15th February 2021 – 3:33pm
Following defaulting on payments, the Valorant team BearClaw Gaming has decided to leave the organisation. A sudden announcement that raises questions about the future of the Valorant players in Korea.
The BearClaw Esports was the Valorant team of the BearClaw Gaming organisation. The latter is owned by Plynius, a holding company specialised in entertainment and esports.
According to Steven Kim, BearClaw Gaming Manager, Plynius has not made any payment since January 2021. The firm is reportedly committed to financially supporting the players and BearClaw staff. Yet, whether in terms of salary or equipment, nobody has received anything.
Faced with this situation, the entire BearClaw Gaming membership has decided to break the contracts with Plynius. The very future of the organisation is uncertain. It has managed to become independent from Plynius, but is actively looking for new partners. Starlight Gaming, an Korean Overwatch team, has also decided to end its relations with Plynius, in view of the situation of BearClaw Gaming.
On their side, the players of the Valorant team and their coaches have decided to leave BearClaw Gaming. By regaining their freedom, they hope to find a new organisation capable of supporting them. From now on, they will play under the name of Team MUYAHO.
Although the BearClaw Gaming organisation has been in place since February 2020, the Valorant BearClaw Esports team was formed earlier this year, recruiting former players from Cloud9 Korea and T1 Korea. Already left behind by their former teams, they once again find themselves without an organisation to represent, nor a stable financial situation.
This is a real problem, especially for such talented players. The BearClaw Gaming team has climbed into the top 4 of the top teams in the Valorant Challengers 1 Korea. It's therefore automatically qualified for Challengers 2. However, as all its players are leaving the organisation, BearClaw should lose its place. Indeed, the rules of the Champions Tour imply that a team must always keep at least three of the players present at the time of registration. It's therefore possible that Team MUYAHO will have to start from scratch.
Where the situation seems even more problematic is that the Valorant stage is already relatively precarious in Korea. The country has very few teams, and even fewer organisations ready to invest in this new FPS. There were only 31 teams that participated in the first Challengers. In December, Riot Games Korea announced a plan to help the local teams of Valorant. Eight of them can receive up to 50 millions Won (around 37,400€) if they meet certain conditions.