The Indian BGMI esports community is in shock as a high-profile player poaching incident has come to light involving two of the biggest esports orgs in the country. The orgs in question are TSM FTX India and GodLike Gaming, and the player at the center of it is Arjun Mandhalkar a.k.a Shadow.
Shadow, who was the IGL for TSM FTX India has now joined GodLike Gaming. However, TSM has alleged that there was absolutely no official attempt made by GodLike to buyout Shadow’s contract. According to TSM, GodLike got in touch with Shadow behind their backs and poached him without an official buyout as the player was still under contract. To make things even more controversial, Shadow has made harassment claims against his former org.
The reason this is so controversial is because contacting a player from another org while they are under contract a.k.a. ‘poaching’ is illegal and very much frowned upon in the esports community. While this practice isn’t very uncommon in the Indian esports scene, a high-profile poaching incident like this one as sent waves across the community. Both TSM and Shadow have been very vocal about the entire incident on social media; however, there has been absolutely no reaction from GodLike on the matter.
TSM India even put up an official post on their Instagram page addressing the situation. They mentioned how Shadow is making false claims against them just because he got benched. Additionally, the org also said that they have always been ready to loan him out to other orgs or accept any offers from others provided that they were contacted officially. However, according to them, Shadow was contacted by GodLike behind their backs which is absolutely unacceptable.
On the other hand, Shadow has also put out a statement about the same where he has asked for his fans to support him in these testing times. He has also alleged that his relationship with TSM was toxic and that it was formed to ‘exploit esports players and fanbase’. Furthermore, he also mentioned incidents of harassment and receiving threats from TSM on his decision to switch.
Aquanox, Shadow’s former teammate at TSM, mentioned in a recent stream that Shadow’s behaviour had changed the moment he was benched and that it seemed like he was already talking to other orgs.
There might be details that still haven’t come to light as both Shadow and TSM have been resolute on their stances in this situation. However, GodLike NOT addressing the situation entirely and announcing Shadow’s signing directly definitely looks sketchy and is not good news for the BGMI esports scene in India.
Members of the Esports community have also taken to social media to voice their opinions on the same. Most notably, the Head of Mobile for TSM, Jeff Chau, has also expressed his disappointment on the same as Krafton India hasn’t responded on this matter since a week.
Agree, sets a bad example for India esports
Krafton India Esports has not responded for over a week regarding this issue when TSM India reached out
Why hasn’t Krafton India gotten back to us? @Anuj_Tandon @hisohn Can you please help?
— Jeff “SuiJeneris” Chau (@SJeneris) June 19, 2022
Popular Esports Caster Umesh Kriplani also shared his thoughts on the matter in a statement provided to us.
With this said, TSM’s Head of Global and Social community has mentioned how they plan to take action but the details on the same aren’t clear. For now, Shadow is officially a member of GodLike and TSM could be looking to replace him already.