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Fragster | 16. August 2021

SK Gaming Academy – nothing more than a scam?

SK Gaming is a German Esports organization that was founded more than 2 decades ago, in the year 1997, and SK is short for “Schröt Kommando”. It is considered one of the largest gaming organizations in Germany.

However, yesterday a twitlonger was posted that portrays the organization in a pretty bad light. The author of the post is @Vivitortellini, she is the team manager for SK Gaming Academy teams. She claims SK Gaming Academy was basically nothing more than a scam. The players, some of whom are still very young, were promised contracts and salaries, but in the end they apparently went more or less empty-handed. In addition, the owners of SK Gaming would have been extremely difficult to reach and the players would have basically been left to their own devices.

What happened?

She refers to the summers of 2020 and to this year in her accusations and explains that if the players had known what was coming at the time, they probably would have never joined SK Gaming.

Viviii explains that after the tryouts, 3 young teams were put together and then played for SK Academy for 2 splits. The only team that reached Div 2 was allowed to play in the Summer Split, the other two teams were disbanded.

From the beginning the players would have been promised contracts and in August 2020 the players apparently got a sample contract, but the actual signing of the contracts kept being postponed for months. Apparently there were always “more important” matters for the CEO, who first had to talk to the CFO, etc. they were “unsure about the budget” and in the meetings “more urgent issues” were always brought up first than the players’ contracts. Their excuses ended in March this year, after the players had already played a whole 2 splits without contracts and were still hoping to get a small salary. What happened after that, however, is unclear.

The atmosphere between the 3 teams, which were basically left to their own devices, became increasingly tense during these months. One team, which was considered the best, was invited to a bootcamp in Cologne, while the 2 other teams were officially abandoned “because of Corona”. This led to rivalries within the players and the teams.

The management was permantly unavaible

But SK Gaming didn’t just leave the players hanging. According to Viviii, SK Gaming had hired a student worker named Kimmi, who was apparently overwhelmed with her tasks and didn’t get any input from the organization. She only managed to get in touch with the organization once in two years about the bootcamp in Cologne, after which the management was again unavailable, and any attempts to get in touch with them were rejected.

The team manager also finds it absolutely irresponsible that the organization did not take care of the young players, who were also exposed to dangers such as depression or bullying, especially in the online world and during Corona.

They and the young players felt downright scammed, many were frustrated because they were not getting contracts, there would have been no coaching, or help from older, or more experienced SK players. She said the bottom two teams got nothing and were not helped with anything.

Viviii also writes that the players probably didn’t comment on it simply because they are still very young and possibly also afraid to go public with it. From the outside, it would probably also seem quite unreal that one of the largest German esports organizations would just scam its employees like that. Of course, it’s also incredibly difficult to stand up to such a large organization.

Only empty promises were made

SK had at least promised to stream the Primeleague games and send players some form of hardware every month, and also promote them on social media. But it seems the hardware rarely or never arrived and the promised support on social media was minimal. They did have matches streamed by @BehartmitBart, but that was only a small gesture that made the project look much more professional than it actually was.

The split didn’t go as planned and the jungler of one of the teams left the project in the middle of the split, which he can be hardly blamed for, knowing how things were going behind the scenes.

Coaches Kuchenkopf and Freaky were also promised a small salary, according to Viviii. To date, the two have apparently not seen a cent. The two coaches, working student Kimmi and Viviii, the team manager have supported the players until the very end, but SK Gaming has been unavailable and they couldn’t reach them so no progress on contracts, salaries, etc. has been made.

Update: SK Gaming just released their statement