the roster that owned the spot, the organization approached the players and tried to re-sign them for 2023. The players declined the offer, the sources said.
NOM Esports react
Contacted by Dexerto, a NOM Esports representative confirmed that the organization had missed payments to the players but argued that the amount due is less than $9,000.
In a statement, NOM blamed the missing salaries on the fact that the organization still hasn’t received the prize money from either stage of VRL East 2022. This, it argued, “directly affected the planning of the cash flow and budget of this team.”
“This situation forces us to wait for the fully legal (taxes, club percentages etc.) final payment for the players, which made us with tied hands (legally) and work each and every day in front of League representatives to come to a solution,” NOM added.
“The club has made all efforts to provide the players the extra terms beyond the boundaries of the contract to reach the highest levels, including the bootcamp before the LAN playoffs, which were canceled by the league a few days before they were set to take place.
“This affected the handing off of the official NOM Esports jersey, the bootcamp (which the league promised to cover flights to and from), and a sponsorship deal that broke down because of the league’s conduct.
“We really hoped to make that happen and are as disappointed with the situation as the players.”
NOM Esports is an Israeli organization founded in 2019 by Shahar Meir and Lior Sela. The organization is part of the NOM Group, which builds gaming centers. In addition to Valorant, NOM Esports have competed in Fortnite, FIFA and NBA 2K.
The roster that finished third in VRL East Surge was made up of Albert ‘almo’ Moscicki, Krystian ‘Freyy’ Konopka, Martin ‘Hitch’ Srp, Mathias ‘matti’ Nielsen, and Drahomír ‘bobys’ Pohořalý.
Contacted by Dexerto, FRENZY, the company that hosted VRL East Surge, gave the following comment: “We are aware of the situation regarding delays in the payment of dues to teams and players who participated in the VRL East Surge tournaments. The delays are due to internal procedural issues and we are making every effort to pay the dues as soon as possible and without further delay. We are in contact with the teams, and the situation should be resolved by mid-September at the latest.”