As the Indian esports scene started booming, thanks mostly to the introduction and subsequent success of the PUBG-Mobile scene in the region, an organisation emerged fast yet steady as a prominent one in legacy esport disciplines. eSamurai Games made waves with their initial moves, from bringing Rohit ‘Velocity’ Fortis in as a content creator to building a team around him.
Yet, months on and there have been several tight-lipped stories surrounding the organisation that the Indian community was unaware of. We were recently approached by aggrieved players and staff, both recent and former, of the ill-treatment that prevailed at eSamurai.
We gathered enough evidence through our sources and narration of the ordeal that the players went. An official response was received but we were able to get more details after a thorough discussion with eSamurai owner Charnjit ‘s3rius’ Singh Mudhar.
In the following texts, we will lay down accusations presented by players and/or staff, the owner’s rebuttal and our own findings, if necessary.
The Initial Roster – The Unfulfilled Promises of Kashyap ‘Duk3’ Lakhani and Amit ‘Revolt’ Singh
One of the very first CSGO Rosters that eSamurai had included the likes of Duk3 and Revolt. Velocity was part of it for a brief period but was soon bought out by Team IND. Duk3 and Revolt were communicated of the prospect of requesting hardwares from eSamurai, which they did. Take into note that hardware requests were accepted by eSamurai back then and it was communicated that any amount towards hardware requests will not be coming out of their respective salaries.
Duk3 requested a mouse worth 4,500 INR while Revolt wanted a Headphone and a Keyboard (Hyperx Alloy), which rounded to around 20,000 INR. In the ensuing days of the request, there were several communications between them and s3rius regarding the hardware requests.
The two narrated how their hardwares were delayed beyond measures, with s3rius citing reason after reason for failure to deliver on given dates, which kept changing. The stories included but were not restricted to him sitting on and breaking Duk3’s mouse that he wanted, courier problems and a false tracking ID.
In the end, Duk3 finally got his mouse worth 4500 INR on 29.01.2020 but was abruptly sent a notice that the team was to disband, with eSamurai citing financial restrictions. Duk3 was told by s3rius that the amount of the mouse will be deducted from his salary, which was not the case when promised. After a discussion and argument between the two, s3rius agreed to pay 3,000 INR as salary, which actually amounted to 5500 INR.
As far as Revolt is concerned, he communicated with s3rius time and again and was left frustrated at the delays. The package that seemingly also included an eSamurai hoodie, never arrived and Revolt received an email on 31.01.2020 relieving him of his duties as an active player at eSamurai.
When we asked s3rius, he agreed that there were delays but that he never deducted the mouse’s amount from Duk3’s salary and that Revolt was told his demands were excessive, which is the reason it wasn’t completed.
The Pending dues of Eacquac and the former Elements roster
Anshuman ‘Eacquac’ Baisakh was also one of the OG players in the roster. He was also one of the higher-paid players for organisation. After the initial lineup including Revolt ceased to exist, Eacquac brought in his former Elements teammates Satyaranjan ‘Razzor’ Ray, Haraprasanna ‘Lk’ Raut and Surya ‘Imba’ Kumar, with talks for joining the organisation happening around 05.02.2020.
The lineup played under the eSamurai banner for around 4 months. During the Lockdown phase, Eacquac was told to rent a pc and that he would likely receive rent for every month except the first month of the lockdown. The amount, excluding that of the month communicated, came up to around 20,000 INR.
Subsequently, Eacquac was told he will not be getting the rent, which put him back by the aforementioned amount, citing denial from higher management. Note that s3rius is the owner of the organisation.
The case involving Razzor, Imba and Lk was even more damning. The players were brought in on the pretext that they will be unpaid until their performances and/or placements at ESL warranted a salary.
Although there was no salary, Eacquac confirmed that he had lobbied for the three players to be paid at least cafe charges, which is part of the contract and amounted to 4500 INR per month. The three players were left unpaid.
s3rius chose not to mention anything related to pending cafe charges but has since agreed to pay 4500 INR each to Eacquac, Razzor, Imba and Lk after a brief discussion.
The Unfulfilled promises to ex-Sun Asia
The former Sun Asia roster was brought in by eSamurai upon the pretext that the players will receive a minimum salary of 7000 INR as per the contract excluding cafe charges and that any amount upwards would be dependent on the team’s performance.
The team completed a month of trial on 10.06.2020 and the salary month was supposed to start from 11.06.2020. However, Global Esports acquired Abhirup Paul “Lightning Fast” Choudhury around 10 days after and the rest of the team, who were feeling a bit demotivated already, were told that they will not receive their salary since they were still in Starters, which disappointed the sponsors, who were now against paying any money.
Apart from that, s3rius had agreed on 04.06.2020 that he would pay 4k of Ritesh “Defaulter” Sarda’s pc rent charges, which were unpaid up until recently. After we approached eSamurai for an official confirmation with all the accusations, defaulter received 2,000 INR with the rest still pending. Ayan ‘Dark’ Bhattacharya was promised the delivery of a webcam, which never arrived.
We asked s3rius to clarify on the matter and one of the first things that we were told was that Defaulter had iterated that he needed only half the amount since he had paid the remaining half out of his own pocket. This has been denied by the player himself upon a subsequent query from our end.
Regarding the sponsors, we revealed to s3rius that we had confirmation that AORUS and GIGABYTE, the only two sponsors of eSamurai, were in no way invested in financing the salary of the CSGO roster. s3rius clarified that he had misused the term ‘sponsor’ and had originally meant the people financing the organisation.
Along with it, eSamurai’s CSGO Roster was told that one part of the reason why they had not received the prize money of 10,000 INR for placing second in Dojo Masters was that the main sponsor of the event, AORUS, had not forwarded payment. We received official confirmation that AORUS had initiated payment on 06.06.2020.
Upon asking for a clarification, s3rius told us that he might have said it and reasoned it down to possibly forgetting that AORUS had sent him the payment. BL4ZE Esports, who were the winners of the event, have been promised payment of the same by 10.07.2020.
Players have since revealed that they had asked s3rius several times regarding the Dojo Masters payout and for Defaulter’s pc rent and were given various reasons, along with this one for the prize pool. After our discussion, s3rius has since told the current eSamurai CSGO Elite Team that their contracts are terminated with immediate effect and agreed to pay 11 days worth of salary by July.
Our sources have revealed that eSamurai are or did initiate talks with another team to represent their organisation after Lightning Fast was acquired by Global Esports and s3rius communicated that the current roster will not be paid due to financial problems. If the said team were to agree, they would receive a contract similar to the current Elite lineup. We are keeping the player names private out of courtesy towards the organisation and the team.
The Lofty Promise of an Academy Coach
eSamurai’s academy roster were given various names during their time at the organisation from prominent Indian players to Kevin ‘xccurate’ Susanto. The players themselves agreed on an unnamed Indian player not coming in to coach them after it was revealed by s3rius that it would happen in lieu of payment of an undisclosed amount.
Francesco ‘escudo’ Mascarenhas was also told to be ready to coach the team. But, as per our confirmation, escudo never agreed to coach the team but was willing to help a bit in his free time.
As far as xccurate’s name is concerned, s3rius said that he had only told the team he would try to get him in while the team members have given us an account that states that they were given a confirmation and a date of when xccurate would arrive. Xccurate never arrived and the team was told it was because he was sick and continued to be so in the coming days. After a few days, s3rius told them it was not going to happen.
The G2, KennyS collaboration saga
s3rius had said something along the lines of a potential collaboration with G2 and KennyS, which team’s account of the story confirms. s3rius told us the KennyS thing was something he said as a joke. He also clarified that, regarding the potential G2 collaboration, brief from AORUS was to create as much hype as possible and that is all he did.
Chintan ‘chattu’ Thobhani was promised a ZOWIE bungee and a SteelSeries QCK Plus mousepad. After delays, he was given a HyperX Fury mousepad as he had bought the bungee himself. In this scenario, chattu states that s3rius had taken 600 INR from him as additional shipping charges during Lockdown. But, upon chattu’s discussion with Mayank Dutt, who is in charge of day-to-day operations at eSamurai, it was found that the additional shipping charges would have amounted to 100 INR and not 600.
s3rius has told us that the aforementioned is Mayank Dutt’s domain and that the amount he asked from chattu was communicated to him from Mayank himself. Mayank Dutt confirmed that around 400 worth total shipping charges and around 100 was his personal petrol cost for delivery. Mayank Dutt has confirmed that the remaining amount should be returned to chattu soon.
eSamurai academy player Soumya ‘abbu’ Kar was promised 5,000 INR as combined pc rent plus cafe charges. That was never transferred by s3rius citing that there is no UPI account linked to the number provided and that the amount was deducted from his account. s3rius has assured us he will be completing the payment.
Dipesh ‘trx’ Yadav, who was also one of the OG players in the roster, has not been paid one month worth of salary. s3rius has promised to pay him the amount and told us that everything has been settled with the player. A similar case can be seen with Abhay ‘Xotic’ Bhandari, who is also owed one month’s salary and has been told he will eventually receive it. trx and Xotic both agree to have spoken to s3rius recently about the dues but have denied that ‘everything is sorted’.
eSamurai CSGO players were promised Sostronk and FACEIT subscriptions with the caveat that in case they did opt for the two, they would not receive the LOT Servers VIP subscription. s3rius revealed to us that FACEIT Subscriptions have not been possible for a few months due to undisclosed bank issues but that Sostronk Subscriptions have been done properly.
Mayukh ‘gaster’ Kundu worked for around 2 months as a community handler for eSamurai. He was told that he would be eligible to get just 4700 INR out of his salary of 6000 INR because of his failure to lodge adequate working hours. In the second month or part thereof, gaster did the casting for the Dojo Masters and provided the servers along with handling the entire event’s fixtures. The said staff no longer works for eSamurai but has been paid just 5000 INR for the two months combined, which equates to 300 INR for the second month or part thereof.
s3rius confirmed that there were issues with gaster’s working hours and revealed that the Dojo Masters servers, event management and casting was done on a voluntary basis by the former staff.
Our mission in this entire scenario is to somehow hold people accountable in the public eye so that the defaults are cleared and that such a situation can be avoided in the future. The fact that we were approached by the aggrieved players is far from the ideal scenario and this is a case of where things should have been handled internally as and when it happened. The Indian community is growing and we should welcome the new organisations and enthusiastic youngsters.
But, we must be wary to not turn a blind eye towards unethical practices. We should ensure that organisations don’t deal with problems such as mentioned above only when the news starts to gain traction or there is a threat of public disclosure. s3rius is an enthusiastic esports lover but inexperienced at running an organisation. The people around him should have helped him understand the ethics of the dealings.
We appreciate that s3rius is committed to learn as quickly as he can and admitted a large portion of the mistakes that were pointed to him. We believe the way forward is always to be together as a community and that people like s3rius, who are enthusiastic but inexperienced, should have a helping hand from the experienced heads around him.
We hope this sends out a strong message to organisations in India that such mistreatments will not go unnoticed by the community while also equivocally asking the same community to always be open to give second chances to people who want to learn and mend their ways.
Update: Gigabyte & Aorus has cut ties with eSamurai Games.