Immortals CEO Noah Whinston addressed Friday the recent controversy surrounding the organization’s Counter-Strike roster and explained his plans for the team’s future.
Whinston addressed the issues in chronological order, starting with the team’s tardiness in the finals for DreamHack Montreal, resulting in the team forfeiting the first map. He said “the reason why they were late to the finals doesn’t really matter,” and that the tardiness not only damaged the image of Immortals as a whole, but also delivered “a negative experience for the fans who spent their time and money to attend that match expecting to see a full best-of-three.”
“The punishment that we’re instituting for this tardiness is a fine of one month of salary as well as the share of the prize money from DreamHack Montreal for each of those three players,” he said. “This pool of money, in addition to the contribution of the Immortals organization’s 10 percent of the DreamHack Montreal prize money, will be donated to Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Montreal.”
In regards to Vito “kNg” Giuseppe’s threat (and subsequent attempt to track down) Counter Logic Gaming‘s Pujan “FNS” Mehta, Whinston said he initially wished to cut kNg from the team immediately, but was convinced by the four other players and coach Rafael “zakk” Fernandes to give kNg another chance.
Whinston said that he let zakk know the night before Immortals’ match in the EPICENTER qualifier against CLG that kNg was not permitted to play. But after Immortals lost the first map, Henrique “HEN1” Teles and Lucas “LUCAS1” Teles refused to continue playing unless kNg was allowed to play. Although Immortals won the match 2-1, Immortals immediately terminated kNg from his contract for violating his punishment and withdrew from EPICENTER.
“HEN1 and LUCAS1, upon learning about this, made it very clear that without kNg on the roster, they would not be willing to continue playing for the org,” Whinston continued. “Rather than force these two players to play against their will, we honored their request and moved them onto indefinite suspension on the bench, where they will stay until a point in time in which another org wants to buy them out of their contracts, or until they change their minds and decide they want to return to play on the starting roster.”
Although the invitation to the next Major is dependent on at least three players remaining on the roster — a benchmark Immortals would meet if the twins left — Whinston firmly said Immortals “can’t let ourselves be held hostage by players that just aren’t aligned with out goals as a team.” The two remaining players on the active roster, Lucas “steel” Lopes and Ricardo “boltz” Prass, will be the center of the rebuild for Immortals’ roster.