On Saturday the news broke that Ventus Gaming, an organization owned by Pieter “Cyrus” Venter, was allegedly withholding prize money from members of their former CS:GO team who competed at the Mettlestate Samsung CS:GO Galaxy Championship. The amount was R60 000, and the sources who contacted me stated that Cyrus was not paying the money until their gear, which was on “loan” from the organization, was returned to the organization as per their contractual agreement. According to my source, this was reiterated time and time again by Cyrus, and the issue here was that nowhere in the contract did Cyrus have the legal right to withhold prize money.
Below is a conversation between Cyrus and a former member, Chris “crick” Davies, of the CS:GO team. Highlighted is the most important part.
The initial part of the conversation is pertaining to the termination letter, which I am still investigating alongside other members of the team. I will update once more clarity on that is given.
In this conversation Pieter Venter (Cyrus) clearly tells Chris Davies (crick), who competed at Mettlestate, that he needs the gear back before he can give him his earning from the competition, which is against the contract as shown in the excerpt from the contract which the players received. The contract was sent to me by an anonymous source as the players are prohibited via a “non-disclosure agreement” from sharing this information.
The reason for including the contract is due to an alleged conversation between Pieter Venter and his players where he mentioned they are contractually obligated to return all gear if they terminate the contract before its completed. This is a clause in the contract, but withholding remuneration for the gear is not part of the contractual agreement. The use of the world “alleged” is very loose at this stage as a second conversation was sent to me between Pieter Venter and “MeisterSweg,” a friend of the players who was trying to act as a mediator in this process of receiving the money for Mettlestate.
In this screenshot you clearly see Pieter Venter (Cyrus) stating that it’s in the contract when it’s not. I’ve read through the Ventus contract thoroughly and there is no clause pertaining to the withholding of remuneration for ANY reason. Here is the clause regarding the gear:
This is only the beginning, unfortunately, as there’s a bit more to this. I was told things were “being taken out of context” but it all seems pretty straight forward after receiving all these screenshots and messages. Ventus asked us to hold off on publishing this until after we received their statement which was promised by Close if Business today, unfortunately that has not yet arrived and we feel it is in the interest of the esports industry to publish.
I’ve been in touch with Pieter Venter from Ventus and I just wanted to add my opinion. Personally while withholding the money until the gear is returned does appear to be illegal I do actually support that stance. The players were loaned gear and to refuse to return it is childish. I’m hoping clearer heads prevail here and the gamers return the gear and their duly owed winnings are paid out immediately. I have been told there is more behind the story and that may well be true so lets try refrain from burning anyone at the stake until we have all the facts.
[Update] Ventus have published their statement.
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Last Updated: May 30, 2017