The Big 100 Thieves Nadeshot Underpayment Allegations And Response, Explained

The Big 100 Thieves Nadeshot Underpayment Allegations And Response, Explained

Pro gaming organisation 100 Thieves has found itself embroiled in allegations of underpayment this week, levied primarily by former team member Erind “Froste” Puka. But in the wake of Puka’s statements, content creators have rallied en masse behind the org’s leadership.

Founded in 2017 by former Call of Duty pro player Matthew “Nadeshot” Haag, 100 Thieves runs pro teams for games like League of Legends and Valorant, and, of course, sells merch on the side. It also counts entertainment industry multihyphenate Drake and prolific talent manager Scooter Braun (who reps Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and other incandescently popular musicians) among its co-owners. Last year, the content creators Rachell “Valkyrae” Hofstetter and Jack “Courage” Dunlop — both of whom were part of 100 Thieves as members — officially became co-owners as well.

Over the weekend, Puka slammed 100 Thieves on Twitter and in a Twitch stream for “predatory” payment practices.

Puka signed with 100 Thieves back in 2019 alongside three other team members — Joseph “Mako” Kelsey, Brandon “Avalanche” Thomas, and a third streamer known as “Classify” — who, together, comprised a subsidiary content creation team known as The Mob. By early last year, they had all parted ways. In a series of tweets, Puka said they were paid little ($US1,650 ($2,407) a month) and required to live in an expensive house ($US10,000 ($14,590) a month rent, split among four people). He also claimed that 100 Thieves took 95 per cent of their sponsorship income.

Puka later clarified that the exact house wasn’t a requirement, but rather that the contract The Mob signed with 100 Thieves stipulated that the house they live in be within a 10-minute journey from Haag’s base of operations. In a since-deleted tweet (as spotted by Barstool Sports), Puka also noted that he made $US60,000 ($87540) per year.

Last night, Haag addressed the allegations on a Twitch livestream. On the matter of revenue sharing, Haag said the 100 Thieves contract stipulated the organisation would receive 85 per cent, not the 95 per cent Puka mentioned, from any deals inked. Haag also said that in two of the three deals The Mob signed, 100 Thieves only took 35 per cent of the revenue. Beyond that, Haag said that 100 Thieves’ internal stats show that The Mob did not stream regularly enough, and regularly produced streams with fewer than 100 concurrent viewers. (Puka said the house they lived in was perennially plagued by internet connectivity issues.)

It’s a messy situation, one that’s still unfolding as folks from both sides chime in with takes. (Dexerto’s Dylan Horetski has an encyclopaedic accounting of all the events to date; Barstool’s rundown is pretty solid too.) But following Haag’s stream last night, prominent members within the 100 Thieves sphere have shared public messages of support for the organisation.

Prominent 100 Thieves YouTuber Noah “NoahJ456” Johnson said that in his six years with 100 Thieves, he’s been treated “respectfully.” Both creator Brooke “BrookeAB” Ashley and graphic designer Kevin “Raw” Zocchi said that Haag has “heart.” Two people who allegedly brokered a deal with The Mob corroborated Haag’s accounting of the revenue sharing. Classify, Puka’s former team member on The Mob, weighed in, saying “regardless of what happened, please don’t stop taking chances on smaller content creators for your org because of this incident.”

Of course, many of the people joining the public sphere to sing the praises of 100 Thieves have a financial or employment stake in the matter, so their statements should be taken with a grain of salt. But that’s not the case for everyone who’s spoken out. (Classify is no longer affiliated with 100 Thieves, having joined pro gaming organisation Native Gaming, following a stint with Mr Beast’s content creator collective.) I’ve written this line a bunch in my career, but I can’t recall a time where it applies more than now: This is a developing story.

Representatives for 100 Thieves could not be reached for comment.

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