This morning, a couple of writers that go by the handles @awake_gg and @csgodevil published the results of an investigation into a wider array of dealings that players from other parts of esports have had with Steven Maida, CEO of Luminosity Gaming. The piece contains several new tidbits of information including a suggestion that Maida is in default on $200k of “prior collective tournament winnings” or prize money.
Not paying out prize money in a respectable amount of time is probably the biggest chump move that any esports entity could make, regardless if the entity in question is a tournament organizer or a team owner. But there’s more!
The article also contains a copy of a freelancer’s contract complete with broadly-worded and suspect language. To start with, any contractor can be bought out for a simple $25k no-questions-asked fee, which seems like a great signal (to me, in my opinion, in my estimation, etc.) that LG bills itself more as a stepping stone organization and borderline get-rich-quick scheme instead of an esports organization meant to build and foster long-lasting business relationships.
Lastly, the post made to clutchorkick.gg included some redacted Skype conversation logs where contracted players under the Luminosity brand would have conversations with Maida about various aspects of their deal. One player would ask about getting some equipment, and would be treated by Maida as if getting free computer components from sponsors was a normal occurrence in the life of a contractor for LG. In addition to the dismissive way that Maida responds to the anonymous player’s inquiries about getting gear from sponsors, Maida throws his current sponsors under the bus.
Even if you assume that Maida is taken out of context by these particular Skype screenshots, I’m not sure that you can give him credit for being down to Earth by being so flippant about the end of a sponsorship deal.
All sorts of red flags here.