M5 scammed, robbed in India
HLTV.org spoke to Moscow Five CEO Dima "ddd1ms" Smelyi about his team's displeasing trip to India Gaming Carnival.
How was Moscow Five's trip to India Gaming Carnival? Atrocious enough to make the Moscow Five boss fear for his players' safety and lives by the end of the event.
It was a clearly upset and shocked Smelyi HLTV.org spoke to when he was awaiting confirmation from the team's manager that the team had passed Delhi International airport's security gates.
Moscow Five, who were one of the two international teams in India, reached the tournament's semifinals. That was when the organizers decided to shut down the entire event.
The event itself was a disaster. It let people to believe it would be one of the year's biggest, spangled events, with well over $300,000 in the total prize pool for the featured games.
Photo: Moscow Five
Reports just days before the event was schedule to kick off even said the event had been cancelled, checks had bounced and later on, during the event, computer tournaments had been called off.
Smelyi confessed he should have listened to advice given by fnatic and Natus Vincere officials, who told him to drop the Indian event.
"fnatic and Natus Vincere managers told me: "Dima, it's fake! Dont visit ICG 2012. I should have listened to them," he wrote in his blog.
Despite all this, India Gaming Carnival did take place, at least to some degree, but failed to an enormous extent to meet any of the expectations set by its organizers, WTF Eventz.
Why did Moscow Five not go any further than the semifinals? According to Smelyi, the organizers decided to call off the entire event, shutting down the venue's electricity in the process.
Smelyi furthermore informed HLTV.org that event officials disappeared from the scene and refused to accept their calls.
All of this happened after the organizers supposedly tried to delay the tournament so that Moscow Five could not play an eventual final, seeing as they had to catch their flight on April 9.
Photo: Moscow Five
Smelyi, however, saw through the organizers' scheme and booked tickets for April 10, attempting to assure that his team would be able to play the tournament's final, which they were sure to reach.
By the time the organizers shut down the event, the extended return tickets to Moscow purchased by Smelyi turned out to be nothing but an additional expenditure. (approximately $2,900)
While all of this does not sound very life-threatening or the cause of fearing for someone's life, it was when the team returned to their hotel the situation became even more suspicious.
As the team and their manager were waiting for a taxi to take them to their hotel after the shutdown, they spotted four thug-like men who were paying attention to them, Smelyi said.
After getting in the taxi, the Moscow Five players saw the four men get in a car and followed them. The situation did not develop any further though, and the Russians eventually went to sleep.
However, Moscow Five's team manager stayed up and recorded this video, explaining some of what they had gone through.
Apparently, they were told that the organizers had nothing to do with the event abruptly shutting down and that it was out of their control, followed by several what seems to be empty promises.
Kushagra, who is the director of WTF Eventz, even told Moscow Five that they would compensate their expenses involved with traveling to India and a substantial amount of the first-place prize.
More specific, the organizers offered to cover Moscow Five $10,000 for their participation and reimburse $4,000 in travel expenses in return for not publishing footage of the venue being shut down.
The team had provided Kushagra with necessary contact information, such as hotel room numbers, e-mails and telephone numbers, and he promised to meet them later that day. He did not.
This is not the only recording Moscow Five made during their trip to India. They supposedly filmed a conversation with Kushagra himself, which is believed to be the reason for the thugs appearing.
Smelyi went on and said that when the team woke up, they realized that someone had broken into their rooms and robbed them for money and a 8GB memory stick with all the said footage on it.
The situation has taken a huge toll on Smelyi, who felt it was necessary to wait with telling this story before he knew his team and manager were in safety in the airport, en route Moscow.
The Moscow Five chief will, together with the team's manager, host a live stream this Friday about their experience, mainly in Russian, but with some questions and answers in English.
HLTV.org's coverage of India Gaming Carnival is not over as we have more breaking news to reveal.
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