Smite: Statement Regarding the Release of our Team
14th December 2016
Recently, there have been comments made on social media regarding our decision to release our SMITE team. We have decided to release this statement in order to clear up any ambiguity regarding the situation and look to move on from it.
Going in to the recent SMITE Console League play-offs, we had four players officially representing exceL, after Welshbeast had been transferred to another team and Auzrik had been brought in to replace him. Naturally we were all delighted at qualifying for the play-offs. However an issue soon arose where two of our players were without passports. This forced the team to attend the event with two substitutes, the maximum permitted according to our agreements with players. Moreover, Auzrik was not formally contracted to exceL eSports.
The second issue occurred the night before the event was due to start, by which point the players and our SMITE Manager were already in Atlanta. Jeron, captain of the team, breached his own agreement with exceL by behaving in a manner which resulted in him being banned by HiRez from all official SMITE competitions. We will not be commenting further on any rumours regarding Jeron’s situation. We would like to make it clear here that our agreement stated that should the captain’s agreement expire naturally at the end of its specified term, the league spot would belong to him. Jeron’s ban negated this clause, however, and also meant the team had to play with another substitute, RedDevil (our SMITE Manager). This effectively ended any hopes of an event win.
Problems intensified when one player, Elexum, elected to protest by holding up signs with Jeron's name, while wearing Jeron’s team jersey, during the event stream. This, knowing that Jeron had been banned from the competition by HiRez, was completely unprofessional and is not in keeping with the behaviour we explicitly state that we expect from our players. This was also a breach of the part of the agreement we have with players which states they must wear the apparel provided for them individually. His attitude towards RedDevil, our SMITE Manager, was also unprofessional and less than satisfactory. Moreover, the team’s eventual performance at the event was substandard, which is also mentioned in our agreements as grounds for termination.
Upon returning from the event, many of the players left the messaging group we had set up with them to communicate and due to the multiple breaches of our agreements with the team mentioned above, we elected to release them. We sought approval from HiRez to do so and were completely open with them about the situation, even sending them copies of player agreements for them to read in full. They granted us approval to retain the spot in the SCL and recruit a new roster in order to compete in the next split. It has also emerged since that Mango and Cobby signed their agreements without the required parental counter-signatures, and we were not told at the time of signing that they were indeed underage. This alone voids their agreements, regardless of the fact that we would have had grounds to release these players based on the performance and substitute clauses written in to our agreements.
Having informed Elexum, Cobby and Mango of our decision, we said to them that we would be making decisions regarding our next roster objectively and would be seeking the best possible roster to compete under the exceL eSports name. This is still the case and it must be said that we have in no way ruled out the possibility that a roster containing Mango, Cobby or Elexum may return.
This situation has been far from ideal for all involved, but we remain huge supporters of HiRez, SMITE eSports and the SMITE Console League and we look forward to competing in the next split with a competitive roster.