We know many of you are quite confused as to the recent incident involving Stephano and Team Millenium. Frankly, we are as well. As of the time of this post both have ignored our requests for open discussions. Our goal in this statement is to provide you with our side of the story, even as we are actively investigating the proper course of action, not only for ourselves but for the greater good of eSports in general.
We are proud of the fact that compLexity Gaming has been a global presence in eSports since 2003. During that time we have not been perfect but we have always tried to conduct our business affairs with the highest level of integrity. We have been honored to work with some of the best gamers in the world in multiple gaming titles and have made lifelong friendships in this “business” that is much more of a passion project than a profit machine. We say this because today, Millenium’s outrageous allegations have suggested that our pursuit of Stephano was done in a less than honorable manner. To that we take great exception.
Here are the facts (all of which can be proven by written logs):
1) We first contacted Stephano on September 1st, 2011. We stated our interest in retaining his services and he stated that he was in no way contracted to Millenium and was interested in joining compLexity.
2) For the next 18 days we conducted negotiations. We would make an offer and Millenium would make a counter offer. At no point did we apply pressure other than to make it clear that we were willing to do what it would take to secure his services.
3) Over the course of several days, Jason Bass spent time explaining our contract to Stephano in detail and making sure he understood all of the terms.
4) Yesterday Stephano contacted coL.CatZ and our COO Jason Bass to inform them he had made his final decision and told CatZ “Don’t worry I won’t change my mind again.” He then executed a legally binding contract with our organization. He seemed genuinely excited to be a part of our organization and joined our private Skype channel to chat with the team before going to bed.
5) Stephano’s contract with compLexity made him one of the highest paid SC2 players in the world and ensured him global travel, training in Korea and access to other undisclosed plans we have for the future. In no way was he taken advantage of or pressured into a subpar agreement.
Today we were very surprised and disappointed to see that Millenium had announced Stephano would not be leaving their organization- completely disregarding and disrespecting the fact that he had 18 days to consider the offers and had executed a legally binding contract with our organization. As mentioned previously, as of the time of this post both Millenium and Stephano have refused to answer our emails requesting a discussion of this serious matter.
This leaves us in a very difficult situation. As people who are passionate about eSports, this situation is quickly turning out to be a humiliating one despite our best efforts to handle matters in the right way. By no means do we want to force a player to be part of our gaming family. For over eight years gamers have longed to play under the compLexity banner. To have someone treat our sincere offer of support and cooperation in such a light hearted manner is frustrating and disheartening.
On the other side of the coin, in order for all of us to have a stable and maturing eSports environment there absolutely must be respect for and adherence to legally binding contracts. How can any organization be expected to conduct the business side of gaming (acquiring and retaining sponsors, etc) if contracts are disregarded and players/teams do whatever they feel like at the moment? We believe the answer is clear- contracts must be honored and legally binding promises enforced if we are to continue our collective growth. It has never been our wish to legally pursue a gamer or another gaming organization but at what point must a stand be taken? These are the questions we are discussing today. We will fully review our options and will seriously consider legal action in this matter. Many observers would publicly crucify us for taking such a stand but it is our belief that doing what is right is more important than always doing what is popular. It is our intention to consult with other eSports leaders and weigh their opinions highly. Although this is ultimately our business decision and responsibility, the ramifications will be felt world-wide and we feel an obligation to get opinions from our respected colleagues.
We sincerely apologize to the coL Community and the broader eSports community for this embarrassing turn of events and we greatly thank you for your support. Both of us have poured ourselves into eSports for nearly a decade and are very disheartened by this situation.