PUBG Cell Controversy Defined: Stalwart Esports vs i8 Esports


The PUBG Cell neighborhood in Pakistan has been thriving properly up to now yr with i8 Esports proving themselves to be among the many greatest aggressive groups that the nation has to supply. They not too long ago represented Pakistan on the PUBG Cell World Invitational (PMWI) 2021: East, a global PUBG Cell match with 16 groups from throughout SEA, South Asia, Korea, Japan, Russia, and the Center East.

They have been the one Pakistani group on the match, ending on the 13th place total and strolling away with $5,000 USD in prize cash. Because of this efficiency, a donation of $37,000 USD to the Worldwide Medical Corps was additionally made by the match organizers. Nevertheless, there was a whole lot of controversy surrounding i8 Esports’ direct invite to the match previous to all of this. I8 Esports’ gamers and their former group Stalwart Esports had a public spat on social media which concluded with the previous receiving the invite to the match after Stalwart Esports forfeited it.

AFK Gaming reached out and spoke with Zeyan “Z3YAN” Shafiq – founder and CEO of Stalwart Esports, and Shahbaz “TRYNDA” Mengalis – i8 Esports’ captain, to decipher the scenario whereas additionally attempting to establish the foundation reason for the issue.

The next is an outline of what occurred between i8 Esports and Stalwart Esports, together with each their views on among the key issues, and a tackle how this might have all been prevented.

Stalwart Esports vs i8 Esports – Controversy Defined

Formation of Stalwart x Flex

Stalwart Esports has been competing within the Pakistani PUBG Cell aggressive circuit since Oct 2020. Their preliminary lineup of Black, Baba, Malik, Kashoof, BladeOp and Morte, parted methods with the org in Dec 2020. Stalwart Esports is owned and operated by Zeyan “Z3YAN” Shafiq.

Z3YAN alleged that Stalwart Esports obtained a direct invite for PUBG Cell Membership Open (PMGC) – Spring Break up 2021: Pakistan in Feb 2021. Within the absence of an lively lineup on the time, Z3YAN acknowledged that he had began searching for a group that would characterize the group. It was then that he obtained launched to the i8 Esports roster by means of Agha Waqas – proprietor of FLEX Esports.

Again then i8 Esports was an upcoming group that was nonetheless attempting to make a reputation for itself within the top-tier PUBG Cell aggressive scene, inside Pakistan. The roster had struck a partnership with FLEX Esports and was working below the latter’s banner.

Z3YAN claimed that he had his doubts about this lineup as they have been an unknown underdog group. Nevertheless, Waqas was allegedly capable of persuade him to choose up the roster who, based on Waqas, have been dominating the home Tier-2 PUBG Cell scene and have been desirous to carry out at a much bigger stage.

A three way partnership contract was allegedly despatched to FLEX Esports as per Z3YAN, to strike a three-way partnership between – Stalwart Esports, FLEX Esports, and i8 Esports. Whereas the slot was formally Stalwart’s, Z3YAN alleged that Waqas wished to incorporate FLEX within the group identify, however this request was initially declined. Nevertheless, upon additional dialogue, an settlement on naming the group ‘Stalwart x FLEX’ was allegedly reached with the situation of lowering FLEX’s prize pool minimize by 10%.

i8 Esports began competing below the ‘Stalwart x FLEX’ banner from Feb 2021 onwards. They competed with this group identify in three official tournaments – PUBG Cell Professional League (PMPL) – Season 3 2021: South Asia League, PMPL – S3 2021: South Asia Finals, and PUBG Cell Worldwide League (PMIL) Part 3.

Whereas taking part in below the ‘Stalwart x FLEX’ banner no contract was established between Stalwart and i8, AFK Gaming has verified this data after chatting with each events. Z3YAN says that as they have been already partnered with FLEX it was not doable to signal a contract with i8 Esports simply but. Nevertheless, a verbal settlement was allegedly established when it got here to the prize pool distribution.

In line with Z3YAN, the prize pool break up between all of the events concerned was initially 60% to Stalwart because the slot was theirs, and 40% to FLEX, who would distribute it additional to the gamers on their very own. This was nonetheless modified to 70% to Stalwart and 30% to FLEX, following the naming rights resolution.

The above is generally synchronous with what TRYNDA (i8 Esports’ captain) needed to say, though there are a couple of discrepancies. In a message to AFK Gaming, Trynda acknowledged that Stalwart certainly took a 70% minimize of the prize pool. Nevertheless, he claimed that the remaining 30% didn’t go to FLEX, it was i8 who obtained the minimize. He additional alleged that FLEX was getting nothing aside from the co-naming rights.

‘Gadget’ cost points between Stalwart and i8

‘Stalwart x FLEX’ went on to qualify all the way in which until PMPL – S3 2021: South Asia Finals, as i8 Esports proved themselves to be a worthy lineup in any case. That is how they carried out below the banner throughout completely different tournaments.

After ending second within the PMCO – Spring Break up 2021: Pakistan, ‘Stalwart x FLEX’ certified to the following stage of the match sequence – PMPL – S3 2021: South Asia League. With nearly a month-long break to observe for this match, Trynda claims that i8 was knowledgeable by the match officers that they’d be required to make use of vMix recording software program whereas competing.

TRYNDA reached out to Stalwart Esports’ administration, requesting them to supply six gadgets to run the recording software program as they have been obligatory as a way to compete within the PMPL league levels. Stalwart verified the legitimacy of this request by reaching out to NODWIN Gaming as per Z3YAN, following which, he alleged that he had obtained a request of INR 3,00,000 ($4,030 USD) from i8 Esports. Z3YAN requested TRYNDA and the group to get this quantity from their sponsors at that time limit – FLEX Esports. Nevertheless, based on Z3YAN, i8 stored placing stress on Stalwart after which the org agreed to ship them cash to buy Redmi gadgets however confronted resistance from the gamers who (Z3YAN claims) demanded iPhones.

TRYNDA has nonetheless denied these allegations. As an alternative, he claims that when Stalwart was approached for the gadgets, Z3YAN allegedly instructed the i8 gamers to ask their dad and mom to purchase them a brand new system or to easily borrow it from them. Trynda additionally went on to say that basic items like UC Rename Playing cards that are used to alter participant names in-game weren’t offered by the group.

Nevertheless, all mentioned and carried out, TRYNDA does declare that they have been offered PKR 97,060 ($600 USD) by Stalwart for the vMix gadgets. This was allegedly not sufficient and i8 gamers needed to pitch individually to spend about $927 USD as a way to buy one headphone and 6 vMix succesful gadgets.

Contractual debate between Stalwart and i8

Regardless of a tough negotiation when it got here to the gadgets, i8 went on to carry out properly at PMPL – S3 2021: South Asia League. They certified for PMPL – S3 2021: South Asia Finals and from there even managed to qualify for the ultimate occasion PMPL – Season 1 2021: South Asia Championship.

There was, nonetheless, nearly a two-month hole between South Asia Finals and South Asia Championship. Throughout this hole, the PMIL Part 3 was scheduled to happen, which was additionally the final match that i8 performed below the ‘Stalwart x FLEX’ banner. After this match, the partnership between FLEX and i8 got here to an finish.

Up till this level, no contract was established between i8 and Stalwart. Nevertheless, now that i8 was not in partnership with some other group, Z3YAN claims to have approached the lineup with a contract on 1st Could. The provide allegedly promised 60% of the prize pool minimize to i8 Esports whereas the remaining 40% went to Stalwart Esports.

Z3YAN claims that TRYNDA declined to signal this contract on 3rd Could as they’d an unnamed new sponsor and allegedly didn’t want to proceed below the banner of Stalwart Esports after the conclusion of PMIL Part 3.

TRYNDA confirmed that they have been provided a contract by Stalwart Esports. Nevertheless, he acknowledged {that a} verbal dedication was initially struck between i8 and Stalwart after they have been nonetheless below FLEX. In line with it, if the group certified for PMPL – Season 3 2021: South Asia League, Stalwart would provide them a contract promising a 40% prize pool minimize and a $500 USD wage per participant.

TRYNDA alleged that Stalwart promised i8 that the contract can be prepared earlier than the PMPL – Season 3 2021: South Asia League kicked off. However when i8 reached that stage, Stalwart allegedly modified their phrases but once more, as a result of which the contract stored getting delayed.

Lastly, Stalwart allegedly gave i8 a contract providing $1,250 USD to the entire group, however based on TRYNDA, this provide was declined by them as they didn’t need to pursue a relationship with Stalwart Esports.

Each i8 and Stalwart Esports went on to play the PUBG Cell Campus Championship (PMCC) Pakistan 2021 independently. TRYNDA claimed that i8 initially wished to play this match below Stalwart Esports however after being provided 40% of the prize pool, they refused it and went on to play the qualifiers by registering themselves discreetly.

Regardless of their variations, i8 and Stalwart as soon as once more teamed up for PMPL – S1 2021: South Asia Championship as soon as once more, with out signing a proper contract between the group and the gamers. This was the final and most up-to-date PUBG Cell match the place the i8 lineup performed below Stalwart Esports.

Stalwart Esports pronounces departure from Pakistan

Earlier than the not too long ago concluded PUBG Cell World Invitational (PMWI) 2021: East, i8 Esports had as soon as once more referred to as out Stalwart Esports, who had obtained a direct invite for the match. TRYNDA claimed that the slot was theirs and that Stalwart may hand it over to a different group, the difficulty caught public consideration and Stalwart instantly got here below a whole lot of stress.

To be able to resolve the matter, Stalwart Esports took a call to forfeit their spot for PMWI 2021 which was then mechanically handed over to i8 Esports, who went on to characterize Pakistan on the international match.

The occasion got here to an finish on 25th July and simply two weeks later Stalwart Esports got here forth to formally announce their departure from Pakistan. Yuvraj Kumar – Head of Esports Operations for Stalwart Esports got here ahead with an replace on their future stating that they tried to have a phrase with the i8 roster for the upcoming season of PMPL however they’d different plans.

He additional acknowledged that although their aggressive journey in Pakistan has come to an finish, Stalwart is planning on launching some applications which can be aimed in the direction of supporting the native content material creators from the area, someday sooner or later.

An esports contract that was by no means established between Stalwart and i8

All mentioned and carried out, the events concerned (Stalwart and i8) have their very own variations for a number of conflicts and it’s powerful to conclude what absolutely the reality is with each side having their very own variations, with proof to be offered for a similar. But the actual fact stays that a whole lot of these allegations and mud-slinging workout routines may have been prevented had they signed a written settlement/contract proper on the very starting.

Institution of a contract ought to have been enforced earlier than transferring issues additional, because it may have simply prevented issues like prize pool distribution battle and tools provision accountability. Moreover, engaged on a contract may have given each events an opportunity to return ahead and speak about (and doc) their necessities and calls for.

An insightful article explaining how a sustainable partnership between a company and a participant must be established within the South Asia area has been written by esports commentator Cormac “ImPERium” Wyatt, and it’s actually price a learn for organizations and gamers trying to keep away from such a scenario sooner or later.