Bravado Gaming’s plans to renew its competitive efforts in the United States have been dashed after almost its entire player roster was acquired by Denial Esports.
Bravado has been the top Counter-Strike: Global Offensive team in South Africa for years, and most recently it has been competing in tournaments across the United States.
The team saw great success in the international arena, taking second place in the Dreamhack Winter 2018 tournament and first place in the ESEA Mountain Dew League.
These performances were against some of the best teams in the world, making Bravado’s team a fan favourite.
Despite this impressive display and the team’s skyrocketing popularity, Bravado Gaming encountered funding problems.
Project Destiny and funding problems
Bravado initially moved to the United States in February 2018 as part of a programme named Project Destiny, funded by its sponsors.
The Project Destiny team comprised the following players:
- Dimitri “Detrony” Hadjipaschali
- Ruan “ELUS1VE” van Wyk
- Johnny “JT” Theodosiou
- Aran “Sonic” Groesbeek
- Rhys “Fadey” Armstrong
- Tiaan “Tc” Coertzen (Coach)
Upon returning home after a successful season, the team announced they did not have enough funding to go back and continue competing in the United States.
In an attempt to secure enough money to cover the team’s expenses, Bravado started an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign with the goal of raising $30,000.
While this rendered the fate of Project Destiny as uncertain, the team was progressing towards its funding goal and seemed to have a chance of returning overseas to compete.
On 29 January, however, Bravado published an announcement stating that Project Destiny had come to an end after almost its entire roster left the team to join a US-based CS:GO squad.
The announcement notes that funding for the second stage of Project Destiny would have been secured thanks to the goodwill of fans and a corporate sponsor.
“All players were notified that the campaign was on course to reach its target as there was a corporate sponsor who was willing to pay in the case of any shortfall for the organisation in order to ensure the campaign was a success,” Bravado said.
Move to Denial Esports
According to Bravado, the players made the decision to cancel the crowdfunding campaign and accept an offer to join US team Denial Esports.
Five of the six Project Destiny CS:GO team members accepted the offer, with only Dimitri “Detrony” Hadjipaschali remaining with Bravado Gaming.
Bravado said it did not expect its squad to be acquired by another team while the state of Project Destiny’s funding was uncertain.
“What we did not foresee was the opportunity for other organisations looking to pick up a fast-rising team, partly because as the suggestion originated from the players, we did not for a moment believe that they would take up such offers as the campaign was originally initiated for Bravado and it’s CS:GO squad as a unified effort,” Bravado stated.
The South African gaming organisation also apologised to its fans and the donors of its crowdfunding campaign.
It stated that all contributors would be refunded and that the action of the players to leave the squad was not a reflection on the ethics of the Bravado brand.
Denial Esports had been inactive for a year before the player acquisition, but has now returned to the competitive CS:GO scene after resolving its money problems and legal issues.
Bravado said it would continue to cultivate a local and international presence in the esports community, and wishes the best for its former Project Destiny squad.
“Bravado plans on continuing its efforts to establish a world-class Counter-Strike team internationally while simultaneously working on a variety of projects impacting the social and competitive gaming scene throughout South Africa and various parts of the world.”
Following this announcement, Bravado Gaming and Denial Esports CEO Zachary Smith clashed on Twitter regarding the state of the players’ contracts and the receipt of letters of intent from Denial Esports for the acquisition of the players.
Hadjipaschali also issued a statement on Twitter, saying it was his decision to remain in South Africa and not accept an offer from Denial Esports.