Team Singularity former manager Zeus and owner respond to scamming accusations

On New Year's Day, Royal Bandits head coach and former coach of Singularity's League of Legends team, Marcus "Blumigan" Blom, made a series of accusations against Singularity and their then manager Frederik "Zeus" Holst in particular.

He claimed that the organisation attempted to scam investors, hold off payments for their players and decline offers from other orgs without telling their players. 

In this article, we have full responses to this from Zeus and Team Singularity owner Atle Stehouwer, as well as a separate anonymous source close to Singularity.

 

'Prize money is always distributed as soon as it's in our account'

Comment from Team Singularity owner Atle Stehouwer

"Ever since entering League of Legends in April 2017, we've trusted our League team manager Frederik "Zeus" Holst to handle the negotiations with players and coaches since we didn’t have any experience in LoL.

"Frederik and Marcus traveled with the team to PGW Clash of Nations and the ESL UK Premiership final, and afterwards there have been some misunderstandings leading to various Twitter statements.

"All players have received money according to agreements, and prize money has always been distributed as soon as it's in our account.

"We've been negotiating with investors coming directly into the league division in SNG, but when negotiations were dropped on the floor, Frederik had sadly already told the players, and given them false promises in regards to season 2018 salary level and such… this is not the policy of the Team Singularity organization, but we had to deal with the damage caused anyway.

"We suspended Frederik immediately after finding out in November, but due to many small roster changes, stand-ins and both Polish and Danish leagues ending in December, we asked Frederik to coordinate them until they were finished so that we could have a solid solution.

"Shortly after Christmas he was told that he’d no longer be a part of the SNG league division, and was asked to hand over all information about players, previous negotiations and such to the ones who would lift the League division in 2018."

 

'People are trying to make Zeus look worse than he is'

Comment made by someone close to Singularity who asked to remain anonymous

"Unfortunately most of the info is true, albeit framed in a way to make Zeus look particularly bad, when most of what he did was due to incompetence rather than greed.

"He did start throwing sh*t when the team lost [in the Prem final], but not at anyone. It was just childish, it wasn't threatening.

"I know Zeus well after working with him closely, and people are trying to make him look like he did all this out of spite and greed, which really isn't true. 

"But whatever - he is doomed now because his reputation is down the drain. I just think it's sad and mean, he was just incompetent in certain ways. Maybe he deserves to lose his job but definitely not this insane amount of personal hate."

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'I didn't fulfil the manager role as I should have done, and I have apologised to Blumigan' 

Interview with former Singularity manager Frederik "Zeus" Holst

On his relationship with Blumigan

The team and some players brought in Blumigan to join us for Paris to get extra experience, he's a good coach. There were some conflicts, scheduling issues and miscommunication between us unfortunately.

He got stuck at the airport after the Prem finals and had to pay extra for a check-in. In the end some of the prize pool money was used to cover his flight costs, and he sadly ended up waiting several hours for a new flight which is very unfortunate.

Marcus told me he won't allow me back into esports, but it's my dream to go on. I have apologised to him personally.

 

On the scam allegations and asking Mario for money to pay coach Feanor's salary

I didn't promise [potential investor] Mario "Selwyn" Tomic a lot of money, they were investing so we could invest in the team in off-season.

Maybe Mario should have spoken to the CEO himself, that's maybe me not communicating well. It was incompetence again from me.

I totally get Mario's viewpoint, I guess... I actually can't remember. I involved Mario in a lot of stuff that was happening, so I felt like they him and his business partner were becoming part of the team.

We had a meeting before, and I remember players were asking if they get a certain percentage of all prize pool money. They were asked if they could give up 1% for the coach and the players said no.

So I asked Mario to cover the coach's costs. Once again I feel like I had responsibility that I didn't fulfil.

I also wasn't lying to Mario when I asked him to reinvest. They didn't take the time to sit down and speak with the org about how their contracts should look.

 

On his behaviour at the ESL Prem finals

A week before I went on this trip, I had some personal issues in real life - I lost my best friend in an accident. I shouldn't have gone but I did anyway.

Regarding the 'chair throwing incident' at the ESL Prem final, I was in the studio with ESL staff and Blumigan, and a guy from Singularity called Vanjo.

It was a really emotional game, sometimes I act more as a player than a manager, I got caught up in the moment and it overtook. I didn't throw a chair across the room or at any player, I flipped this chair in front of me but the players didn't notice it. I also threw a water bottle because I was frustrated and mad with myself. Vanjo didn't notice the chair incident.

I honestly don't remember if I cursed at the players, I just cursed in general because I was frustrated.

I took [the loss] personally because I felt I let the team down, it was down to my bad coordination of the trip. I didn't coordinate the trip well enough.

There was an email from ESL that there was confusion around, but I should have prepared the trip better.

I couldn't think straight and clear, I didn't fulfil the manager role as I should have done. I didn't even check which players got on the plane, because I was so upset. I was not in the right frame of mind because of the personal issues mentioned earlier.'

 

 

"I promised too much on behalf of the org and shouldn't have done. This was due to incompetence on my part."

 

 

On giving players 'false promises' in regards to season 2018 salary levels

This was due to incompetence on my part. I promised too much on behalf of the org and shouldn't have done.

 

On withholding other org offers from players

"[LoL manager] Ashley "Slip" Haynes wanted to try out one of my players, and that player is very young, it's his first team. I overruled the decision after speaking with the player as I didn't let him go.

What mattered was that they had a contract, and we still had more competitive games to finish.

I did withhold offers from other orgs, because I wanted the players to stay focused during the season.

[LoL manager] Jordan Walsh wrote to me, among others, and I told him not to interact with my players until the season was over."

 

On 'poaching' players

[Org name omitted] had a buyout on one of their player's contract. However the player told me he wouldn't be contracted with them for the ESL Premiership. There was some confusion within the org as to whether he could play with us or not.

Esports News UK has also seen chat logs around this incident and it seems the player wanted to join Zeus' team, it seems it was a mix of disorganization, miscommunication and Zeus making the player an offer

 

On Magistra players not being paid/being paid late

I was 20 back then, the owner didn't have the time to run an esports team, essentially it was the players who paid for the trip.

Insomnia is really expensive to go to. We were using the money from the winnings to pay for the trip. There was a problem with a UK player not getting paid a taxi fare. I didn't have money. People want to throw personal attacks at me but 100% the money was not mine.

One player had to pay for the entire trip, he got his money back, but the owner told his mother I was responsible for finances etc.

 

'He did not scam us at Insomnia'

Former Magistra players Casper "Cboi" Bo Simonsen and Emil "Grisen" Brouwer defend Zeus

Casper "Cboi" Bo Simonsen said: "I didn't have any issues with Frederik at Magistra.

"We did not get paid by Magistra at Insomnia but it was not Zeus' fault. We got told that the org used too much money at the LAN and I don't know if Frederik had anything to do with the payment.

"He didn't control the payment of the players. The org owner controlled that part so if there were any payment issues we would contact him."

Emil "Grisen" Brouwer added: "I personally had no issue with Frederik In Magistra, he basically had no power, he was just the middleman between the team owner and the players, he had no access to any money within the org.

 

 

"It is correct we got no money from Insomnia, but Frederik scamming us at Insomnia is not correct."

 

 

"It is correct we got no money from Insomnia, but Frederik scamming us at Insomnia is not correct.

"And we took no part of the prize pool in cash, it was used to cover transport and further event at CPH games two months after. Our income was from monthly salary, which again didn't came from Zeus. A lot of the payment was very delayed, but in the end I personally got everything Magistra have owned me, even though it took some soul to get it, but it was not through Zeus.

"I also played with Singularity in the LCD the whole split, and I had no issues with Zeus there, but that was the Danish league. We're still waiting for that money, but the league hasn't sent it out yet for any of the teams."

 

'There's too much 'he says, she says' bullsh*t floating around amateur esports'

Comment by Esports News UK editor Dom Sacco

I honestly don't have anyone to side with on this one. I've seen so much drama in amateur esports like this I'm almost immune to it at this point, it all blurs into one big babyrage power struggle of epic proportions.

With social media nowadays, anyone can easily throw accusations around, influence others and damage reputations at the click of a finger.

Things get overblown, info is passed from DM to DM and instead of solving the problems behind closed doors professionally, more people end up getting hurt and others get dragged into the fray.

Like one source told me: "Everything is like Chinese whispers, it gets exaggerated from one person to the next."

There's simply too much 'he says, she says' bullsh*t floating around amateur esports.

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"I've seen so much drama in amateur esports like this I'm almost immune to it at this point, it all blurs into one big babyrage power struggle of epic proportions."

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I'm not saying Zeus isn't in the wrong here. I spoke to him at length on the phone and he seemed genuinely sorry for any trouble he's caused. It's not easy to hold your hand up and publicly admit your mistakes, and to have gone through the personal problems he mentioned at the start of his interview with me. The guy shouldn't have been with the team in the first place dealing with something like that.

Is Zeus a con artist or scammer? After speaking to many people involved in this situation, I don't believe so. Was he incompetent? Yes, probably. Should someone be threatening to stop him from getting anywhere in esports, and to not allow him to learn from his mistakes? Absolutely not.

Sometimes things need to come out into the open, to expose wrongdoings and help people improve. But that's an argument for another day.

This article is already too long, and really didn't need my comment in here, but with things like this I like to let everyone do the talking and for you, the reader, to make your own mind up.

On that note, thank you for reading and congratulations - you just got through 2,000 words worth of amateur League of Legends drama.

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  1. […] was accused of a number of things like not paying gamers and scamming investors, and now Esports News UK has obtained an announcement from Singularity owner Atle Stehouwer in regards to the […]

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