South East Asian based eSports organisation Team Flash has been ousted by their now former FIFA14 members, Hibidi, RippedJean and J0K3R, who left Team Flash after receiving little to no support in their eSports endeavours as well as other contract grievances.
Hibidi shared on his Facebook page that he was leaving Team Flash due to the many obstacles that they have created for their aspiring eSports athletes. Team Flash offered almost zero support to their member’s development as eSports athletes, and that they had to pay out of their own pockets to attend tournaments.
Both J0K3R and RippedJean released their own statements sharing their struggles being under Team Flash, which include receiving verbal promises to gain better equipment to enhance their training, but only to get none or low-spec rented equipment. RippedJean also shared that according to his contract he could only be paid a salary once the team has qualified for the EA Champions Cup (EACC) twice. EACC is a tournament that only happens twice a year, which makes it challenging for any new eSports player to achieve.
That's not the only issue; the contract also states that if he wanted to leave the team, there would be a buyout fee. But RippedJean noted that another player in Team Flash has represented a Chinese team despite still being under contract and received no repercussion.
Every tournament expenses that both athletes participated in came out of their own pockets, and even RippedJean was forced to pay a huge fee to Team Flash in order to compete in China for a month. J0K3R has brought up his issues to Terence Ting, the founder of Team Flash, but was only offered a minimum allowance for the last 2 months of his contract, which does not cover the travel costs.
With these many obstacles, Hibidi saw it fit to leave Team Flash although according to him Terence has continued to include him as part of the FIFA 19 roster in pitchbooks to potential sponsors.
Team Flash, based in Singapore, hires e-sports athletes across SouthEast Asia with their roster currently consisting of 12 full-time professional gamers across Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam for games like Arena of Valor, FIFA 19 and Dota 2 as of May 31 2018.
Founder Terence Ting believes an established organisation is necessary for the growth of the eSports scene in Southeast Asia, and that there’s no team leader in this region yet. He has also shared his thoughts about how he decides on the deals offered to players in an interview with IGN. He was quoted saying that he wants to be fair to the players and reward them for their performance, but Team Flash's priority will always be to keep the organisation sustainable and any deals made with players, brands and investors will reflect that vision.
In an interview with Vulcan Post he shares that 11 of their full-time pro gamers employees are paid monthly salaries in line with the current market standards set in eSports, on top of other benefits.
UPDATE: Team Flash has issued a statement on their official Facebook page.
In summary, they will be making significant changes in key management staff in order to improve further in the future.
There's no doubt that the world of eSports is growing and will continue to grow judging by the many eSports competitions going on as well as the pool prize of these events. But without regulation within Southeast Asia, it seems that a lot of younger players will face challenges such as these from organisations that will continue to take advantage of eager teenagers’ dreams of making it big in the world of eSports.