Following the alleged player poaching scandal which was first reported on by ESPN and with the day when the contracts signed by Luminosity players and staff members quickly approaching, some kind of resolution was necessary. With rumors of possible court proceeding looming in case the Brazillian CS:GO superstars refuse to honor their contracts, I’m happy to report that the situation has been resolved.
In identical statements, both Luminosity and SK Gaming announced recently that the Luminosity players will compete for the German eSports giant in ESL One Cologne 2016, the second Major of the year.
While we are extremely unlikely to be made aware of any real details concerning the agreement reached, it seems to be satisfactory to both sides of the conflict. Some shade was thrown around in the statement by SK Gaming, however. Their announcements starts with, “An agreement has been reached, provided all parties execute over the next few days, that will see the Brazilian Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team known as Luminosity join SK Gaming as of July 1st 2016.” Seeing as Luminosity statement, while being almost identical, doesn’t mention anything about the execution of the deal, it could be speculated that SK Gaming isn’t 100% confident that everything will go exactly as planned.
Speculation put to rest and provided that everything goes as planned, Luminosity players Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, Marcelo “Coldzera” David, Fernando “fer” Alvarenga, Lincoln “fnx” Lau, and Epitacio “TACO” de Melo, as well as their coach Wilton “Zews” Prado and team manager Ricardo “dead” Sinigaglia should compete for SK Gaming in the next Valve-sponsored Major.
The managing director of the German organization, Alexander T. Müller says in the statement that he’s happy that the organization has found a satisfactory solution to all parties involved. He goes on to thank the founder of Luminosity Steve Maida for, “agreeing to an amicable solution in the best interest of the players and the game we have all come to love.”
The new in-game leader for the SK Gaming CS:GO roster, Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo expressed his sentiments towards the Luminosity org and Steva Maida specifically, while also addressing the fact that he, “let emotions take part on business decisions and that is something I regret and surely will take as as a learning experience to the rest of my life.” This rings true to me, because some of the things Toledo said after the scandal broke were quite tricky to take back in case some kind of agreement was reached, making him play for SK. As it turns out, that’s precisely what happened. Fortunately, it doesn’t look as if the leaders of the SK Gaming organisation are holding a grudge or letting it affect their professionalism. FalleN addressed this in his statement, thanking SK for “dealing with this situation a very professional fashion.”
Finally, the Founder of Luminosity Gaming, Steve Maida noted that the whole situation was an emotional roller-coaster for both organisations, both management and players alike. He said, that even though “it might not have started off the best, SK and Alex made it right in the end. Maida went on expressing his love for the now former Luminosity line-up and explained that his decision to let his team join SK was made with their future and continued success in mind. Of course, a considerable sum of money probably changed hands, however, I would like to think that Mr. Maida understood that SK Gaming should be able to provide a better environment to the players who made his brand one of the most well-known in the CS:GO world. To use a karate reference, while a local black belt can train and support a talented youngster on his way to be one of the best, the pupil has to start training with masters who have more experienced in the high-stakes karate world in order to reach his full potential.
Wax on, wax off can only go so far in karate. The same is true for CS:GO, I think. While the underdog story of a small, previously mostly unknown org making it big hits that sentimental spot in my heart, the fact remains that world-class organizations are world-class because they do something better than their mediocre competition. Let’s be honest here, Steve Maida lucked out when he signed this line up. He nurtured the players as well as he could, however, if you love them, set them free. While not without controversy, Steve Maida is doing precisely that and I must give him props for it.