Faze Clan’s recent acquisition of the G2 Esports Counter-Strike lineup has been followed by reports that ESL co-founder Jens Hilger allegedly tampered with the deal to secure a higher fee for the squad. As a result, FaZe Clan now hosts the most expensive team in the history of Counter-Strike.
The deal included $300,000 up front, with another $400,000 to be paid out in two installments of $200,000, according to sources close to the agreement. This blitzes any previous buyout, with the total fee sitting around $700,000.
Earlier today, Breitbart’s Richard Lewis reported that former ESL chairman and current board member Jens Hilger had allegedly influenced the deal by forcing FaZe to increase their offer for the team or face potential bans from ESL competitions, or at the least, receive no invitation to the ESL ESEA pro League. Hilger is also a partial owner of G2 Esports and often works with the organization via his own company, DojoMadness. The company hosts the team in Berlin during the LCS and created the app LoLSumo which often appears in promotional footage for G2.
In September 2015, G2 owner Carlos “Ocelote” Rodriguez told the Daily Dot he acquired the CS:GO lineup for a “low six-figure transfer fee." Selling at a total of $700,000 certainly ensures a large profit margin on the team.
The team’s best results under G2 included top four finishes at DreamHack Cluj, one of the Valve-endorsed majors, and IEM San Jose. One of the major talking points during their time under G2 was the sale of Adil “Scream” Benrlitom to Titan for a reported $150,000. The team also signed former LGB player Havard “Rain” Nygaard for a rumoured €40,000.
The team failed to produce results towards the end of their time with G2. This included poor performances in the Fragbite Masters round of 16, the ELEAGUE Road to vegas qualifier, and most recently a forfeit loss in the Acer Predator Masters qualifier. Those performances may have been influenced by the behind the scenes negotiations. According to sources close to the team, difficulties surrounding their departure to FaZe could have affected the players morale. Last weekend, during their first full outing for FaZe, the team fell in the group stage of DreamHack Leipzig. But they did show some promise, beating Brazilian Luminosity Gaming in a best-of-one only to lose to the team—which has been on a tear recently in Europe—in a best of three later in the tournament.
ESL did not respond to request for comment by publication time.
Update 9:26am Feb. 4: ESL issued the following statement about this story: "As a member of ESL's board Jens Hilgers acts in an advisory capacity. Executive decisions with regards to ESL's operations, and specifically its leagues and tournaments, are being made by the ESL management."
Photo by Patrick Strack via ESL/Flickr (All rights reserved, used with permission)