In a brewing public war of words between the player and the team, it seems that Nicolaj "Nico" Jensen has been removed from the team following an internal dispute with Uberg33kz. The promising Danish team have been looking for new sponsorship following their departure from the Copenhagen Wolves organisation and while this will be a blip on their road to recovery, the management of the team have stated the move was very necessary.
The cause of consternation seems to be demands relating to the players girlfriend and his refusal to adhere to an agreement that players would not bring their girlfriends to competitive events. The resulting argument has spilled over into the public arena and has left UberG33kz with little choice but to respond with a public statement regarding the matter.
In a statement issued exclusively to Esports Heaven, UberG33kz told us:
In our search for professional sponsorship we here at über G33KZ have looked to set a professional standard. While we understand that part of professionalism is dealing with disciplinary issues internally, unfortunately one of our players has forced us into a public statement regarding our upcoming roster changes. In the interests of transparency we feel it only fair that we justify these reasons to the community that have stood by our team.
Nicolaj “Nico” Jensen will no longer be part of our line-up. We acknowledge that we are losing a genuinely talented player by making this decision but as everyone understands talent is not the be all and end all of being part of a successful team. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts to rectify it, Nicolaj’s behaviour has had a negative impact on the team and has rendered his position untenable.
Issues began relating to a decision we had taken within the team that players would be expected not to bring their partners to events. The rationale for this decision is quite simple – absolute focus is required to achieve optimum results and in the same way you wouldn’t take your girlfriend or boyfriend to the office, we wouldn’t expect you to bring them to a competition where results dictate our very future as a team.
The majority of our team are all in relationships but agreed to this as they could understand the mentality. Nicolaj had informed us he wanted to take his girlfriend to DreamHack Winter. Although this rule was not in effect prior to the event, Nicolaj was made aware that bringing his girlfriend to future events would not be a possibility. Despite this he asked if our organisation, at the time Copenhagen Wolves, would pay for a separate room for him and her, as well as requesting we cover her train journey and acquire a player pass so she would be able to access the player specific areas of the venue. We took that request under consideration.
Reluctantly we decided to make a one time exception in this instance on the proviso that while we would pay up front for his girlfriend’s expenses we would expect him to reimburse them at a future date and in a timely fashion. This so far has not been forthcoming. Earlier this week Nicolaj acknowledged this rule in a meeting with all players present and raised no objections.
There were some sympathetic considerations for us to consider despite this. We had been told that his girlfriend was settling into a new area and didn’t know many people, so the prospect of not having Nicolaj around for a week was daunting. We had made concessions in the past, including agreeing to resume our practice schedule eleven days after we had originally planned, while he visited her family. We always look to support our players as we know juggling real life and competitive gaming is a fine balance.
Despite us having made all these agreements and concessions after DreamHack Winter, two days ago Nico issued us with an ultimatum to say that if we were not willing to allow his girlfriend to attend future events he would leave the team. At this point we tried to reason with the player, understanding the emotional nature of the issue and we were surprised to hear Nicolaj using the situation as leverage for an improved salary. In short, he initially said he would accept the decision and stay with the team if and when we secured a salary it would be of the same calibre as elite teams in CS:GO.
As soon as the ultimatum was issued by the player we knew we had someone who didn’t really care about the team. It not only is hugely disrespectful to the other four team members who have made the necessary sacrifices to fit in with our professional vision, but it also potentially jeopardises prospective sponsorship, talks about which are ongoing at this time. In light of this we had hoped to resolve this privately but we cannot allow the constant spreading of disinformation from the player to continue without response.
The replacement for Nicolaj is someone who we are familiar with and we’re confident will not only be comfortable with the standards we set ourselves but also with the players as individuals. We are happy to welcome back Rene “cajun” Borg into the fold and we trust that we can all move forward from this and secure ourselves a positive future in 2014.
Despite the nature of the parting we still extend best wishes to Nicolaj. He is an incredible talent and one we’re sure won’t take too long to find a team more accommodating of his requirements.
The team is now comprised of:
Andreas "Xyp9x" Højsleth
Nicolai "device" Reedtz
Henrik "FeTiSh" Christensen
Rene "cajun" Borg
Peter "dupreeh" Rasmussen