ESL evaluates conflicts of interest from Road to Rio participants
ESL has indicated that it is currently evaluating the conflicts of interest reported by the participants of ESL One: Road to Rio.
In a Twitter post, the tournament organizer added that it has messaged teams asking for clarification and admits that it could take "further action" depending on the nature of the additional information provided.
The announcement came just 24 hours after HLTV.org and Globo Esporte reported that Valve would not immediately act upon conflicts of interest between the teams participating in ESL One: Road to Rio, one of the four Regional Major Rankings (RMR) tournaments acting as qualifiers for this year's Counter-Strike Major, for the sake of reigniting the discussion about the sensitive topic of multiple team ownership.
Valve shared with HLTV.org the declarations of interest from 19 teams competing in ESL One: Road to Rio. The documents confirmed that there are close ties between MIBR and Yeah, two teams who will face each other later on Thursday in Group B of the North American division.
MIBR coach Ricardo "dead" Sinigaglia and team member Epitacio "TACO" de Melo are among the owners of Yeah, though they allegedly do not make any decisions on the company's behalf. The Immortals Gaming Club, MIBR's parent company, holds the option to buy out at most two of Yeah's players in a calendar year for a set price in exchange for an annual fee.
Evil Geniuses coach Wilton "zews" Prado owns a 25 percent stake in Yeah, which raises the possibility of another conflict of interest, though the North American giants can only face the Brazilian team if they both make it out of the groups.
Another conflict of interest in ESL One: Road to Rio, this time in the European division, involves Dignitas and NIP as Christopher "GeT_RiGhT" Alesund owns a minority stake in his former team, with the two Swedish giants set to square off on Friday.
With Valve stating that it was looking to give the community the opportunity to discuss the conflicts of interest in the scene, it remains unclear what prompted ESL to consider taking action. HLTV.org has reached out to the tournament organiser for clarification.