The split was anything but clean.
Though the two names havent been closely tied together in several years, former Evil Geniuses Dota 2 star Syed “SumaiL” Hassan is reportedly in an extended legal battle with the organization over allegations of fraud and breach of contract.
This lawsuit, according to legal documents obtained by reporter Richard Lewis, has been going since December 2021 and is centered around SumaiLs five-year tenure with EG from January 2015 to 2020, or specifically the contract he signed with the org in September 2016.
With that new deal, which tied the then-Dota prodigy to EGs roster for multiple years, he was reportedly given an ownership stake in the company by way of 400,000 shares to pair with his salary. But once the Peak6 Strategic Capital group acquired EG in May 2019, things changed.
As part of that deal, stock holdings were shifted and SumaiLs stake was converted into a split of 265,338 units of common stock and 106,667 units of restricted common stock, according to Lewis findings. The current legal battle has the players representation alleging only Peak6 members received the more valuable preferred stock during this deal and that no one in the group explained anything to the then 20-year-old.
The filings continue, with SumaiL reportedly signing a new deal with EG in August 2019 for an additional year, which included a $20,000 monthly salary and additional bonuses. But things changed after that 2019 EG lineup finished fifth at The International 9, with EG reportedly presenting an amended contract to SumaiL just a month later in September when he was moved to the inactive roster.
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According to the report, this new deal cut SumaiLs salary to $2,000 per month while removing previous requirements for things like streaming and allowing him to compete with other teams in upcoming eventsthough the latter was limited. Unlike some other moves to the inactive roster, SumaiL reportedly was not free to pursue a full-time role with another team while under contract with EG.
That amendment did include a contract buyout, set to a one-time fee of $125,000. EG then reportedly approached SumaiL in November with a mutual release clause that would end the contract early without that fee, but the players representation in this lawsuit noted that it would impact his ownership stakes. The specific description of this termination agreement reportedly imposed harsh, unwarranted and draconian obligations and forfeitures, with allegations that EG was using irregular methods and the imbalance of power brought on by SumaiLs inactive contract status to potentially pressure him into forfeiting his stock and ownership stake. His representation later alleged he was coerced into signing some form of the termination agreement.
After SumaiL officially left EG to join OG on Jan. 28, 2020, presumably through a contract buyout that OG paid for, EG reportedly approached him with an offer to purchase his stock in the company for a total of $1 million. But while $300,000 would be paid upfront, the other $700,000 was listed as being paid out in three annual payments starting after he retired from competitive playsomething that is still years away considering he was only 22 at the time.
As of now, the main stance on SumaiLs side is that EG took advantage of a young, naïve and vulnerable player through multiple poorly explained agreements that would push him unfairly to give up benefits he earned through his time with the organization that they are now seeking damages for years later. EG has reportedly denied all allegations, but the case is currently set to go to trial on June 26.
This is just the latest issue EG is facing from a former player. The org was recently accused of mistreating its 19-year-old League of Legends star Kyle Danny Sakamaki and the CS:GO division has been slammed for recent poor performance and mishandling of its team. The org also faced backlash for dumping its North American Dota roster after TI10 and moving regions to South America.
Meanwhile, SumaiL is still competing at the highest level of Dota, recently joining Nigma Galaxy to play in the 2023 Dota Pro Circuit alongside other stars in Europe.