The World Esports Association has announced will investigate claims that several Ninjas in Pyjamas players were unfairly treated by the team bosses.
NiP players such as Robin ‘Fifflaren’ have claimed that the esports organization withheld pay and forced gamers into signing unreasonable contacts.
The claims against Ninjas in Pyjamas
Sports lawyer Ian Smith, the commissioner of the Esports Integrity Coalition, will head the investigation. Smith will deliver a report by the end of August detailing whether Ninjas in Pyjamas bosses acted incorrectly.
For more background, Fifflaren made the initial allegations in an interview last month. He stated that between 2013 and 2015, Ninjas in Pyjamas players were subject to interference in roster changes, held to contracts that stopped them having girlfriends, and endured the non-payment of salaries.
Despite being part of the NiP team that dominated Counter-Strike tournaments in 2013, Fifflaren stated that he received only $35,000 that year. According to a report published by Unikrn, the CS:GO star put much of the blame on NiP CEO Hicham Chahine.
More details on Chahine
Fifflaren claims Chahine actively withheld money from NiP players. Now, the CEO has stepped down from his place on the XTRFY board as a result of the pressure. However, many have noted Chahine is currently serving as a member of the WESA board. In this light, the organization made a statement to ensure the impartiality of its investigation.
The claims by Fifflaren shocked the esports world, but they were quickly backed up by other NiP team-members such as Richard ‘Xizt’ Landstrom, Adam ‘friberg’ Friberg, and Mikail ‘Maikelele’ Bill. That said, one former NiP player absent in his support was the ex-CEO Emil ‘HeatoN’ Christensen.
Fifflaren accused HeatoN off using NiP prize money to pay for legal costs and hiring his then-girlfriend for $20,000 each year. While both HeatoN and Chahine have vigorously denied Fifflaren’s allegations, it spells big trouble for Ninjas in Pyjamas.
The Swedish esports team shot to fame less than a decade ago. They produced tournament-winning performances at DreamHack Summer 2013, ESEA Global Finals in 2013, and ESL One Cologne 2014. Those results quickly saw them enter into big-money sponsorship deals with esports betting sites such as Betway and electronics companies like Panasonic.
But with the organization’s reputation slipping, those brands’ collaborations are in jeopardy. As far as actual gameplay, NiP will hope for some face-saving results at StarLadder Berlin Major this week.