Reginald on firing sgares: ‘Our contractual rights are crystal clear here’

Esports Asia News
[hkes_show_google_ad] Team SoloMid owner Andy “Reginald” Dinh continues to butt heads with Sean “sgares” Gares, who was fired from the team over the holiday for speaking out about the Professional eSports Association’s plan to push ESL Pro League out of North America. After Reginald spoke to Duncan “Thorin” Shields on Dec. 29, sgares responded with a lengthy Reddit comment, which was followed by a TwtiLonger from Reginald in which he goes into detail about TSM’s contract negotiations with the player. TSM parted ways with sgares on Dec. 23 following the release of an open letter to the owners of the PEA teams, which sgares signed along with 24 other CS:GO players. The letter protested the PEA’s decision to prevent its member players from participating in ESL Pro League as part of a plan to gain exclusivity in North America. In comments made after the firing, Reginald alleged that sgares manipulated other players on the team to sign the letter (a claim he walked back in the Thorin interview), and said that by signing the letter, sgares hurt TSM’s brand. He claimed the #playersrights movement that has sprung up as a result of the letter has caused some of the team’s sponsors to pull out, and that growing hostility towards team owners has made TSM’s investment in the PEA league uncertain. The most recent exchange between Reginald and sgares has focused on whether the player voluntarily gave up his right to choose which competitions he would appear in as part of his contract with TSM. In his interview with Thorin Dec. 29, Reginald claimed sgares conceded his appearance rights as part of a give-and-take negotiation, choosing to focus instead on negotiating higher pay. “One of the terms he did bring up was the ability to play in events, and you know how negotiations work. You bring up all your concerns, you cave on some, and you try to find a neutral ground with another party,” he told Thorin. “He agreed on signing, fully knowing that we wanted to do the PEA and fully knowing that he was going to give up his right to choose on what events to play. And in return by agreeing to those specific terms, he would get paid more. So in the negotiation he brought up several terms, but he mainly focused on his financial terms, so he gave up the ability to choose what event to play to get a higher salary.” In a Reddit response the same day, sgares denied he gave up his appearance rights as leverage to negotiate for higher pay. “[Reginald] makes it seem like I traded away my appearance for more money,” he wrote. “He describes it as if we were going back and forth on contract points and I agreed to give my rights away in exchange for a higher salary. That never happened.” He said that when he saw the clause restricting appearance rights, he raised his concerns about it with TSM VP of operations Derrick Truong. He said Truong told him that TSM had never used the clause to restrict players from playing in leagues they wanted to play in, and the response reassured him enough not to dispute it. His post quotes the following excerpt from an email between the two:
sgares: Sections 1.1/1.2: Engagement of Services – I just want clarification on what these mean; I’m just confused by the verbiage. (eg: Would it be possible for TSM to say that we can’t play in any leagues and only stream? Only play in certain LANs?) Truong: Yes it does mean that but we’ve never had to use it. We did run into the issue of a league in the past not paying us so we threatened not to play in the league. Of course our goal is to play in the most competitive leagues.”
On Dec. 31, Reginald posted a TwtiLonger giving his account of the negotiation. Reginald claimed that while TSM may not have used the clause in the past, it was still a valid part of the contract. “As signed, TSM clearly has the right to select competitions,” Reginald wrote. “Sean doesn’t dispute this fact. Even though I would not force the CSGO team to drop EPL for the PEA league in this instance — which Sean would have found out if he ever bothered to ask me — our contractual rights are crystal clear here.” Reginald posted a partially redacted version of the full email between Truong and sgares, dated Nov. 27, which contains sgares’ excerpt as well as several other questions he raised about the contract. Reginald claimed two of the items were financial in nature, and that TSM “caved on” these points. The questions that appear to be about financial terms are heavily redacted; the fourth question and its response from Truong are fully blotted out, and the fifth question only shows the second line of Truong’s response: “We’re good on — salary as well.” “The negotiation here was very simple,” Reginald wrote. “We sent Sean a draft contract. He raised five points about that contract via email; 2 related to financial terms and 3 that weren’t. We caved on both of the financial terms. The language relating to our right to select competitions was not changed. Sean knew this, and he chose to sign. This is why I said in my interview with Thorin that Sean focused on financial considerations, instead of other terms (such as our right to select competitions). I’m not sure why he is claiming this didn’t happen.” sgares has so far not responded to the TwitLonger. [hkes_show_google_ad]

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