Update: Maltese TO withholds $7,500 prize pool from ECL players
Dust2.us has learned that, after five months, SiGMA Esports Cup Toronto has yet to pay out its prize money to the North American teams it invited. The event, hosted by GMR — a Maltese company formerly known as Gamers.com.mt, advertised a $7,500 prize pool at the SiGMA Americas gambling conference.
The four-team offline tournament was won by the now-disbanded ONET4P lineup, netting the team a $5,000 first-place prize while Davenport claimed $2,500 for their second-place finish. Additionally, ONET4P and Davenport were told privately that the Toronto event would lead into a Maltese grand finals, featuring teams from the previous two SiGMA cups, ones held in Malta and Dubai respectively.
When contacted by Dust2.us, teams from the $10,000 Dubai cup confirmed that they had been paid the prize money, however, one team did note that it took a lot longer than expected to receive.
Dust2.us understands that ONET4P and Davenport have inquired with GMR on multiple occasions regarding the outstanding prizepool, but have not been successful. One team were told by GMR that they were still attempting to receive sponsor funds to be able to pay the teams, however, this has seemingly yet to result in meaningful progress on paying ONET4P and Davenport.
Of the sponsors, SiGMA are still actively operational and currently hosting their yearly Malta conference. EBET are actively operational with multiple recent SEC filings, however the latest of those filings notes that they are 30 million dollars in debt.
Update: GMR responded to Dust2.us' request for comment following publication, stating:
GMR was contracted by SiGMA to help with the organisation of the SiGMA Esports Cup in Malta, Dubai and Toronto. GMR's responsibility involved the tournament set-up (including hardware), liaison with the teams, administering the tournament and broadcasting. SiGMA owns the tournament circuit, and covers the payment of the prizemoney and travel expenses.
After further investigations, it was concluded that the lack of payments for the prize money has been due to a miscommunication between GMR and the teams. The teams thought that we (GMR) will pay them while on the other hand, we were under the impression that the instructions were given to them on how to claim the prizes directly. It's been clarified that one of the teams didn't even reach the stage of issuing the invoice, let alone be sent to SiGMA, and we were unaware that prizes were not paid out to the aforementioned miscommunication. We take full responsibility for our miscommunication with the teams.
We therefore extend our full apology to the players who are still missing their prizemoney, and we will do everything in our power to see to it that payments are made immediately. We are gamers ourselves, and huge fans of esports, and would never willingly do something which hurts anyone in the scene.
Having said that, we have to express our disappointment with how the matter was handled. We believe that a media portal such as Dust2.us should have contacted GMR using official channels rather than contacting employees directly and giving 24-hour deadlines, as these can be easily missed especially if those employees are unavailable at the time or not aware or unconnected to the process.
We have been in constant communication with the teams over the past 24 hours to make sure that the payments will be sorted as soon as possible.