There are esports owners out there that have an ethical and moral compass that simply want to see their organization do well and help the esports scene grow. And then there is Robby Ringnalda of Denial Esports.
Over the last three years, Ringnalda has allegedly missed payments to a number of professional esports teams — across games such as League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Halo, Super Smash Bros., Smite, Overwatch and H1Z1. These debts reportedly total over $100,000.
Now, one Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team owner has revealed to BreaktheGame.net that Ringnalda has asked an organization for a merger in order to resolve his debts. Ringnalda proposed that the other organization “ditch” their team, without regard to the other organization’s five players and coach, so that Ringnalda can use that team’s investors to pay his own players.
Screenshots show a desperate Ringnalda for money from that organization to keep his own Denial Esports afloat.
In another couple of screenshots, Ringnalda appears so desperate for money and investors that he constantly asks the other organization to share their investors with him and “combine our efforts.”
Ringnalda goes on to lament that he has no control over his own Counter-Strike team because he hasn’t paid them in a while. That team has reportedly had to sustain its team house by paying the lease, as well as utility bills that were put in the players’ names, instead of Ringnalda or Denial’s, according to a video report by Richard Lewis.
Previously, amid other defaulted payment allegations, Ringnalda has written statements to attempt to justify his reason behind not paying his players. Ringnalda claims that if a player does not properly advertise Denial’s sponsors then they are not entitled to receive compensation, regardless of contractual obligations.
“Stop paying players if they stop promoting the brands that make the orgs tick,” Ringnalda wrote following a 2015 Dot Esports report about his Halo team. “If they have a problem then refer to the contract that was written that says they have to work with the org and promote the sponsors… Without sponsors this industry would be [one-tenth] of its size; they are very important. Every company contract should have a list of deliverables that a player has to follow. It is the org and the players job to make the sponsor happy.”
The latest drama and perhaps the proverbial straw came to light when a Slingshot Esports report surfaced detailing a Denial Esports staff walkout due to the organizations inability to pay their H1Z1 and CS:GO team. Denial’s H1Z1 team participated in the $300,000 Fight for the Crown which was broadcast by the CW network. The winnings were apparently sent straight to the Denial Esports organization account and the players have yet to see any of their earnings.
“Addressing the (Fight for the Crown) payment, I told the team we have had transfer issues with the payout that our bank has completely dropped the ball on, and if it was not rectified this week we would be fronting the money until we are able to get those issues sorted,” Ringnalda wrote. “In order to prevent these issues from possibly occurring again, we agreed to have the payout from DreamHack Atlanta go directly to the players and, as apology for the issue, agreed to not take our 15 percent cut from those winnings.”
On Sep. 2 and 13, the Denial Esports Twitter account tweeted that it was working to resolve issues and would release a statement regarding the dispute with its former H1Z1 team. Since, neither the team or Ringnalda have addressed this matter. Instead, Ringnalda took to his personal Facebook page on Sep. 29 to announce that he’d be enjoying a personal vacation in Juno Beach, Florida.
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