Qi Banja Luka prize money slashed to $35,000 as teams withdraw from tournament
Qi League, the organiser of Qi Banja Luka, has announced that it was forced to reduce the prize money to $35,000 after several teams suddenly opted to skip the event.
The news means that a total of $115,000 will be cut from the prize pool of the tournament, which will have four teams rather than eight and will be trimmed down from three days to just two (December 14-15).
The decision was made after "a couple of the top 30 teams" that had already committed to attending the tournament "chose to accept invitations from another event scheduled around the same time", Qi League said in a statement.
Qi League, which hosted last year in Belgrade the $75,000 Qi Invitational, did not wish to name the teams who had experienced a change of heart or the event that they had decided to attend instead. But looking at the calendar, cs_summit 5 and DreamHack Open Sevilla are the events that will take place around the same time as Qi Banja Luka and still had slots to fill until recently.
"We reached out to the teams for an explanation but received little information other than that they were backing out," Qi League explained. "This affects the entire event and is very unfair to the partners with whom we work and signed contracts when we had these teams that, to the best of our knowledge, were confirmed for the event.
"This basically meant that we were breaching some of our settled agreements and hence why we are unable to commit to the prize pool we originally set out to offer. We do not want to be a company that promises big prize pools and never pays them out.
"We don’t want the event to not take place at all, so we have come to a more acceptable solution for us, one that we can deliver."
ARCY, the winner of the European qualifier, will be joined by the invited trio of pro100 (who replace AUGUST as the Asian qualifier champion was ruled out due to visa issues), ex-BLUEJAYS and Sharks in Banja Luka to compete in a double-elimination, best-of-three bracket. The winner will earn $30,000, while the runner-up will walk away with a $5,000 cheque.
The final team list for the Bosnian event is the following: