Just days before the start of the League Championship Series, Meet Your Makers found themselves without a mid laner. Marcin "Kori" Wolski, who turned 18 on Feb. 7, left the team under unclear circumstances. Meet Your Makers went 1-3 in their first four matches with stand-in Marius "Blizer300" Hæsumgaard. Just two weeks after his departure, Wolski returned to the lineup, issuing an apology for his "selfish" behavior and paying a fine levied by the organization against him for breaching his contract.
Many questioned the reasons why the young talent had wanted to leave so suddenly, especially with the season so close, and return just as fast. Now we know why.
Wolski was owed several months of pay from his time last season in Supa Hot Crew, the Daily Dot has learned. Meet Your Makers denies any responsibility for said payments, stating that they were to be handled by AK3 GmbH and their CEO Sascha Ackermann, who owned Supa Hot Crew at the time. But AK3 and Meet Your Makers are inextricably linked: Several prominent former and current Meet Your Makers staff are AK3 employees, including Business Manager Martin Krause, Sales and Marketing Manager Cristian Manea and of course Ackermann himself, who previously held the role of business manager in Meet Your Makers.
While Meet Your Makers maintains it has nothing to do with any of the payment issues from the Supa Hot Crew era, Wolski was not confident about facing similar issues with Meet Your Makers in the future. He also said he was no longer enjoying his time in the gaming house and wanted to leave.
After informing the organization’s manager, Sebastian “Falli” Rotterdam, that he no longer wanted to play, Rotterdam became irate and attempted to intimidate the player in a phone call. Unknown to Rotterdam, Wolski recorded their exchange on his phone.
During the conversation you can hear Rotterdam say that replacing Wolski will cost "$50,000" per game, that the decision not to play could cost them potential sponsors, that they all run the risk of being fired and, most shockingly, that since Wolski’s mother is the one who signed the contract, Rotterdam would make sure she “would lose the house” she lives in. At various intervals Rotterdam can be heard hitting the walls and doors while he argues with Wolski.
You can listen to the recording here. It was sent in several parts, as Wolski did not want to be detected recording the exchange, so there are some gaps and some audio interference from Wolski’s clothing.
When confronted with the recording, Meet Your Makers CEO Khalid Naim told the Daily Dot the following:
“Concerning this recording I will react and take the necessary steps to avoid this, since something like that is not allowed and we don't tolerate this here.”
Rotterdam himself offered the Daily Dot the following statement, apologizing for his behavior:
“I admit I made a big mistake with saying this to kori. This Situation was crazy. A Player is leaving the Team one day before LCS starts. I was stressed in this situation and i agree i should not say something like this. I never said such stuff before to a player. I will offer MYM to leave the Organisation and step down from my job. The MYM Management was not aware of me saying this. I wanted to protect the other players cause the situation was looking bad for them and i made a huge mistake. MYM is not working like that it was me making a big mistake! I would like to Apologize to Kori and his mother at this point. Big Sorry!”
Following this incident Wolski outlined his concerns to Riot’s League Operations Manager Nick Allen in an email. In the message, he tells Allen that he "felt so scared under MYM management," adding "especially after they promised I would lose my house."A few days prior, Wolski had been in talks with North American organization Roar about joining the team as a top-laner. Wolski had an existing relationship with former Meet Your Makers coach Nick "LS" De Cesare, who's currently working with Roar. The talks were swift and the player was convinced he would be allowed to join the team, who are currently in the North American Challenger league, outside of the LCS.
After flying out to Vancouver, where the organization is based, he learned that he would be prevented from playing with his new team in any official capacity. After Meet Your Makers management contacted Riot Games asserting Wolski had breached his contract, he learned via email that he would not be allowed to play for any other team for the duration of his contract, which was due to expire in January 2016.
Ineligible to play for anyone else, he had no choice but to return to Meet Your Makers. After a conversation held with Meet Your Makers CEO Khalid Naim on the Jan. 30, Wolski learned that he'd be allowed to come back to the starting lineup.
A Skype log of the conversation sent to the Daily Dot confirmed that the organization “would have prevented him from playing LCS or [Challenger Series] while he had the MYM contract,” and that they "strongly believe that contracts need to be followed."
“[Wolski’s] was one of the better esports contracts I've seen," Naim said.
He added somewhat cryptically: "Esports has bad people. I’m bad too. But only if people give me reasons."
The conversation points to the player being coached on what to say in his statement and to retract some earlier statements he had made regarding Supa Hot Crew.
“We will find a PR strategy together with Riot to make some statements about you and MYM and what happened,” Naim said. “Maybe we find a way where people don’t think bad about you because if we would post the truth from our side it would be bad and I don’t want that. I want that all think ohhh ok more important is that he is back that’s the message we will do in marketing/PR.”
With these new revelations being brought to light, it's not clear whether Riot will intervene with sanctions against Meet Your Makers.
Screengrab via Riot Games/YouTube