IronWar owners alleged of owing upwards of $30,000 in prize money to teams

An unresponsive tournament organizer has left teams missing prize money after they took part in two separate tournaments.

UPDATE: A representative from NewBelarus has told HLTV.org that the prize money they earned for their 5th-8th placement ($1,250) in IronWar Grand Prix was not paid out, after all.

The owners of the "IronWar" series of tournaments, which includes three events — IronWar, IronWar Grand Prix, and IronWar Series #1 — allegedly owe over $30,000 of prize money to teams that took part in the latter two events, with SKADE making a public statement about the nonpayment via their website on Friday.

The matter was first brought to light in October by former Natus Vincere member Denis "⁠seized⁠" Kostin, who took part in IronWar Grand Prix with BEZ ZP. The team ended their tournament run in 3-4th place and should have earned $2,500 as their reward; however, over three months after the tournament first took place, they are still owed their due, according to the Russian veteran.

SHiPZ is among the players who have stated they have yet to be paid by IronWar

Various teams and players, including Nemiga, and AGO, added in ensuing responses to both of the above statements that they also have yet to receive payments for their placements. Other teams contacted privately by HLTV have stated that they have not been paid the prize pool for IronWar Series #1, either, nor have they received any response or communication from the organizers of the event for weeks.

In an open letter from tournament organizer META Belarus, who had been hired by IronWar to help operate the first two tournaments, it was stated that the team behind IronWar consists of a group of private individuals — Artem Kozyr, Kiryl Neverov, and Leonid Rakuts.

META Belarus explains in the letter that they were approached by this group of individuals to organize the first of the three IronWar tournaments. As none of the individuals behind the IronWar company had esports credentials, META Belarus required payment of the prize money upfront to a private account of their own as a condition to undertake the project, as well as a guarantee of no interference in the tournament itself.

As such, the first event played out with META Belarus as the organizing party, and competing teams were paid through them following its conclusion. Heading into the second tournament, IronWar Grand Prix, however, META Belarus say they were faced with an issue in that the three individuals mentioned above had registered a public association, E-sports gaming PA.

"Since they already have a legal entity (a public association) for the further history and documentary evidence that they were the organizers and actors on the esports market, they needed to independently organize interactions with the teams and pay the prize money themselves," META Belarus state in their letter.

"We agreed that communication with the teams and the payment of the prize fund remain on the side of E-sports gaming PA, and META-ESPORTS only provides tournament and broadcasting services."

However, the majority of that prize money has yet to be paid by Kozyr, Neverov, Rakuts, or the entity E-sports gaming PA. According to an article released in October by Belarussian outlet Cyber Pressball, only NewBelarus received payment out of the teams they reached out to, while INDE IRAE, ONYX, and Trasko all stated that they had not been paid. The same outlet cites a statement from Kozyr:

"Now we will prepare responses to organizations. It is not in our interest not to pay the prize money. It's just that now there are difficulties with the accounts, they have been frozen. For these reasons, we cannot make payments. I can give you a more detailed answer a little later. After talking with the organizations."

Multiple teams HLTV has reached out to have not received any update regarding payments, including AGO and SKADE, who placed first and second in the IronWar Grand Prix tournament and are owed a total of $20,000 for their achievements.

Further concerns also arose for META Belarus when, just one day prior to the start of IronWar Grand Prix, they received a request from E-sports gaming PA for a zero delay stream, as well as administrative access to tournament lobbies.

"The day before the start of the IronWar Grand Prix tournament, E-sports gaming PA put forward a requirement to provide a separate stream (without delay) to a third-party resource, motivating it with the partner's requirement," META Belarus say in their open letter.

"E-sports gaming PA as well requested admin access to each game tournament lobby. This request seemed suspicious and raised concerns about the E-sports gaming PA failure to comply with the agreements to prevent manipulation of the game process. We had no reason to stop the tournament, as the contract was signed and an advance payment was made to us."

Since then, E-sports gaming PA have organized another event, IronWar Series #1, with a different tournament operator handling tournament services. Four teams were meant to be awarded a total of $20,000 in prize money following the conclusion of the event in early November, including Nexus and NASR, whose Head of FPS Games and CS:GO coach, Aws "⁠CHAOS⁠" Bani Baker, told HLTV.org that the organizers have ceased contact with him two weeks ago after he continued to enquire about the payment of prize money.

HLTV has attempted to contact Kozyr and E-sports gaming PA but did not receive a response at the time of publication. Contact emails provided for Kozyr and IronWar also failed to deliver.

Russia Denis 'seized' Kostin
Denis 'seized' Kostin
Age:
27
Team:
Rating 1.0:
0.97
Maps played:
1481
KPR:
0.66
DPR:
0.68
rip
2021-12-07 19:36
2 replies
nice scam imagine participating a zero delay tournament, organised by bunch of unknown individuals
2021-12-08 02:20
1 reply
#107
 | 
United Kingdom munt_
prize money is prize money tho, probably attractive for any team with a blank schedule for the period. zero delay pretty spooky tho, how would you know as the teams tho.
2021-12-08 11:43
#2
 | 
China $harlen
LUL
2021-12-07 19:36
#3
STYKO | 
Czech Republic y0fl0w
not cool!
2021-12-07 19:36
sadge
2021-12-07 19:37
CLOWNS
2021-12-07 19:37
not pog
2021-12-07 19:37
OLIGARCH SCAMMERS
2021-12-07 19:37
clowns
2021-12-07 19:39
#9
 | 
United States GiantDays
just print the money yourself seized easy
2021-12-07 19:39
IS THIS HAPPENS BECAUSE WE ARE FROM BULGARIA?????
2021-12-07 19:40
15 replies
#17
 | 
Serbia XD___
maybe
2021-12-07 19:41
#33
 | 
Bulgaria |mens|
where does this come from bro??? i wanna know so bad
2021-12-07 20:03
8 replies
BULGARIA
2021-12-07 20:18
you don't know it????
2021-12-07 20:19
#52
 | 
Serbia XD___
one of the bulgarian prod talking about contacting valve about dreamers vac ban I think
2021-12-07 20:53
spyleadeR
2021-12-07 20:56
#64
 | 
Canada firtlast
spyleader talking about dream3rs vac ban
2021-12-07 21:49
2021-12-08 01:38
1 reply
#100
 | 
Bulgaria |mens|
l m a o
2021-12-08 06:22
#96
 | 
Brazil baldok1
Nt stoichkov
2021-12-08 04:46
What are you talking about?
2021-12-07 20:06
1 reply
bulgaria bro fr fr
2021-12-07 20:57
#90
 | 
United Kingdom suge
azk he is the north american player but the titan he is the french stars
2021-12-08 01:09
2 replies
azk good but not best (JW best)
2021-12-08 01:33
1 reply
jOELZ on lan? i aren't think that xd
2021-12-08 04:46
"they received a request from E-sports gaming PA for a zero delay stream, as well as administrative access to tournament lobbies" all you need to know , a 322 tourny
2021-12-07 19:39
1 reply
#87
 | 
Lebanon Dogman69
0 delay stream might be for betting companies, they use it
2021-12-08 00:24
oof
2021-12-07 19:40
#13
 | 
Czech Republic forseti12
hahaha
2021-12-07 19:40
g
2021-12-07 19:40
1 reply
g
2021-12-08 10:58
#15
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Ukraine futplxyer
322 tournaments dont exist, they say? xaxaxa
2021-12-07 19:40
6 replies
makes no sense, if it was thrown, why would they have problems paying? plenty of profit in that case, no?
2021-12-07 19:45
5 replies
This tourney i won a couple of 6 odd bets newbelarus xiters its 322
2021-12-07 19:49
3 replies
thats something else then the subject of the article
2021-12-07 19:50
1 reply
it was fixed tournament
2021-12-07 19:51
which match?
2021-12-08 11:47
#38
 | 
Ukraine futplxyer
looks like their accounts got frozen and something went wrong lul
2021-12-07 20:14
#16
 | 
India aR__
scammers
2021-12-07 19:41
#18
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Finland Cucumber))
Not surprising
2021-12-07 19:42
4 replies
Hello cucumber ))
2021-12-07 19:44
1 reply
#67
 | 
Finland Cucumber))
Hi FieryBlood :D
2021-12-07 22:07
#95
 | 
Australia poppyxox
Hello Cucumber))
2021-12-08 02:58
1 reply
Hi poppyxox :o
2021-12-08 10:29
322_322_322_322 come here HAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
2021-12-07 19:43
5 replies
what does your name mean
2021-12-07 19:54
4 replies
rigged matches basically
2021-12-07 20:14
2 replies
i know 322 i mean infernal
2021-12-07 20:15
1 reply
dunno mens prob something to with hot (as in hot as an inferno) maybe
2021-12-07 20:16
2021-12-08 16:28
someone explain in nba terms
2021-12-07 19:44
#24
 | 
United States Rayduh
Scammed lol
2021-12-07 19:50
fucking racists simply hating on the tournament cause we are bulgarian
2021-12-07 19:53
Want the money? Ask the NEWBELARUS players who where being feed info
2021-12-07 19:54
epic
2021-12-07 19:56
SKADE complaining when they 322 every match
2021-12-07 19:58
#32
 | 
Hungary 0pahm
This whole tournament was a blatant 322, every single map throwed and impossible comebacks + upsets happens. Okay they are tier 3-4 teams, but these matches was not relevant. These teams made more money from fiying then the entire prizepool :D ESIC still dont care btw.
2021-12-07 20:03
10 replies
how big do you think ESIC is to look at a tier 3 tournament? Its like 4 ppl working there.
2021-12-07 20:04
9 replies
ESIC is a joke anyway. everyone on heroic supposedly knew nothing about hundencam, but no one came forth until someone did and the stories had already changed. i don't envy hunden's position, because while he is guilty, he still protected these scumbags until the org threw him under the bus and after which he dragged his former team under the bus. if CSGO ESPORTS ECOSYSTEM wasn't INBRED as fuck heroic as a whole should have been barred from many, many events because of hunden & his team. just to point out more than half the events we watch are just same teams circle jerking around because they have contracts with franchised leagues. how many times did we see during online era same matchups go on and on again.. big vs og, etc. always in the same groups. same teams, same matchups, just repetition all over again. that is why the meta is so stale. the game is like a stale bread, because nothing ever changes. we can go forward 3 years and the same teams will be there on the stage.
2021-12-07 21:07
8 replies
I disagree with the meta part. + teams have been very different and there has been a clear shift in power. I bet you look at the 50 players in the top 10 now compared to like 2018 it will be like 50% maximum. Like VP, Entropiq (or Furia they are a bit better imo), Gambit werent even there and a majority of their rosters irrelevant. I agree that ESL spammed so many tournaments during the online era. The thing with Heroic investigation is if they just didnt talk about it it wouldnt have been as bad as after they talked about it and basically said they found out are either the first or second (its been a couple months now I cant remember). Everyone at minimum should have gotten the same punishment as niko + I believe if I remember correctly that with the evidence provided by Hunden it wasnt enough to actually reliably punish the other 4 more than what niko got. tbh ever since the iBP and Epsilon/French pros got banned for match fixing (I bet the total of all their winnings from that didnt even pass 10k$ btw) no one has gotten banned for match fixing or cheating (or gotten a large punishment) since (players not coaches). If Valve gave a single fuck so many more pros would have been banned or suspended :/. ESIC will try to fix things but they dont have the man power nor money to do THAT much + they still fuck up and make themselves look like idiots.
2021-12-07 21:15
4 replies
the players change, sure. ain't denying that, but it'll always be the same teams and that's not good for the ecosystem. if you look at how esl is formatted and how many teams have a spot based on their contract, well.. that's not good for the ecosystem as a whole. we'll hardly ever see a team from spain, czechia, norway, turkey, etc. qualify for esl tournaments. that's the hard fact of it. that's why i called it inbred. matchfixing runs rampant in this game. they whined about the australian matchfixing scandal and the na matchfixing, but honestly, there place where there is most matchfixing and shady business is eastern europe and cis tournaments.
2021-12-07 21:23
2 replies
The worst place for match fixing is China, and CIS/East Europe is second place. Not easy to fix matchfixing when such large sums are involved as well + FBI having fun with ESIC (Tho RL did say at some point he will release something about the NA matchfixing after the major tho idk when as ESIC are slow af). I kinda agree that ESL/blast having those franchise spots is something bad, but at the same time it feels like it is what we have to accept with the current state of cs and how much the orgs lose + Valve being very very hands off. I do agree that there should be more qualification spots except the like 8 in total spread over like 6 regions where good EU teams lose out spots to worse Americas (NA+SA) teams.
2021-12-07 21:27
1 reply
too many franchise spots, yeah..
2021-12-07 22:25
Just because teams have been different doesn't mean the scene is at its best health. In 2019, Astralis won 6 trophies (similar to how navi have won 7 this year) but there were still many rivals winning titles in response (mouz, liquid, vitality, navi, ence, vp). For comparison, apart from navi, heroic and gambit are the only teams to have won big tournaments this year. The reason is simple: competition has stagnated after the pandemic and there are fewer tournaments being organized too. But fans like to cite viewership to convince themselves that it's all well and good when it's hardly indicative of anything (just that big names are still in the game)
2021-12-08 06:33
ye Heroic's acting over the entirety of Hundencam drama was more than sus. But, you got so many coaches abusing it so if you ban heroic, others have to fall too. For that ESL would have a few things to say with their contracts..... And problem there is not ESIC, ESIC was given a shit hand to play with. Valve is 100% at blame there, detecting coach bug was not easy, just no one questioned it before someone came out and said it to that tournament organizer dude who found just how much it happened. There will always be cheaters, it's game company's responsibility to prevent that. I do agree that having contracts with tournament organizers is aids for competitive CS. Teams that do nothing for a full year can be in top 30 just because of that while in reality they would not be top 100. It also creates less than a competitive environment as I do not have to work as hard to have X standing needed to get sponsors. I do understand that esports as a whole is not a super developed industry and that to go in with tons of cash investors need some security, that's where those contracts come from. I hope they get filtered out eventually because it's AIDS for competitive integrity. It's fine to have your invite only tournament, however, apart from prize money - nothing else should matter from there. Results from those tournaments should not count towards rankings. Most Tier 2 teams for 10x as hard as Tier 1 teams do. That's not how it works in any sport ever, top guy has to work the most and more you go down the list - less work you see and more laziness and flaws they never work on.
2021-12-07 22:10
2 replies
+1 i agree with most of what you say but idk if its the right route to say invite-only tournaments shouldn't count towards rankings. i do agree that its silly that an "exclusive members invited only club" should form the basis for the rankings.
2021-12-07 22:23
1 reply
Fifa said that teams involved in that super league scam would not be part of the Fifa. And it's reasonable, you have quite a rigged competition there. I do not see why invite only tournaments should count towards rankings, you didn't work towards it, you only signed a piece of paper that gives you ranking by default. I do not find it competitive or fair, we had many teams hold top 10 just because of invites even if they did super poorly on them. So poorly that they would not go trough qualifiers. It's probably because ecosystem is too small to have a governing body to prevent that on a global level.
2021-12-08 14:21
expected
2021-12-07 20:06
unlucko sounds sketchu af so i doubt the money will ever be sent
2021-12-07 20:13
Always sad when this sort of thing happens.
2021-12-07 20:16
clowns sad for the players
2021-12-07 20:21
Who gives a fuck if matchfixing teams don’t get paid
2021-12-07 20:24
$30k was the entire prize pool wtf XD
2021-12-07 20:24
Lmao, those Bulgarians and money again
2021-12-07 20:29
#50
 | 
CIS sat1mo
those 12500 bucks for skade are pretty decent money
2021-12-07 20:37
Good, matchfixers from skade don’t deserve it
2021-12-07 20:48
i was don t know this detaels
2021-12-07 21:01
#56
 | 
Brazil Anarchybr
Maybe the teams weren’t involved on matchfixing but just the individuals running the event.
2021-12-07 21:06
poor bulgarians, scammed again ahahaha
2021-12-07 21:08
#60
 | 
Europe Kephea
lmao ahahah
2021-12-07 21:18
expected
2021-12-07 21:30
#65
NiKo | 
United Kingdom sKz_gg
Fixers getting scammed love to see it
2021-12-07 21:57
3 replies
+1
2021-12-07 22:08
+1
2021-12-07 22:48
+1
2021-12-08 00:26
#66
 | 
Germany JonnyEGood
hustlin thick
2021-12-07 22:00
Fixers cant get their prizepool money Kekw cs is very corrupted game
2021-12-07 22:08
drama
2021-12-07 22:10
Is Angel Munoz running this shit behind the scenes? Is this the 2000s all over again?
2021-12-07 22:33
drag them
2021-12-07 22:34
Zaskamili mamontov
2021-12-07 22:39
Pay fuckers
2021-12-07 22:45
#79
 | 
Germany iBUYPOLAND
-rep!
2021-12-07 22:52
So as I've understood from other sources those tournaments were on HLTV and that was the main factor why teams decided to participate, right? And this article is some kind of responsibility? You must ban those orgs on your website and make a statement with apologies on the website. Obviously you didn't know, but there's no options to support scammers in 2022.
2021-12-07 23:16
#81
JT | 
United States cybonics
fucking unfortunate
2021-12-07 23:28
1 reply
Why? Those fuckers are dirty matchfixers, they don't deserve shit.
2021-12-07 23:52
glad this happening 🙂 These types of tournaments should be restricted from ever, now its late they are to much expanded
2021-12-07 23:30
Usually i feel bad when people are getting scammed but Skade are the biggest matchfixers in the entire scene, i hope they'll get scammed in every single tournament from now on.Fixers getting scammed, you love to see it.
2021-12-07 23:52
1 reply
based
2021-12-08 05:45
You have been pranked... I
2021-12-07 23:53
1 reply
Yeah if it wasnt an criminal offence
2021-12-08 13:01
Exposed lol
2021-12-08 00:15
Exposed.
2021-12-08 00:47
the funni
2021-12-08 02:10
#99
 | 
Tonga TheDEA
Everyone knew IronWar was a l33t cup copy already
2021-12-08 06:11
Europe
2021-12-08 08:08
haha funny russian/balkan organized tournaments. seriously though, fuck Ironwar.
2021-12-08 11:11
Scammed lul
2021-12-08 11:15
SCAMMERONI
2021-12-08 12:00
Checks got lost in mail. Honest mistake. Trust us!
2021-12-08 20:14
scam?
2021-12-09 13:32
expected from belarusians tbh yet I won couple of 2,5-4 bets in ironwar
2021-12-09 21:28
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