OKBET CS:GO with Kory “SEMPHIS” Friesen, ex-Gaimin Gladiators head coach and former CS9 pro player, is preparing a crowdfunding effort to help his squad while they attend a boot camp in Germany. The objective is to raise $10,000 CAD, with nearly $2600 raised since SEMPHIS tweeted about it on Monday.
The Canadian team just qualified for the IEM: Road to Rio American RMRs. They finished second in the first round of the North American Open Qualifiers for OKBET CS:GO, losing to Complexity. Gladiators are one of sixteen teams traveling to Sweden for the RMRs, which will take place in Stockholm from October 5 to October 9.
SEMPHIS, and all five members of the team, were released in August. Dominick ‘JazzPimp’ Dimpfel, Jeorge ‘jeorgesnorts’ Endicott, Brendan ‘Bwills,’ and Danny ‘cxzi’ Strzelczyk had only been on the team for six months at OKBET CS:GO. The Gladiators opted to cut its whole roster, leaving all six of them without an organization. They have subsequently changed their name to the Squirtle Squad.
TROUBLE WITH LOW PAY AND NO SPONSORS
OKBET CS:GO SEMPHIS revealed that they were receiving entry-level wages as Gladiators, and now that that source of money has dried up, they are trying to get the finances to attend bootcamp.
The fundraiser’s goal is to spend five days in Germany. They’d want to profit from transitioning to European time zones, training against stronger teams, and “tuning to the European meta” before entering the competitive RMRs, where they may qualify for the IEM Majors in Rio.
All contributions will go towards their flights from Germany to Sweden, the Bootcamp, meals, and other travel expenses. SEMPHIS has also said that they do not anticipate receiving any contributions. “This is just to help us develop as a team as [we] are trying to collect as much money as we can to make this work, traveling across Europe is costly without assistance,” he said in his tweet.
IGL cyn1c has opted to withdraw from the campaign and will not take contributions. This decision was most likely influenced by his departure from the Party Astronauts earlier this year, which resulted in the postponement of their European bootcamp owing to a misunderstanding of Germany’s vaccine requirements at OKBET CS:GO. Cyn1c was the squad’s lone unvaccinated player, which created some trouble when handling the travel paperwork.
This prompted him to launch a Twitter rant in which he stated his dissatisfaction with the squad as a result of a “continuous onslaught of personal and in-game difficulties.” Cyn1c and PA player Jonathan “Jonji” Carey had a heated argument, and cyn1c departed on poor terms. SEMPHIS confirmed that cyn1c is not taking part in the fundraising because he “doesn’t want the stigma from the previous trauma” and would “pay his own way to assuage any anxieties from previous experiences.”
ASSISTANCE IS ON THE WAY
So far, the largest gift has been $500 CAD from an anonymous contributor named Sh3n l0ng. Jackson Wolf, a product manager at ESL Gaming, donated $450 CAD, while Evil Geniuses’ director of athletics and ELEAGUE Boston Major champion Soham “valens” Chowdhury donated $300 CAD.
Other community efforts to assist have also been launched. Imperial’s in-game captain, Gabriel “FalleN” Toledo, assured SEMPHIS that he will broadcast this week to assist them in gathering resources. SEMPHIS also said that they are collaborating with the ESL, which has offered assistance to teams wishing to come in Europe early. They’re attempting to offset the expense of flights from Germany to Stockholm, but the bootcamp is the most significant drain on their finances at OKBET CS:GO.
The team has put up a set of rewards to express their gratitude to the top three contributors, in partnership with one player of their choosing (excluding cyn1c). The top contributors will be able to select between an hour-long demo review or lesson, or a PUG with any player of their choosing. They may also access a comprehensive set of tactics and setups for a map of their choosing, or listen in on the team’s TeamSpeak conversation during bootcamp and debate them afterwards. Jeorge also provides a one-month exercise or diet programme.
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