Winterfox and the players on its Counter-Strike agreed to part ways, they announced Thursday. After working out details with the ESL, the players will get to keep their spot in the ESL Pro League.
“The players are very happy to have resolved their disputes with Winterfox and look forward to continuing to participate in the ESL Pro league for the remainder of this season, and beyond,” the players’ attorney, Roger Quiles, said. “They are currently accepting offers from organizations.”
The players — Mike “apoc” Aliferis, Chris “emagine” Rowlands, Chris “ofnu” Hanley, Ryan “zewsy” Palmer and Razmik “RaZ” Bastadjan — told Slingshot earlier in the month that Winterfox owner Brian Cordry failed to pay the team its salary for March and also failed to help the players acquire proper work visas. When the team returned to Australia/New Zealand, they were left without a way to get back and resume the ESL Pro League Season.
Former Winterfox player Chris “dexter”‘ Nong also said he was owed $3,200 in outstanding payments dating as far back as October. Dexter remained under contract following his departure of the active lineup per Cordry’s request, dexter said, but he was not been paid for that time.
In the meantime, the stranded players had played ESL Pro League matches from Oceania while trying to work out a solution. They reached out to ESL on multiple occasions before Slingshot’s initial report, and ESL finally helped orchestrate a resolution.
“Winterfox and its CSGO team have mutually agreed to part ways,” the players and organization said in a joint statement. “Despite everyone’s best efforts, things have not turned out the way any of us had planned. Nonetheless, we all believe that parting ways is best for everyone involved. We have resolved all outstanding issues between the CSGO team and Winterfox, and the team shall continue to participate in the ESL Pro League. The CSGO team is grateful for the opportunity that Winterfox provided them, and the organization wishes the best for the team as they move forward.”
Emagine left the team this week, leaving them a player short for their remaining ESL Pro League matches. Winterfox is 13th out of 14 teams in the North American division of the ESL Pro League and dropped all six of its games since returning to Oceania, where they’ve been forced to play with higher ping. According to a news release from the ESL, the former Winterfox players will conclude the EPL season under the name “Animal Squad.” If the team secures a slot for next season, they will need to return to North America in order to be eligible to further play in the EPL, according to ESL’s statement.