HCG Masters Postponed Mid-Tournament Leaving Staff And Pros Unpaid

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CS:GO Event HCG Masters Postponed Mid-Tournament Leaving Staff and Pros Unpaid

In its very first season HCG Masters has run into a lot of trouble.

Aditya Singh Rawat
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Highlights
HCG Masters Season 1 was postponed mid-tournament when one of the sponsors suddenly dropped off.
HCG tried to resolve the situation by requesting its current investor to provide them with the necessary funding, but when the current investor asked for more equity in return, the offer was denied.
The organization has paid some members but more than 40 staff and players are still unpaid.

Esports tournament organizers Hardcore Gaming (HCG) has run into a lot of trouble with the first season of HCG Masters. The CS:GO tournament scheduled to take place from 9th February to 3rd April has been postponed indefinitely due to funding issues, according to The Gamer.

Everything was going well up until the playoffs stage when one of the sponsors for the tournament suddenly dropped off. This resulted in HCG Masters being put on hold mid-tournament, leaving several players and staff unpaid, and forcing the LAN finals which were supposed to take place in Portugal to be cancelled, with the hopes of continuing them online.

HCG Masters which was boasting a total prize pool of €180,000 EUR is now looking for funds in order to reportedly pay more than 40 staff members and professional players.

HCG Masters faces funding issues mid-tournament leading to staff and players being left unpaid

HCG ran into a lot of problem when one of its sponsors dropped out all of a sudden. In a bid to continue running its tournament, while also trying to pay the staff and players, HCG, to make up for the lost revenue requested one of its current investors for more funding who in turn asked for more equity, an offer that was dismissed by HCG.

This was followed by a statement from the tournament organizers stating "Due to problems within the company HCG Masters Season 1 will be completed online." However, no exact dates were made available at that point in time and almost two weeks later there are still no updates about when the event will resume.

Apparently more than 40 people were a part of this project in various different roles and most of them are still owed their dues. To cover up these expenses and conclude the CS:GO tournament HCG seems to be seeking funds from various sources,

  • According to Esports News UK, Ferenc Kern, who is the executive director of the company, has reportedly taken a loan against his own property. With this they aim to pay as many staff members as they can while subsequently attempting to raise more funds.

  • Kern further said that HCG has found a new investor who will be allegedly providing an influx of €300,000 EUR to the company in June.

    Additionally, he also revealed that HCG will soon have a new Seed A funding round with other partners, but it is not happening "as fast as we thought".

Several casters and other staff members who had worked in the tournament like BDog, Jammer, JohnPee, Vearless, and more have come forward to talk about the various reasons that HCG had provided them when being asked for their payment.

Overall, tens of thousands of euros in payment is till pending, but HCG has cleared the dues of some members.

Some grievances that employees hired for the tournament have spoken about include,

  • Receiving unprofessional or sarcastic messages from HCG when inquired about payment dues.

  • Unpaid staff members receiving false statements informing them that they have been paid.

  • Reasons like bank or tax issues being given when inquired about why the payment was being delayed.

  • Expressing disappointment over low wages, €25 per map, which was originally supposed to be €30.

  • Talents were promised half payment upfront and the remaining amount at the end of the tournament, many have still not received the first half.

HCG Masters Season 1 is in a very rough spot at the moment and the teams that made it through to the playoffs are being kept on hold. They have no idea when this tournament will resume with Kern hoping that they will be able to clear their name.

He concludes by saying "We are focusing on one thing at the moment, and that is to resolve all the negative problems that have affected the project and to make sure that everyone can say that yes, HCG kept its word.”

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Aditya is the in-house CS:GO writer at AFK Gaming. While his understanding of the esports space is not restricted by geographical borders, his current focus lies in the Asian region. Understands and follows almost all major esport titles.