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Interview with FURIA owner Akkari over Recent Contract News

Ryan: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me, I really appreciate it with how crazy the last few days seemed to have been. I wanted to very briefly, for people who may not know, ask what is your role because we see you on twitter as a poker player and when I was trying to do more research, a lot of the articles that were coming up were a lot about poker.

Akkari: I'm one of the owners of FURIA. We have Jaime and me in charge of FURIA, but Jaime is in charge of the FURIA's daily basis needs and I'm the ambassador. Any time that Jaime needs me, I'm there for him.

So you are providing a lot of the financing for the team?

Yeah, exactly. Since the beginning when we started in Brazil, just to give a brief history of FURIA, I was already involved in esports. I spent the last 15 years playing poker professionally, being sponsored by the biggest company in the world of Poker Stars, winning the World Series of Poker and I had been traveling all around the world to just play poker. I had some business in Brazil around poker as well, with a media group Super Poker, and 3 years ago I was in contact for the first time with the esports world. I met all the guys from SK like FalleN, coldzera, TACO, fer, all these guys in Vegas and it was my first contact. At the same time, I was doing some poker classes in Brazil on a monthly basis and some guys from a League of Legends team named CNB went to my poker class to learn and we started a relationship, a friendship between me and them. After 4 and 5 months they invited me to be a part of the project. I invited Ronaldo, the soccer player, and then we joined.

Ronaldo the soccer player? Ronaldo Gordo, Number 9? Seriously?

Yeah, that's a big deal, right? Then we decided to join CNB and it was a great experience for both of us. I started to learn and understand all these things about esports in terms of marketing, competition, games. I didn't know a lot at the time but I started to learn a lot and I liked to study and watch videos, take courses like I decided to join this other world. I did poker for 15 years and then I decided to do both. I launched another company around esports called EBrainz, which was a marketing agency that takes care of esports projects in Brazil. It has huge clients like Red Bull and other big companies in Brazil, and I had a call with [9:10 Guerri?] and Jaime to invite me to a meeting to talk about a CS:GO project. I had never played CS:GO in my life before that so I said: "Okay, let's listen and see what you guys have to tell me." They came to my house and showed me a business plan, telling me what was happening with SK and the success of the Brazilians and that there were some players that could reach the same things, but they needed money, that they needed investments. I took that file for about two weeks and I studied that and decided to jump in, so I called them to hold a meeting and we launched FURIA in that time. We decided the name on that day and that Jaime and I would create this partnership and FURIA was born at this moment. After that, [10:20 Guerri?] was in charge of the team and the selection of its players and after 6 or 8 months we were the best team in Brazil playing Brazilian teams, not compared to MIBR or SK, just in Brazil. We were winning everything and competing at high levels in Brazilian servers, which made us realize we could reach more. We decided to begin traveling around the world and try to get spots in certain qualifiers, and we are where we are now. We are confident that we can get more and we are so happy, and I do the best to help out in anything that I can.

It certainly seems like you're passionate about this project and about the players and everyone involved from the top down, from Jaime to KSCERATO, to yuurih, to all the guys, you really seem to care.

Yeah because actually, I have 2 daughters, one 20 years old, one 14 years old. When I first met the guys like yuurih or KSCERATO or even arT, who's a little bit older but still young for me, I saw that it would be impossible to have a relationship with them without the sense that is a father and son relationship. They are so young and don't know anything about life in general, like the expertise that I have at 44 it's completely different than them. They are completely focused on CS:GO, wanting to play every day, even when they don't have games wanting to play. They don't want to talk about contracts, business, marketing, merchandising, they are not focused on that, and I wasn't either at 18, 19, 20. We started a great relationship because of all the obstacles that they have, the goals that they had, they started to reach them and I was involved, so I cry a lot when they win something. It's a great relationship and I hope that even if they are not FURIA in the future that it will be like father and son.

Photo Credit: Adela Sznajder

You brought up the point of them being so young and you being so much older and knowing a little bit more and how they didn't always pay attention to contracts. I think that both of us have seen before what DeKay put out on Dexerto and I've seen parts of the contract as well. I won't lie, the $1,400 salaries at the baseline from where they were, coming from Brazil and where they were in Advanced and MDL, the leagues they were playing in, is not bad. What is worrisome to me and a lot of people is the buyout at $200,000, which I have already said for KSCERATO back when MIBR was trying to poach him back in December of 2018, and then the prize pool split was also very concerning, meaning the 60/40 split. Your response on Twitter was that this was the first draft of the contract and that it wasn't signed. What were the better terms? Are those terms correct? What was actually finally agreed upon between the organization and between the players?

I'm going to ask exactly your question, there is something before that which is more important. First of all, what DeKay did was not about releasing or leaking a contract because he doesn't have the contract. If you take a piece of paper and put something on there and say it's someone else's contract you begin to analyze it as it was. The beginning of everything is completely wrong so after that, nothing can be right because you don't have all the lines of the contract, or the second page of the contract, or anything around that. For example, if they have compensation or a salary of $1,400 plus another 5,000 in another type of compensation and you don't have this second line then the damage is done. There is nothing to talk about if you don't have both parts, but he didn't care about that. He didn't realize that he didn't have the whole contract or an old draft and put it out as a fact, so after that, it didn't matter. What matters is what the contract actually is and that's the point, not what he releases about it.

So what you're saying is, what DeKay released is not actually a real contract that was agreed upon between you and FURIA? Was it ever in existence or part of a contract made by FURIA?

I don't have anything to hide, so when we were writing the contract we kept getting and sending emails around the contracts. Sometimes we send one page to see how it goes and get opinions, send it back, then send it to the lawyers, and we keep it coming and going with a lot of different pages. Then when one of our guys was talking to another company and somebody from that company asked him one specific question of the contract, he went to his email and got just that page from his email responding to that question at that time, with the draft that he had. Once he sent this draft it somehow managed to reach [DeKay] and he took it as a contract for the entire group, but it wasn't a contract, it was a discussion that we had in the past that was never made official. If you ask me, sometime in the discussions that we had, the baseline was $1,400, yes, it was, but plus a lot of things. They never got just $1,400, they always got [an extra] $4,000, $5,000, $7,000, $12,000, but was never just the $1,400, that's the point. They always got more than $1,400 because of other compensations.

So if they did well in certain leagues or performed in certain things then they would get more?

How can a top 5 team getting paid $1,400 do anything? It's impossible. The proof that this couldn't happen is that if it were true then they would accept other offers and wouldn't be with us anymore. They would've accepted the 2, 3, or 4 offers that they've had in the last months and we could've handled it for all of them.

I want to take one step back really quickly to clarify that the document that was released in the article was a small part of a draft contract, not a final or completed version?

Yes, exactly. After that draft, we changed everything a lot with a lot of players coming back with opinions.

Did you change the prize pool split from 60/40?

In the last contract? We changed the numbers of it, but the concept stayed the same. The 60/40 division from the last contract that we had before was changed now because this was the contract that we had when we were building the team and this was the agreement that we had. All the new contracts that we have, we changed that for a thing that became 50/50, 60/40 the opposite way, and kept balancing it between how much percentage of the prize was to be for the organization and for the players. I can't tell you exactly what the number is now, but I can't tell you what the number actually is.

So all you're saying is that it's better for the players now?

I don't want to say the number, not because I want to hide, but because I don't have the right to that. There are other people involved and the players. I would say if I could because I don't care about that, but I can't say it because I don't have the rights to.

And I hope you understand that I have to ask because it's just part of my list and I have to make sure. So those previous contracts were like that, and the buyouts for $200,000, those were correct?

Yes, but you can't say they were that with just $1,400 salaries because the compensation was not just $1,400. You're going to have to find a more realistic mathematical approach to it to understand.

So the base salary might have been $1,400, but because of the bonuses and everything else that they achieved each month, the $200,000 is more justified because the amount of money they were getting?

Yes, but it looks like the perception is that there is no bonus involved, just the $1,400 and that it's always that. I don't know if the right word for that should be "bonus", but there was always additional for top 40, top 30, top 25, top 20, top 15. After the crushed the Brazilian scene they were always like a top 30 team, so the relationship that we had always had additional money for them, never giving them just $1,400.

Now, let's talk about these new contracts, which you and everyone seem to be very excited about. I, admittedly, had a lot of reservations about it because 5 years, especially in esports, is a very long time. A couple of tweets that you had on Twitter, which I had to translate using Google Translate because my Portuguese is not so good, from what I understood said that the contracts were there because you wanted to open up marketing possibilities and sponsorships, allowing FURIA themselves to have more room to do more, and at the same time the contracts were built in such a way that if a player was benched then the buyout actually gets reduced.

Yes, ridiculously reduced. It's actually a huge reduce.

Is it fifty percent?

It's more.

I won't ask further, because I'll take what I can get.

Yeah, it's no problem, it's more than that, but the point is that if this contract was made by both parties and we're taking care of them then this is the kind of line that only hurts the organization. For example, not considering these as real numbers, if you have a buyout for $100,000 and it's a lot of money and then the guy goes to the bench then it's reduced to $10,000. If we face some guys that are not ethical or that are not great people with character then they could start shooting like aakkari does and start to play worse and worse and get put on the bench. So then when they want to leave someone only has to pay $10,000. So I said that if we do things the opposite way and keep your buyout as $100,000 and I give you my word that we will reduce it if something happens, would you be comfortable with that or would you be more happy if we do it another way? "Oh akkaari, it doesn't matter, but if you did it this way then it would be better because we don't know the future," so I said "Yeah, okay, let's do it, let's do the reduction," and if we face somebody bad then we face it in a way where we won't threaten anyone or make things bad for someone. If we choose badly then let's move forward, what else can I do? So that's the first point, and the huge 5 years part is what everyone was talking about. The bench is one problem, but then the second problem, anticipating what you might say, is if you have a buyout in the time of the contract then you're in for trouble as a player.


Because you're going to be like "the buyout is $3,000,000," and then if they buyout now then it will be the whole $3,000,000 because it's 5 years. If you buyout after 1 year then it will be $2,500,000, or after 3 years it will be $1,500,000. This could mean damage to the players.

Yeah, because no one will pay that.

Yeah, and no one will pay that so our players would have to be on the bench or playing for FURIA, and if they do go to the bench then they never play for other organizations and their career is ruined. So, what we did is not change anything from before. We have the same fixed buyouts that are one number that's completely under all the markets for all different companies. We just put a little bit more onto the buyout because we gave more compensation to them. So if they had a $100,000 contract then they now have a $175,000 or $150,000, again, just for example. Not for someone to publish that akkaari said the buyouts.

Yeah, I didn't think you were exactly telling me the contracts and numbers here. It would be much better for MY numbers, but...

So if they were getting $100,000 a month and we raised it for $17,000 then we are raising the buyout 17%. It's a fixed change. If we raised the new contract for $15,000 a month then the buyout would also go up by 15%, proportionally.

The buyout is not changing throughout the life of the contract then?

In Brazil, we say "correction", because in Brazil we have something you don't really have there, inflation, which is always a subject in Brazil. Every time you sell something, you now are paying more than 2 or 3 times the correction for how much the price has changed, so the correction on the buyout is proportionate.

Photo Credit: Alex Maxwell

That makes sense, and I think that most people can understand that this is a rational thing that any business person would do.

And if they're going to be in another team somehow in the next 6 months and the buyout is released to the public for people to know how much it is, then I will bet you, and I can be you because I'm a gambler, then I would bet you it will be lower than other names that the top 5 or top 10 are charging for all the players that they own. More proof of that would be our proposals and offers and that nobody was discussing our numbers and then everything went fucking crazy. So they said okay, this is the buyout? Then we are interested in buying them out. So we went to the players and said "Guys, this is the offer and this is what happening. We could do, this or we could do that," and all the things that we were convincing them about was being together and to not abandon the team just because they were offering more money than we had at the time. It made sense to stick together as a team and keep approaching what we wanted together, that was the point.

Back to the 5 years, you wanted that for marketing and sponsorships, right? What kind of deals and plans do you have with the players now that you have them on these 5-year contracts?

To be 100% honest, there's one sponsorship that we've launched that we're going to announce next week because we signed this contract for 4 years.

You signed a 4-year contract sponsorship deal?

Yes, exactly, with a huge company. And this company wants to make something not just around FURIA, but around players as well. They want to make some merchandise and some things using their names. So what we did was approach them with this proposal and say that everything was going to be connected, like the name of the players, FURIA's name, and that if they wanted to be in another team in 6 months then there's no problem for them because all they have to do is talk to their company and see how they react; whether they want to keep that or not.

I can see the downside to this though because then players might not want to leave FURIA for a better playing opportunity if they know that they're getting more money because of this sponsorship deal with FURIA. It makes it a little bit harder then for them to leave. What it seems like your doing is that you're giving them more sponsorships and the ability to stay on FURIA by giving them all this stuff.

No, but they have a separate contract.

But what you're saying is that because it's so tied that if they leave FURIA then the sponsorship company might take away their contract?

I can't talk about other companies on what they're going to do, but if they're performing well then they'll likely keep them for their merchandise. This kind of happens in all the contracts with sponsorships; if you're performing well, then they're going to keep you, if you're not doing good, then they have no real reason to keep you, but what we did was a huge thing with FURIA and this deal that we have is going to be 4 years, so even if they don't want to be involved with the names in this deal, or the merchandise, or the products, then nothing's mandatory. It's a great opportunity for all of us, and what we offered them is that we can make a 5-year contract to not have this conversation or put pressure on these sponsorships facing other negotiations, but keeping all the lines of these contracts. This way, if you want to leave in 6 months then you can leave, and if we choose to put you out of the team of 6 months then we have the terms in the contract that we have explained how we can do that, and if you're happy then it's not a problem. It's going to be great for the players and for the sponsors.

So if a player's unhappy, say VINI is really unhappy, and he wants to leave in 8 months. What do the contracts say, how is it structured to let him go? Because you guys want a fair price for VINI, and that's only fair because you've been paying him the contract, you have him in a team house, you've been supporting him the entire time he's here, but at the same time, you don't want to keep players that are necessarily unhappy. What would go along in the contracts to be the best solution for everyone?

I don't want to sound like I don't want to answer the question, but it's a lot of situations, different situations; hypotheticals. Because if you say the guy is not performing and we don't want to keep him on the team and he goes to the bench, then I told you what's going to happen.

Does the salary get reduced?

The salary gets reduced and the buyout is reduced. The salary is going to be reduced not in the same way that the buyout is going to be reduced, but in some way that I cannot tell you. He's keeping good money for him to not be playing, and the buyout giving him the possibility to leave the team is hugely reduced. He'll suffer a less than 50% salary reduction, but the buyout is going to be reduced by more than 50%.

Okay, so the player keeps a salary on the bench, but the buyout gets super reduced to help facilitate him to leave.

Right, he has to pay his bills.

Even when a player is doing poorly, you're trying to make sure that you look out for them and be as honest as you can.

Exactly, and this is another situation; say VINI doesn't want to be with us, he wants to be with Astralis, FaZe,, you know, any kind of organization, and then we have the buyouts, so we have the buyouts to negotiate. It may not be exactly the number because they can make an offer for him and we can talk, but if VINI tells me "akkaari, the point is, I don't want to play CS:GO anymore." I'd say, man, give me a hug, don't worry about it, we're not going to charge anything around that. If he's not going to play anymore then there's no problem, I don't see any reason to put problems on him for something that is in the contract; If you're not going to play, then you're not going to play, right? There's a certain amount of time that you cannot play, and you're telling the truth, but you've gotta stay friends as we will be.

Photo Credit: Adela Sznajder

I just have a few more questions for you and thank you so much for being on here. Did the players, when they had received the buyout offers, have the room to talk to the other teams through the right of 1st refusal? Could they hear the contract terms being offered by other teams to them? Could they go to other teams and see what they were offering them as salary or did that not happen? Could they not talk to other teams and shop around and see where the value would be?

Is this about contracts or ethics?

Contracts. Could they have received offers from other teams and see what they could be paid? Say you're paying them $7,000 a month and MIBR says that they're offering them $1,400 a month. Were they allowed to know that or was it between just you and the players and the one negotiation.

I don't remember the exact lines of the contract saying that, but I remember 100% the agreement between us, being me, Jaime, and the team. The thing is if you get any approach from somebody else then at least let us know out of respect. If it's going to happen, we are between friends, so if you do everything without letting us know, then you're going to damage friends. We're going to need to move on, find someone else, rebuild the team, so do it in a way that you can protect your friends and protect your future as well. I don't care if you're going to play with another team. If it's good for you, and you're going to be happy, then I don't want to be in the middle of somebody else's future. So if you talk to us before and then the other organization talks to us and shows the interest to have one of you guys then, of course, the lines of the salary are going to be discussed between them, but officially let us know.

So I think my question is more so: did they approach other organizations before signing this 5-year contracts to try and see what they would be offered by other teams, then come back to you and say "Hey, this is what MIBR is offering, can you match it?" Did they get competing offers to then go back to you?

I don't know if I understood you perfectly, but you're asking if our players were looking for other organizations or were the organizations looking for them before?

So say a free agent in Futbol. Say Neymar is no longer on PSG and Madrid, Barcelona, and PSG all want to sign him. They're all going to give him contract offers.

This is an important thing that you said though, Real Madrid and Barcelona, they want to sign him, so they went looking for him. That's the point if you ask me because some other organizations came to our players directly showing interest to hire them, yes.

But can they hear those contract offers and come back to you and have them matched?

If we can work that around the contract I don't know, but we have an informal agreement between us. They know what they should do and I know what I should do. We always did things in the best way possible. If you're asking if all those companies that reached out in a way that made us happy, no. Not in an illegal way, but in a way that you shouldn't do. Not because I'm better than anyone, but in the way that I would contact that organization and say "I have interest in your guy, can I talk to them?" and they say "Yes, you can," and then I would reach that guy and talk to them. That's what I would do, but I do not have too much experience in these parts, so maybe it's different, but that's what I believe.

So the guys are in Canada right now, but didn't they used to be in Florida? Why are they suddenly in Canada, is there a LAN center for training?

They have a lot of things to work around; boot camps, training, competitions, and after tomorrow they're going to have been traveling between London and Dallas, so they have a lot traveling to do. Right now, I don't know how far they are away from their house. They live in Brazil, their houses are in Brazil and they are missing their families. I just got a message from KSCERATO two days ago saying, "akkaari, man, I haven't seen my father and I miss him so much," so I have to figure a way to put them together and bring the family together somehow.

Do the players get an allowance to fly back to Brazil?

Yeah, of course. If they are allowed to do that.

But FURIA wouldn't be paying for the flights, it would be coming out of their own money, right?

I don't understand, sorry, could you ask again?

Would FURIA pay for the flights for players to go home to Brazil to see their families? I know some other organizations do it, but I always thought it was a perk or an addon, but I was just curious.

We don't have this in the contract, but I could do it to help them out with any problems, and we did already. When they were in Brazil, and Brazil is huge, they were all living together in one city so they have to fly back to Sao Paulo. If they have a window between competitions and want to go to Brazil to see their families then they can, without a doubt.

I think we should start wrapping it up here, but is there anything that you have regretted from the time of doing the FURIA thing? Maybe something you think you could've done better since joining the FURIA organization and doing this entire project? It could be anything at all.

No, I don't think so. Our history is so short, as we just started. All the things that we have been building so big, with rankings, and the happiness of the players, and their families. We have some WhatsApp groups here to keep everyone talking. It's all about happiness and accomplishment, and maybe I have made some mistakes in my life and have regret for them, but during the FURIA history, we don't have any time to because it's been so short and we just started.

I know, it feels like you guys just started this entire project and you're one of the best teams in the world, it's such a meteoric rise.

Yeah, exactly, and there are things that I could've maybe done differently if I was more experienced in esports. For example, when we launched the 5-year contracts I did not expect this kind of reaction, at all. Jaime and I thought this was amazing because of the points that I said to you that could be bad are protected against, so everyone around that is happy. What I believe is that players, not just our players, but all players are like 21, 22, 23 years old and they are using the time they would be, statistically, in their regular life to become huge professionals in other jobs, but they aren't doing that, they are playing CS:GO. They are practicing like 3 times a day for 6 hours, 7 hours, 8 hours, crazy amounts, putting everything that they have into the game. When you find some organization as we have in esports with professionals and things like that, like Cloud9, these are huge companies, and some of these companies say "We want to be with you, we want to protect your future, we want to put you in a situation where you can do the thing that you decide to do your whole life," then it's all about happiness. It's all about the "I can do what I like to do, what I love to do, and I'm gonna get paid for that and get to travel around," so it's all about happiness, nothing bad about it, but it could be bad if you're in with bad people who don't care about you. You can sign bad contracts and make huge mistakes, but I'm 100% sure that FURIA is not that because we are between friends, between family, doing the best things possible. Everything that we're going to do in the future is for them. So if KSCERATO or arT or ableJ called me here and say "aakkari, can we change the contract for 3 years?" I'd say "Okay!" or "Can we change the contract to 2 years?" I'd say "Okay!" because I believe that in 2 years, our relationship is going to be greater.

Did the players ask for 5 years or did you guys for it to be 5 years?

The 5-year contract was born after we celebrated the sponsorship deal. Then, after we released the information inside the company because we did a huge meeting with everyone over Skype with the people in Brazil and the people in Europe to announce our sponsorship. Everyone was crying and everyone was celebrating. The next day we started to discuss the player's deals because we had the proposals from other companies and, almost in the same moment, it was a difficult moment for FURIA because we just closed the deal with this sponsorship and the next day our guys got a proposal from somebody else and we were in trouble. We were like "Fuck, what are we going to about this company?" and then Jaime and I said we'd discuss it and try to figure out what's happening. We talked to the players and we talked to the organization and found a way to keep us all together. Then we showed them the contracts and they said "I think 5 years would be nice," since we protect the team's buyouts and bench and all kinds of other things.

Did the players have lawyers look at the contracts?

Guerri is responsible and is talking to people that are helping him with all of that.

Photo Credit: Adela Sznajder

So Guerri, and I'm so bad at pronouncing and if he meets me he's gonna slap me upside the head, I am so sorry. Guerri, oh fuck I can't do it.

Yeah, Guerri, that's right!

Okay, so when he was doing the contracts, did he have a lawyer and people helping him to verify the contracts they had for the players?

Yeah, he told me a lot of times that he always brought someone to look at it.

So there was always someone looking at it, there was always a lawyer or someone there.

Yeah, and I can't be 100% sure about that because it's not my part, it's there part. It'd be nice if you talked to him.

I would love to talk with him!

And I had a conversation with him because, after this week, some people said on social media that "I don't know if these guys have lawyers," and I messaged Guerri and said, "Did you see people saying that maybe it would be nice to have a lawyer see it?" because I know that we do everything together. He said "No akkaari, but every time we looked at it I spoke with some people, but if we need to do more then I'm gonna do more," but we were happy with it.

I think the biggest problem within the community is that we have seen so many companies and so many players be mistreated or not consult a lawyer before signing contracts and that's why a lot of the community was shocked about the 5 years. They were very worried when this thing came out because they wanted to make sure that the players are protected. It's really a lot of the reaction being about making sure that the players are okay, and I think that's where a lot of the confusion and uproar was rooted in, in the nature to protect the players, just as you want to protect them.

Let me ask you something, do you think after all this discussion on social media, and now that the players are aware of everything that's happening, and, just to let you know, the contract is being made now because we had an agreement and we signed the agreement saying all the bases are correct that we discussed and the lawyers are producing them right now. If they want to change something then they can change it today, or tomorrow, even after we sign the official one. They can change it all because our relationship is completely open and friendly. After everything that happened, it's even more important that they got all the information, and then after the last 3 days we have 5 or 6 calls on Skype all together and nothing's changed. I asked them, "Guys, did you see all the noise about the 5-year contracts? Do you guys want to do 2 and then after that, we can do 2 more?" but they said "No akkaari, we are happy, we have all the ways to be out if something were to happen or if we were put on the bench, so there's no problem. Let's announce our new sponsorship, let's go to Cologne," and there are no bad things about it.

I think we should start wrapping up here, so is there anything that you want to say to either the fans back in Brazil or any kind of last words about what's happened in this past week?

My last words are, first and foremost, thank you for inviting me here to have the opportunity to talk and I'm sorry about my English.

It's all good!

If it were in Portuguese then it would be much better, so to people that are listening and hearing to this cast in English, I'm saying sorry about that as well because there were maybe 1 or 2 times I didn't know which word I should use, and the point that I would like to say is that we have to be very careful with fake news because people are promoting the wrong things and people that post things or leak things, because after you do that then you damage all the relationships that you have between the organization and media or journalists, and most of the people that are in this scene are amazing and are professional. Then, if you give too much attention to the people that aren't professional then all the things happen in bad ways. What [Ryan] did was great, and we know it's very important to say that we know how things leak, who did it, how it happens, and we know something that happens.

I just want to say in DeKay's defense, because I think it's important--

And I don't know the guy of course.

Right, and I've interacted with him and I know his record. I know that he would never intentionally release something if he knew it to be false, or if he knew it to be intentionally put in a way that was a lie, so the information he had gotten might have been bad, if that's what your argument is, but I want to say as to his character, just in defense of his character, I think that he is always trying to publish what he knows the best to be true, and I think that's what all of us that are in this industry are trying to do. I don't know of any person on a prominent level that willingly publishes news that they know is fake or that they know is bad.

But don't you agree that if you have some kind of fire that it would be great to talk to us and not in the way that he said that he tried to because if you go to my Twitter, my bio is very clear, my email is very clear.

I don't have a comment, I can't comment, I'm just not gonna comment on any of that because you're putting me in a hard position here, and I'm just gonna say that I think he tried to do the best of what he did--

I don't want to put you in a bad spot so *chuckles*

You're putting me in a bad spot here, André *chuckles*

I'm sorry about that.

I just wanted to say that, from my perspective, he tried to do everything that he thought was best.

I don't want to put you in a bad position, but just let me tell you something that's really important. Even if I don't know the guy and I didn't follow him and he was doing his job, I don't know if he was doing a bad job before, I'm not saying anything like that. I just know the reason that the article was born and how it came up, and this reason is not ethical news. It's not just about the contract, and the reason that he put this out was not honorable. The thing is, I'm always open to talk about everything, so if in the future we're doing good and FURIA is playing in tournaments then you are completely open to call me or to send a text over Twitter or on WhatsApp and ask me whatever you want and I'm completely open to all the people who need some conversation or information on FURIA or everything around it. He didn't try to talk to me, he didn't reach out to me, and he preferred to not do it this way and he knows why, and I'm not putting you into a bad position but giving my own statement.

Well, André, I can't thank you enough for coming on here and speaking with me. I truly appreciate the time, the answers to all the questions, and I know that the language barrier is a little bit difficult, so I credit you tremendously for speaking this long in English because I know that could never speak in a second language for as long as you have.

Thank you, thank you, and I hope that people that are hearing this give me some credit for that because sometimes I try to talk 100% perfectly, it's hard, but I try my best, and it's publicly open to talking to the players if you want. You don't need to, but if you need someone to facilitate that if you're going to be in Cologne or in Dallas then reach out to the guys and talk about whatever.

Hopefully, if I end up going to Berlin then I can go see them there up on the main stage.

Yeah, they're going to be there and we're going to crush it.

I hope so, and I wish you and FURIA the best and so much for coming on and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Thanks a lot, man.

Thank you!