The ESL ruled Wednesday that because of forfeits, the ex-Winterfox players known as Animal Squad have been disqualified from the ESL Pro League.
The players secured the ESL Pro League spot from Winterfox on April 27 after a dispute with the organization about salary and visas, but they have forfeited two matches since then and informed the ESL they plan to forfeit their remaining two matches, which disqualifies them from the league.
As a result, the team will lose any prize money accumulated during the course of the season, according to ESL’s ruling. Additionally, all of the team’s matches, including previous results, will be voided and will not be taken into consideration in the ranking.
The players — Mike “apoc” Aliferis, Chris “emagine” Rowlands, Chris “ofnu” Hanley, Ryan “zewsy” Palmer and Razmik “RaZ” Bastadjan — told Slingshot last 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 paid for that time.
But in the time between the players’ initial claims and the resolution with ESL, emagine left the team, which left Animal Squad with only four players and resulted in the current dilemma.