A new scandal on CS:GO pro scene is heating up. Astralis announced that they sign Patrick “es3tag” Hansen for their 6-men roster. The transfer occurs on July 1 after his contract with Heroic expires. It is to be reminded that ex-Heroic CS:GO roster took part in FLASHPOINT Season 1 under the tag FunPlus Phoenix (Chinese esports organization, League of Legends World Championship 2019 winner). Now it seems that the deal between FPX and Heroic is under the threat of failure. Why so?
Early in March 1PV reported that FunPlus Phoenix is going to sign Heroic roster for participating in brand new CS:GO League FLASHPOINT. Official statement came on March 15 and the deal was rated $1.6-1.8 million. One day before, Heroic withdrew ESL Pro League Season 11 and moved to Los Angeles, USA, where FLASHPOINT was held. Just a week later, HLTV reported that Astralis is going to buy our es3tag for their 6-men roster as they want to change their approach to competitive scene.
Even before the official statement by Astralis, Heroic CEO said that Astralis have acted in bad faith and now the deal between Heroic and FPX is seriously harmed. Later world champions announced that es3tag joins them on July 1 after his current contract expires. This means ex-Heroic have not signed personal contracts with FunPlus Phoenix, despite playing under their name. Considering es3tag is one of the key players of this roster, the doubts of FPX about this deal become understandable.
A peak of the scandal was on March 22, when FunPlus Phoenix received a def loss in FLASHPOINT match versus Orgless. Considering this was elimination game, the event is over for FPX. After what happened, team’s AWPer Casper “cadiaN” Møller posted a video to his Twitter, in which he told that his team was not allowed to play CS:GO after they sacrificed a lot to get to US and play on this tournament during hard times. In the same time cadiaN looked like he really struggles to hold back tears.
It seems that FunPlus Phoenix could stop being a founder of FLASHPOINT and lost their interest to CS:GO at least with this roster and this tournament. The organization itself still have not stated anything on this case. It is worth mentioning that cadiaN refuses to blame es3tag, despite his actions was clearly going to affect the deal and therefore, his current teammates.
However maybe it is too early to speak that the story is over. It has chance to go on from a legal viewpoint and maybe even become a unique case in international esports.