forZe called out by Team Spirit for possibly poaching players
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Team Spirit have called out forZe staff for sending offers to Spirit’s team members, attempting to poach them away, according to a statement posted to their Twitter on Monday.

“Regretfully, ForZe, who publicly stated their commitment to ethics and honesty in relations between esports clubs, allowed their staff to directly contact players and coaches of other team [sic], without informing their management,” the statement reads.

While Counter Strike: Global Offensive has no direct rules forbidding tampering and poaching players under contracts, the public statement alluded to in the tweet may have come from a conference of CIS orgs in Feb. 2020, when teams met to discuss the difficulties surrounding player transfers. The conference, held in Moscow, was supposed to call attention to issues like poaching and outlandish buy-out prices, among others.

While initial appearances suggested an impasse between the two teams, with Spirit tweeting that they were publicly airing their grievances to “hold our colleagues to their commitments, especially since it was impossible to do so privately,” the teams later came to an understanding. Team Spirit tweeted that the issue was resolved between the two organizations.

All this comes after the conclusion of IEM Fall CIS, the last Regional Major Ranking event of the year for the 2021 PGL Stockholm Major. After a poor showing, where forZe suffered tough losses and finished the group stage with a 1-4 record, the team failed to qualify for playoffs and, subsequently, the 2021 PGL Stockholm Major. In contrast, Spirit went 3-2 in the groups, narrowly missing playoffs but still garnering enough RMR points to secure their berth at the Major with Challenger status, bypassing the Contender stage.

Team Spirit are ranked #14 in the world on HLTV. Their top performers are Nikolay “mir” Bityukov and Abdul “degster” Gasanov who boast a 1.18 and 1.21 rating respectively over the past three months. No specific mention was made to which, or how many, players were contacted.

Neither forZe or Team Spirit have offered further comment at the time of publication.

Coby Zucker is Upcomer's resident CS:GO writer. He's also played League of Legends at the collegiate level and is a frequent visitor in TFT Challenger Elo. He's a firm believer that Toronto should be the next big esports hub city.