It was supposed to be a highlight on the Counter-Strike and Dota 2 competitive calendars, but the Gaming Paradise event in September turned out to be nothing short of a shambles. Broadcasts were constantly plagued by technical issues. PCs weren't delivered on time, and when they arrived they weren't all in an equal state. Accommodation wasn't properly paid — which was thankful, because players were having their passports confiscated. And the Dota 2 event didn't even go ahead; it was cancelled entirely.
In short, Gaming Paradise was comfortably the worst eSports event of 2015. But the bad news isn't over, because the company responsible has reportedly issued a statement revealing that they are about to go into bankruptcy within three months.
In a statement on their website, G2.Kinguin — whose CS:GO team won the US$50,000 tournament under the name of Kinguin — said The Gaming Resorts, the company which organised the event, was unlikely to pay out the money owed.
"The Gaming Resorts claims that the company holds no assets to cover losses, and as such, will automatically be declared bankrupt within the next three months," the statement reads. "It adds that, even if the case goes to court, G2 and the other interested parties will not receive the prize money they are owed."
"We are absolutely shocked at the lack of professionalism and respect The Gaming Resorts has shown towards the players and the community as a whole. Tournaments like this one damage the image and the integrity of esports, and stand in the way of having a stable scene, where players can compete freely, without having the fear of the possibility of not getting the prizes they work hard for."
Those who have been following eSports long enough will be familiar with stories of players, teams and organisations not getting paid on time. It's a problem that the industry has never fully been able to extricate itself from, mainly because players and teams often lack the wherewithal to chase those responsible in court.
That said, it's not like people didn't see this coming. Nathan fully covered much of the drama that unfolded at the Gaming Paradise event, which was so bad that the CEO of the company publicly considered resigning. It doesn't matter now, but let's hope that the players still get some compensation down the road for their time.