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Richard Lewis: NiP refuse to pay sticker money for pandemic RMR, say it was no Major, appeal to Valve's wording Rumors

Ninjas in Pyjamas got into another scandal involving player salaries. According to Richard Lewis, the organization didn't process the sticker money for the 2020 RMR cycle to the players. His sources revealed a group text message by NIP's COO Jonas "calc" Gundersen addressed to the team.

I understand there's a lot of talk floating around the "stickers". We've talked about this earlier, but it seems people have forgotten. These were "Capsules" created by the teams, and Ok'd by Valve, in order to survive the pandemic and keep paying salaries without any cuts, despite the complete lack of sponsorships and exposure. Therefore it's not stickers as it would be normally – because there was no major. This was a desperation move for many teams because elseway something like half would have pulled out of CS:GO altogether.

I know many teams treated this differently and some paid portions out to the players – we opted not to do that and keep salaries intact and the business running normal, adding more support staff around the team to make it an even better place to win majors. There's also very different contracts on teams based on the normal sticker money, where you guys get almost 100% and either way everyone does things individually.

Jonas "calc" Gundersen's leaked message

According to Lewis, this debate has been going on for a long time, and it affected every player that was in the 2020 RMRs lineup. The numbers are no small deal. His estimations reach $200—$300k per player and are based on other players' Legends stickers.

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NiP's contract looks quite generous as it gives the players almost all of the sticker money, even the team ones. Generally, this seems to be not a common practice at all. As revealed by ex-HellRaisers CEO Magician, the clubs usually take 70-100% of the team stickers' earnings.

Team shall receive 16.67% of the team stickers money earned by the Player. The Player shall receive the remaining 83.33% of the team stickers money divided with his teammates. <...>
The Player shall receive 100% of the individual stickers money, which is allocated to the players.

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Despite the mentioned rules, NIP management believes this case is an exception. They point toward Valve's official announcement of the sticker capsule, which stated that "for these stickers, 50% of the proceeds directly support the teams" during the pandemic.

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It is worth noting that these RMR winners' capsules weren't paired with the usual player signature capsules that are added during the Majors. Richard claims most of the orgs shared the earnings with players or even gave away the money in full. We know that former ESPADA split the money between the club and its players as 50/50.

The dispute between NiP and its players was forwarded to CSPPA (Counter-Strike Professional Association) for future elaboration. In 2019, NiP got into another scandal as they owed players about $340,000 in prize money and sticker sales since 2015. That incident led to former CEO Per Lilliefelth leaving the org.

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