Former Next Generation member, laTal went on Reddit yesterday to lament about not receiving prize money from a World Cyber Arena 2017 Qualifier tournament.
Tournament organizer fails to pay players
Yazid ‘IaTal’ Kurdi posted on Reddit yesterday in regards to the World Cyber Arena 2017 – Middle East and North Africa Qualifier event from which he and his former teammates are still awaiting payment.
At the time, laTal was part of Next Generation, an Iraqi CS:GO team. NG competed in the WCA Middle East and North African Qualifier for the Main Tournament. Taking first place, Next Generation won a seed to the finals and AED 80,000 (approximately $21,000). While the team did get to compete in Finals, taking fourth place and earning no money from it, they have yet to receive their winnings from the Qualifier tournament. For reference, the Qualifier took place between 27 September 2017 and 1 October 2017. After more than a year, the players have still not received anything.
IaTal goes on to explain how they have tried to contact the event organizers multiple times over the course of 2018, both in person and online but have received to response. During the Finals, the team broached the subject with Martin An, Head Admin of WCA, who told them that they would receive their winnings two months after the Finals conclude. However, as of 9 October, laTal reports that neither Next Generation nor any other participating team, have received their winnings.
There are 18 teams that are owed money from WCA out of all the qualifiers and the LAN finals. I have reached out to several organizations asking if they received any prize money from WCA but none of them has, such as Chiefs who won the Asia-Pacific qualifier, QBF(Quantum Bellator Fire) who got 3rd in the LAN finals and Aimers Alive who got 2nd in the Middle East & North Africa qualifier. I hope this message reaches the right people, and everyone gets what they are owed.
World Cyber Arena – infamous for inconsistency and lack of professionalism
The World Cyber Arena does not have the cleanest reputation in the eSports industry. The organization is based in China and conducts tournament and several high-profile competitive games, such as Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Dota 2, Hearthstone, League of Legends, Heroes of the Storm and more.
This is not the first time that WCA has been embroiled in a controversy. In 2015, the organization was slammed for failing to accommodate international players properly. Errors in flight schedules saw some players stuck in transit for up to 20 hours, in some cases, and others miss transit flights entirely. As a result, the latter had to fund their transport out of pocket, with the promise that they would be reimbursed.
Furthermore, some players reported that they were placed in a five-star hotel, which was unfinished at the time. Moreover, the staff did not speak English and the translators provided were incompetent. To top it all off, players were not allowed to leave the hotel for whatever reason and the gaming venue was located an hour away from the hotel.
In more recent months, the organization has not scheduled tournaments for 2018, save for those postponed in 2017. Their Facebook and Twitter accounts have not posted since late 2017 and their website is down.