Following a tweet from CS:GO caster Ethan "Sully" Tran regarding missed payments from collegiate tournament organizer CSL, Dust2.us has learned that CSL are allegedly late in paying invoices to a number of casters, observers, and production staff.
Sully told Dust2.us that he is owed $600 from CSL, with one unfulfilled invoice being sent to CSL as far back as March 30th. Likewise, "bear", a producer/observer who worked with Sully told Dust2.us that he is also due $550 from CSL, with one invoice being dated back to "early March".
Following this, a number of casters reached out to Dust2.us with more allegations of unpaid invoices. Gustavo Franco "Upmind" Domingues told Dust2.us that he is owed $100 from CSL, alleging that someone from CSL told him not to send an invoice as "they said to wait for more opportunities". Donald "voo" Parkhurst also shared an unpaid invoice sent to CSL dated all the way back to November 1st, 2019 for $100.
Another source who wished to remain anonymous claims is he owed around $1,000 from CSL for CS:GO-related work dating from 2019-2020.
Dust2.us has also learned from a former senior CSL employee that a number of former full-time CSL staff members are currently in discussions with the tournament organizer regarding unpaid salaries and dues dating back to 2019.
Another former full-time staff member claimed that a contributing factor in CSL's unsure financial situation and inability to pay salaries and fulfill invoices in a timely manner is due to CSL's current parent company, Cineplex, going through a now-failed merger with British theater company Cineworld. He also claimed that Cineplex are in the process of selling their esports division, including CSL and WorldGaming, leading to further uncertainty for CSL.
Recently, CSL have also seen a number of long-time employees leave the company, including former CEO and co-founder Duran Parsi, former production manager Peter Zhang, and content manager Tiffany Kuan.
Jk so if I change my username all the linking is broken so I guess I'll leave it for now.— Duran Parsi (@FACEITDuran) June 22, 2020
I joined @FACEIT and am gonna do cool stuff over here! Pretty pumped. Info about WHAT I'm doing prolly out in the next few weeks :)
Additionally, the CSL twitter account has been inactive since June 5th, although sources say that as of June there were still plans to proceed with the fall season of CSL.
Dust2.us reached out to CSL about the allegations, with current CSL CEO Wim Stocks' responding with the following statement:
As we have all experienced, the profound effects of COVID-19 have put a strain on all of our employees, their families and the communities we serve. Furthermore, it’s an unprecedented time for the theatrical exhibition business of our former parent company. They experienced a strain on cash management and it resulted in the delay of payments to some of our vendors. We are proud of and committed to properly supporting our relationships and partnerships, and are working to solve all remaining issues promptly.
Dust2.us has followed up with the casters, production staff, and former full-time employees following this email, and at the time of publication CSL has not reached out to them regarding pending invoices or unpaid salaries.