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TSM FTX India Claims BGMI Player Shadow Was Poached by Godlike Esports

Abhimannu Das
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Highlights
TSM Claims that its BGMI IGL, Arjun "SHADOW" Mandhalkar, has been poached by GodLike Esports.
SHADOW claimed that he was “exploited, harassed and insulted" at TSM.
TSM has stated that it will ensure business is done professionally.

Team Solo Mid (TSM) is one of the international esports organizations invested in the Battlegrounds Mobile India (BGMI) ecosystem in India. The organization initially partnered with Entity Gaming to enter Indian esports before it parted ways with its former PUBG Mobile roster and created its own BGMI and Free Fire rosters.

Arjun "SHADOW" Mandhalkar was one of the four players who joined TSM’s BGMI roster in July 2021 and has seen a ton of success with the team, winning multiple events including the Skyesports Mobile Open, the Nodwin x Loco All Stars Invitational, and securing a 2nd place finish in the Battlegrounds Mobile India Series 2021 with the player playing a key part in securing these wins.

However, recently the player has allegedly been “poached” by another Indian organization that does not want to do loan/transfer agreements with TSM like International esports organizations.

What is poaching in esports?

Poaching in esports works the same way as any major professional organization in any field. Employees are not allowed to join other organizations without obtaining the consent of their current organization or being released from their contracts. Professional players in esports also fall under the same guidelines and whenever a team tries to acquire a player from an existing organization without following the contractual guidelines in place, it is considered ‘poaching.’

What occurred between TSM, SHADOW, and GodLike Esports?

On 18th June, TSM BGMI’s IGL Shadow said on Instagram, “I have now decided to be a fighter in real life as well, by quitting toxic relations with certain companies/organizations, formed with intent to exploit esports players and (the) fanbase.” He claimed that was “exploited, harassed and insulted” at his organization.

On 18th June, the GodLike Esports organization posted a teaser on its Instagram handle indicating that a new player named “GodLikeTryout” is joining the team with silhouette bearing resemblence to SHADOW showing up during the short video. It immediately caught the attention of TSM, who called out the alleged poaching of the player.

TSM’s India Lead Nizhum “Armin” Karmakar revealed that TSM talked to Shadow and gave him permission to explore options with the expectation that other organizations would reach out to TSM regarding SHADOW’s transfer. TSM revealed that it communicated with Shadow and GodLike that the organization would loan out the player for free at the start of the upcoming BGMI Masters event and the same was communicated weeks in advance according to the team.

TSM Armin's post on the situation

TSM Armin's post on the situation

Armin claims that TSM has received no official confirmation from the organization wanting Shadow, but the player has registered with another team for the upcoming BGMI Masters event. He said player poaching and tampering is a large issue in Indian esports and that “TSM will ensure business is done professionally.”

TSM revealed on Instagram that the current situation occurred because, “other organizations do not wish to do a loan and/or transfer agreement as a professional organization would.”

Essentially, TSM has called out GodLike for causing drama in an attempt to allow SHADOW to transfer for free, calling the move “unprofessional.” AFK Gaming has reached out to TSM and Armin for comments and will update this story if and when we receive a response.

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Abhimannu is a part of the content team at AFK Gaming and a lifelong obsessive gamer. He currently covers esports titles like VALORANT, CS: GO, Call of Duty, Fortnite, PUBG and more.