Aaron "Clairvoyance" Kim, former coach of the Ninjas in Pyjamas Dota 2 team, has slammed his former employers in a TwitLonger post released yesterday.
In the post, Clairvoyance details a number of conversations with NiP staff members, chat logs, personal accounts, and descriptions of NiP’s performance during the current season. He also indicates that he believes the organization owes him over $16,000, including salary and performance incentives.
The former DotA pro began coaching the team in February, and parted ways with the organization at the beginning of May, shortly after NiP’s hugely successful run at OGA Dota PIT Minor 2019, where they emerged victorious amid strong competition.
In his statement, the coach explains that his contract with NiP officially ended in March, although he claims he was verbally promised payment for April, as well as an alleged 7.5% cut of prize money, based on his performance.
According to Clairvoyance, several NiP staff members, including Peter "ppd" Dager, the captain, support, and active member of the business side of the team, had assured him that the incentive payment would be forthcoming if the team achieved a good result at the Minor.
Clairvoyance claims that immediately before the victory in the Croatian Minor, he was approached by ppd to ask if he would “scale back on the strategic side of coaching.” Subsequently, he alleges that the team attempted to renegotiate his cut of prize money to a smaller 5% incentive for good performance.
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Following NiP’s victory at the event, Clairvoyance claims he found himself missing his contracted March salary of $3,500, the promised April payment, and the incentive payments. After official departing the team on May 1, the former coach waited until the end of the month, hoping he would receive payment.
NiP responded in a statement earlier today, posted in a Reddit thread dedicated to Clairvoyance’s TwitLonger. They explained their stance, detailing that from their perspective, the coach was hired on a trial basis. In April, his contract was not renewed as the team wanted to finish the remaining tournaments before reaching a decision about his employment.
After their victory at the Pit Minor, the team claims that they offered Clairvoyance a new contract, with a 5% incentive. The coach replied that he required a 7.5% cut, which the team rejected. Subsequently, the team claims their former coach has harassed NiP staff and breached confidentiality clauses in his contract by posting details of his payments. They also explain that as DotA tournament prize money remains low, making sharing prizes a difficult prospect.
As of earlier today, NiP has paid Clairvoyance his salary, but not for the Pit Minor. This is confirmed in NiP’s statement on Reddit.
Clairvoyance’s initial reaction to his non-payment brought the issue into the public view, and perhaps ultimately allowed him to aquire his promised salary. But it has revealed numerous errors made during negotiation, including relying on recordings and chat logs rather than signed documents.
NiP, on the other hand, is clearly wrong to employ coaches, or indeed any staff, without a written contract. It also claims Clairvoyance was in breach of contract, while simultaneously explaining that it had ended its agreement with the coach.