FooJee: Addressing the Elephant in the Room
Hi everyone, this is Pwnt.
FooJee is currently a co-owner of GankStars Esports, and he is casting a competition for Twitch in which GankStars participates. Here is what we're doing about it and what to expect in the near future.
1. FooJee hasn't been a part of any GS decisions since the moment he announced that he's stepping down from leadership. IraqiZorro, BFDM_MEXI, and myself made a separate iMessage chat and we've been making all the decisions on our own since. For example, FooJee wasn't informed about Oldskool et al joining us until after the decision had been made and player contracts were sent out for signatures.
2. FooJee asked both SEMC and Twitch to make a decision about this very situation: is it a conflict of interest or not? And if it is, what should we do about it? We hope to hear back from them this week, though of course they may have a lot on their plate, we don't know. Note that other casters have publicly been members of competitive guilds for a long time now, so that part isn't new; however, FooJee is the first caster to have a financial interest in an org.
3. I have recently sent out an e-mail to SEMC and Twitch executives also recognizing a potential conflict of interest, informing them of our intent to solve it by October 15th, and requesting their guidance/stance on the issue. Perhaps they'll just have FooJee sign a binding document that puts on specific restrictions and we end it on that - we don't know.
Now, the reason it's taking awhile to make a decision on this is two-fold:
a) it wasn't clear at first what FooJee would choose to do after GankStars, as he had many options. His trip to NA and EU finals was a test, and it wasn't until close to Split 1 beginning that we learned he chose to continue casting for Vainglory.
b) Awarding ownership is an easy processes; changing it, however, is much more complicated. How does GankStars buy ownership back, if at all? For how much? On what terms? There are attorneys involved, government forms, and frankly a lot of learning about related laws and processes, all while we're bringing new players onboard, expanding to Critical Ops, and handling some other cool projects that we hope you hear about soon. Not the best of excuses, but... honest ones nonetheless.
We hope to have a resolution to this before Split 2 begins. There was never a doubt that FooJee would behave himself in the utmost professional way, just like he has so far. I don't believe any of his casting has had any bias, and his posts on Tumblr had as much critique of GSS as of any other team. I think we would all agree that Vainglory benefited from having him behind the analyst desk. Still, this isn't about trust, but rather about principle. We need to either establish clear boundaries that all parties agree to and perhaps even sign some legally-binding document, or figure out how to transfer ownership interest. That's what's being decided now and we hope to update you on it soon.
Thank you for your support and patience!