Valve sues GESC for owing $750K in prizes and wages

American video game developer and publisher Valve Corporation is suing Singapore-based tournament organizer Global Electronic Sports Championship (GESC) for owing a large amount of money from its events, according to Valve’s VP of marketing, Doug Lombardi. The company hosted two Dota 2 Minor tournaments, GESC Indonesia and GESC Thailand, where around $750,000 was unpaid consisting of prize winnings and wages for talent.

Valve sues GESC for owing $750K

“Our agreements with tournament operators require timely payment to participants,” said Lombardi. “We feel this is vital to the success of these events long term. When operators fail to meet those requirements, we follow up.”

An initial open letter to Valve was posted in October of 2018 addressing the allegations, with the support of independent contractors, talent, players, and esports organizations. The group had attempted to obtain payment through invoices, which GESC CEO Oskar Feng replied with assurances. However, this still didn’t result in any payment, and Valve has now taken legal action.

Qualification to The International 2018

While the two GESC events are third-party-hosted tournaments, they were also Minor tournaments. The Minor event gives winning teams prize winnings and the qualification toward a specific Major tournament. From the Majors, teams are awarded points based on their placements, which are used to determine the participants in that year’s The International.

The GESC events in question were in the qualification ladder toward 2018’s The International event. Each event had a $300,000 prize pool with 300 Pro Circuit Points up for grabs. In addition, the 2018 The International boasted a $25.5 million prize pool — a base $1.6 million prize pool and $23.9 million from in-game Battle Pass purchases.

No further information has been disclosed by GESC or the people owed money. This news comes shortly after other talent personnel have also accused tournament organizers of being repeatedly late on payments. Stay tuned for any updates.

Ethan Chen
Staff Writer