Immortals can clearly still be wounded. As reported by Polygon, the eSports organization's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team is in rough shape after a series of events that kicked off at last month's Dreamhack Montreal CS:GO tournament.
While Immortals finished in second place at the event, three of its team members--Vito "KNG" Giuseppe and brothers Lucas "LUCAS1" Teles and Henrique "HEN1" Teles--were late to their matches twice during the tournament, coming back to win the first time, but falling in the finals. After the event, one of the players on the team they wound up beating accused the tardy players of being hung over, to which Giuseppe tweeted (and then deleted), "You'll prove it or I'll kill you!"
In a video explaining how events unfolded, Immortals CEO Noah Whinston said he wanted to cut Giuseppe from the team on the spot, but was convinced to give him another chance by the rest of the players and the coach. Instead, Giuseppe wouldn't compete with the team until after they had a meeting to discuss the event and how to move forward. Whinston said Giuseppe no-showed that meeting, and when the team went into a competition the next day, it did so with the coach taking his place. After the team lost the first map, the Teles brothers then refused to play unless Giuseppe were allowed to rejoin them. Giuseppe stepped back in, and the team rallied to win the match. However, Whinston wasn't happy his player had ignored his suspension.
"For violating that punishment, KNG was immediately terminated from his contract and is not a part of Immortals, and will never again be part of Immortals," Whinston said.
The Teles brothers have refused to play without Giuseppe, so Whinston said he has suspended them until such time as another team buys out their contracts or they change their minds about playing without Giuseppe. The decision has negative repercussions for Whinston; in addition to death threats he says he's received on social media, Immortals' guaranteed roster spot in Valve's next CS:GO tournament is under the control of Giuseppe and the Telus brothers.
"For the Immortals organization, winning is just one piece of a much more important and broader puzzle," Whinston said. "It's less about the result, and more about the process, the inputs that go into winning--the hard work, the dedication, the sacrifice and the discipline that creates champions, not the championship itself... Playing in a major is not worth more than everything we stand for as an organization, and we can't let ourselves be held hostage by players that just aren't aligned with our goal as a team simply in pursuit of having an auto-qualification. We qualified for the major the hard way once, and if we build our team right, we'll do it again."